Dean John Boger, who has lead UNC Law since 2006, has announced that he will step down as the school's dean as of July 2015. He will return to the faculty. Since Boger became dean, the law school's full-time faculty has grown by almost 50% - from 43 to 63. He has been an excellent dean as evidenced by his great taste. Two of these talented hires - Al Brophy and Dana Remus - are among my very favorite former colleagues.
UNC is a superb law school and this is one of the most appealing deanships in the country. I imagine the school will have its pick of fine candidates.
The University of Alabama landed a very big fish today, announcing that Professor Mark Brandon of Vanderbilt Law will be its new dean. Mark is an Alabama Law graduate who went on to earn his Ph.D in politics from Princeton. He is the dean that law school faculty members, students and critics dream about because he has significant legal practice experience as well as serious scholarly chops. Brandon practiced law for seven years before returning to grad school for his doctorate. He was a tenured political science professor at Michigan before moving to Vanderbilt's law faculty in 2001.
The folks at Alabama have a lot to be excited about. Even though it's been eight years since I was on the Bama faculty, the news made me smile. And the fact that Alabama attracted such an excellent new dean is a testament to former Dean Ken Randall's work over the past two decades.
Dean Rebecca White, who has led the University of Georgia School of Law since 2004, has announced she is resigning. Based on the current strength of the school, and a record of first rate faculty hires, she seems to have had a good run. White will remain dean until her replacement is found.
File this under a little bit unusual. Interim Dean Susan Duncan of the University of Louisville law school has been given a three year extension of her position of interim dean. The explanation is both odd and ominous. According to Louisville Business First, Provost Shirley Willihnganz explained this decision as follows:
First, she said, the administration is pleased with the job Duncan, who is a candidate for the dean’s position, has done over the last two years. Also... the university “didn’t get the pool of candidates that we’d expect to get. It’s a tough time to recruit for deans of law schools", she said, adding that enrollments at many schools are down and universities are hesitant to commit additional resources to law schools with fewer students....U of L will suspend the its search for two years in hopes that the situation will improve, Willihnganz said, adding that she is pleased to have Duncan in place in the meantime.
Dean Robert Rasmussen of the University of Southern California law school will be stepping down at the end of the next academic year. He was appointed in 2007 and next year will be his eighth year leading the school.
The University of California - Berkeley School of Law announced today that its new dean will be Sujit Choudhry. He holds an LLB from the University of Toronto and a BA in Law from University College, Oxford. He was a Rhodes Scholar.
Choudhry is currently a professor at NYU Law. Before coming to NYU, he was a professor and associate dean at Toronto Law.
University of Illinois College of Law Dean Bruce Smith will be stepping down after five years at the helm of the law school. He will return to the faculty. Professor John Colombo will serve as acting dean as of June 1.
Dean Linda Ammons, who has led both campuses of Widener University School of Law for the past eight years, is stepping down at the end of the school year. She has been on sabbatical during this spring term and the co-interim deans - Erin Daly in Wilmington and Robin Meadows in Harrisburg - will lead the school next year.
Thanks to a commentor, I came upon this intriguing post by Ole Miss Law Dean Richard Gershon describing certain odd details of the ongoing Florida Coastal dean search. For those unaware, Coastal is a for-profit school. In this environment, a dean search for a school in this segment of the law school market is inevitably going to be complicated. And Gershon's account certainly bears this out.
Professor and Acting Dean Gillian Lester of UC Berkeley Law has been named the next Dean of Columbia Law School. She began teaching at UCLA Law in 1994 and moved to Berkeley in 2006. She holds an LLB from the University of Toronto and a JSD from Stanford. Lester takes over on January 1, 2015.
Outgoing Maryland Law Dean Phoebe Haddon was named the new Chancellor of Rutgers-Camden today. Haddon has served as dean at Maryland since 2009. She was previously on the Temple Law faculty. Haddon takes the place of Chancellor Wendell Pritchett who is stepping down, returning to Penn Law, and becoming Penn's interim law dean.
Rutgers University apparently likes having law professors lead the Camden campus. Pritchett's predecessor was Roger Dennis, the former Rutgers Camden Law dean and our current (and inaugural) dean at Drexel Law.
Professor Jon Garon of Northern Kentucky University law school has been named the new dean of Nova Southeastern Law School, effective this summer. Garon is currently the director of NKU's Law + Infomatics Institute, and he was previously dean of Hamline Law. He holds a JD from Columbia.
Professor Donald Tobin of Ohio State University School of Law has been named the new dean of the University of Maryland law school. He holds a JD from Georgetown. He joined OSU in 2001 and, among other things, has served as the school's associate dean.
The University of Pennsylvania Law School has announced that Wendell Pritchett will take over as the school's interim dean this summer. He replaces Mike Fitts who is becoming President of Tulane University. Pritchett joined the Penn faculty in 2001. In 2009, he became Chancellor of Rutgers-Camden and he is stepping down at the end of this year. It was only recently announced that he would be returning to the Penn Law faculty. Pritchett holds a JD from Yale and and a Ph.D in History from Penn.
Professor Alberto Gonzales has been named the new dean of Belmont University College of Law, effective June 1. He served as the first George W. Bush Administration Attorney General. He was also a Justice on the Texas Supreme Court. He is currently the school's Doyle Rogers Distinguished Chair of Law.
Gonzales received his JD from Harvard. Although I haven't read any of his work, he is certainly an active scholar.