Following up on Garrett's comment on our May 2008 list of law dean searches, it's time to have a post collecting the current dean searches. I'm a little behind the news on this, so I'm going to start with Garrett's list of schools looking (or about to be looking) (now as updated with comments by Matt, Howard, Mike, Patrick, Scott Taylor, Eric, Rick Bales, Adam Steiner, Danny Sokol, Tim Zinnicker, Scott Taylor, and a bunch of loyal readers--thanks, especially, to bluegrasser, whoever you are). As always, information from readers is most, most appreciated.
BYU (James Rasband named Dean.)
Cardozo (Matthew Diller named Dean.)
Drake (Allan Vestal named Dean)
Elon (George Johnson named Dean) (I. Richard Gershon and Mary J. Davis, finalists) (and here)
Florida International University (Alex Acosta named dean.) (as of 3/4, "initial" final-finalists are Acosta, Brennen, Jimmy Gurulé, and Colin Picker) (finalists include R. Alexander Acosta, Larry Cata Backer, David Brennen, Penelope Bryan, Jose Roberto Juarez, Michael Kelly, Jennifer Rosato, and Michael Rustad) (R. Alexander Acosta, Joel Friedman, Gurule, Jose Roberto Juarez, and Colin Picker coming for campus visits as of 4/9) (
Golden Gate (Drucilla Stender Ramey named dean.)
Loyola (Victor Gold, Jim Chen, John Nockleby, and Rich Freer finalists)
Northern Illinois Jennifer Rosato named dean (Penelope Bryan (Denver), Jennifer Rosato (Drexel), and Chris Cameron (Southwestern) finalists)
Notre Dame (Nell Newton named dean)
Rutgers-Newark (John Farmer named dean.)
St. John's Michael Simons named dean. (Leonard Baynes and Michael Simons are said to be the leading candidates)
South Texas (Don Guter named dean.)
University of Arizona (finalists via Brian Leiter) (Larry Ponoroff named dean).
University of Arkansas--Little Rock (Penelope Bryan, sole finalist - but interesting - semi-finalists also included Joan Mahoney and Susan Richey, and other applicants included Richard Bales and Michael Kelly) and now that Bryan's become dean at Whittier, UALR is looking again. And now they've named John DiPippa, a long-time UALR professor, dean.
University of California--Hastings
University of Denver
University of Illinois (Bruce Smith named dean)
University of Detroit Mercy (Lloyd Semple named dean.)
University of Iowa
University of Kentucky (David Brennen named dean.) (David A. Brennen, Elizabeth A. Reilly, Cynthia L. Fountaine, Christopher W. Frost, finalists)
University of Memphis (Kevin Smith named dean.) (Kevin H. Smith, Penelope Eileen Bryan, David Alexander Brennen, and Richard A. Bales finalists)
University of Miami (Patricia White named dean.)
University of Maryland (Phoebe Haddon named dean.) (Mark A. Sargent, Wendy Collins Perdue, Phoebe Haddon, Leah Ward Sears, and Linda S. Mullenix finalists.) (On 2/11/09, Sears withdrew from the search. On 2/17/09, Mark Sargent withdrew.)
University of Montana (Irma Russell named dean.) (Jack Bogdanski, Greg Murphy, Loren Prescott, Elizabeth Reilly, and Irma Russell finalists)
University of Nebraska (Irma S. Russell, Gary J. Simson, and William Murray Tabb finalists) (Search abandoned this year.)
University of New Mexico (Kevin Washburn named dean) (Gregory A. Hicks, Michael A. Olivas, Antoinette Sedillo López, Kevin K. Washburn finalists)
University of Washington (Kellye Testy named dean.) (finalists via Brian Leiter)
University of Wyoming Stephen Easton named dean.
Vanderbilt (Chris Guthrie named dean.)
Whittier (Penelope Bryan named dean) (Penelope Bryan, Christopher David Ruiz Cameron, Abby Leibman, William B.T. Mock finalists)
William & Mary (finalists are Frank Alexander, Dave Douglas, Ronald Cass, Linda Mullenix, Wendy Perdue, and Larry Ponoroff; this is, in part, from abovethelaw.com) (Dave Douglas chosen dean)
Yale (search members listed committee here)
Of course Harvard's going to need a new dean real soon. I'm surprised there hasn't been more law blog speculation on this yet. (Don't blogs specialize in ... speculation?) The Boston Globe has been speculating about some replacements--including Martha Minow, David Wilkins, Howell Jackson, and Anne-Marie Slaughter.
As I began to collect some of the links to search announcements, I began to think about two things. First, how many schools use firms to assist in recruiting deans? Seems like that's a pretty common practice for college presidencies. I'm wondering if it's becoming more common for law school deanships. I'd be interested in whether schools think that's generated good results for them? Second, there must be advice on what dean job talks should be like, which would run parallel to the extensive advice on job talks (and job searches generally) for entry level faculty candidates. Maybe we ought to start talking about that, too.
One other thought as I see all the terrific finalists--there are some amazingly selfless people out there, because, wow, in these tough economic times, my guess is that the job of being dean at a law school is even more thankless than usual.
Update for January 9: Many, many congratulations to Bruce Smith. The University of Illinois is most lucky to have him. This is great news, too, for legal history.
Alfred Brophy (and Dan Filler doing's a bunch of the updates now, too)