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.
Professor Malcolm Morris of Northern Illinois University School of Law has been named the new dean of Atlanta's John Marshall Law School. He was the interim dean at NIU in 2008-09. He holds a JD from SUNY Buffalo and an LLM from Northwestern.
Update: Morris is actually an Emeritus Professor at NIU. He is also the Associate Director of Graduate Tax Programs at John Marshall in Chicago.
Professor Mark Adams, of Valparaiso Law, has been named the new dean of the University of Idaho College of Law. Adams has been vice dean and associate dean at Valpo and will move to Moscow to take over in late June. He will have to navigate the school's increasing presence in Boise - where it is competing with Concordia Law.
Last fall, when the University of Vermont (UVM), located in Burlington, and Vermont Law School (VLS), located in Royalton, announced that they were developing a joint degree program, UVM's Vice President for Administration and University Relations explicitly denied that a merger was on the table: "It’s not on the table at all. We're not talking about a merger." But concerns about a merger and relocation—which Royalton residents say would adversely affect the local economy—have nevertheless persisted, and indeed have been rekindled this year. In January, the UVM Board of Trustees convened an ad hoc work group, which last met in closed door session on February 27, "to explore the university’s relationship with VLS." According to Vermont Public Radio, "at least three UVM trustees [who declined to go on the record] have confirmed that the possibility of UVM acquiring VLS outright is one of many scenarios the work group is examining."
Those three trustees presumably do not include Vermont Rep. Sarah Buxton, D-Tunbridge, who cited the possibility of a merger in her decision to resign her position as a member of the UVM Board of Trustees on February 20 after serving just one year of a six-year term. Buxton felt that she faced a potential conflict of interest between her role as trustee, should UVM decide that absorbing and relocating the law school was in its interest, and the role she has held since 2010 as state legislator, where she represents the Royalton residents who are increasingly uneasy about rumors of a merger. Incidentally, Buxton is a 2010 graduate of the law school and, until May of 2013, also held a fulltime position there as assistant director of community relations and alumni affairs. That position, however, which accommodated her annual four-month stint at the state house, was eliminated in May as part of the law school's various layoffs and buyouts amid declining enrollments and Buxton was forced to file for unemployment while she searched for a similarly accommodating job elsewhere. (It's unclear from her Wikipedia page whether she has been successful in her job search.)
In response to the upsurge of merger rumors following Buxton's resignation, UVM President Thomas Sullivan and VLS President and Dean Marc Mihaly released a joint statement implicitly denying that a merger is on the table. They said that "programmatic and academic opportunities between the institutions," including joint degrees and clinical and research collaborations, "represent the full extent of what the two institutions are exploring and discussing." Asked for a more explicit statement about whether a merger and relocation is a possibility, law school spokesperson Peter Glenshaw was somewhat more circumspect than UVM's Vice President for Administration and University Relations had been last fall. "At this time," Glenshaw said, "there is no plan to relocate, and we intend to continue building our strategic academic partnerships with UVM."
The University of Alberta Faculty of Law has named Paul Paton as its new dean. Paton is currently on the faculty of McGeorge Law School and holds an LLB from Toronto and a JSD from Stanford. He was previously on the faculty of Queens University.
Kevin Cieply, who is currently the Associate Dean of Academics at Atlanta's John Marshall Law School, will take over as the Dean and President of Ave Maria Law School this summer. Ciepley received his JD from Notre Dame.
Professor Eduardo Peñalver of the University of Chicago has been named the new dean of Cornell Law School. In yet another coming home story - following on Nancy Stoudt at Wash U - Peñalver returns to Cornell where he taught from 2006-12. He holds a JD from Yale. Before going to Cornell in 2006, he had been on the Fordham Law faculty.
She's back! Professor Nancy Staudt, Vice-Dean of the University of Southern California law school, will be returning to Washington University - this time as its new dean. Staudt has a JD from Minnesota and a Ph.D from the University of Chicago. In addition to Wash U., she previously was on the faculty at Buffalo and Northwestern.
University of Florida President Bernie Machen announced Friday that the school is ending its law school dean search for the year without making a hire. We may never know the full back story, but it appears that the law faculty overhwelmingly voted against hiring FIU Dean Alex Acosta. The dean search committee then sent forward the names of the remaining three candidates (David Brennan, David Huebner, and Sam Donaldson) to the President. According to the Gainesville Sun, the committee had been told that if all four names were not sent forward, it risked a failed search.
After much sturm and drang about the effects of Florida's open records law, which required disclosure of even the first cut of dean candidates, the entire search turned out to be for naught. Next time around, all potential candidates will presumably understand that their applications are not confidential. It will be interesting to see whether that fact, which some claim the consultant failed to disclose this time around, will have an impact on the candidate pool.
From the University of Houston Law Dean Search webpage:
The Search Committee is pleased to announce the finalists for the position of Dean of the University of Houston Law Center. Each finalist will visit the Law Center in the coming weeks to meet with faculty, students, staff and other members of the University of Houston Law Center community. On-site interviews with each candidate will be scheduled starting the week of March 17, 2014.
The finalists are:
Leonard Baynes St. John’s University School of Law, Queens, New York Professor of Law & Inaugural Director The Ronald H. Brown Center for Civil Rights and Economic Development
Michael Cahill Brooklyn Law School, Brooklyn, New York Vice Dean
Danielle Holley-Walker University of South Carolina School of Law, Columbia South Carolina Associate Dean for Academic Affairs School of Law Distinguished Professor of Education Law
Maria Pabon Lopez Loyola University New Orleans College of Law Dean and Judge Adrian G. Duplantier Professor of Law
Lawrence Ponoroff The University of Arizona James E. Rogers College of Law Samuel M. Fegtly Chair in Commercial Law Dean, 2009-2012
Melanie Wilson University of Kansas, School of Law, Lawrence, Kansas Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, Professor
Yale University has announced the reappointment of Dean Robert Post to an additional three year term, effective this summer. Readers who have been eyeing this position will need to look elsewhere or cool their jets.
Mercer University Dean Gary Simson is moving on up. He has been named the university's Senior Vice-Provost for Scholarship. Simson came to Mercer from Case Law in 2010. Mercer's former dean, Daisy Floyd, will step in as interim dean as the school searches for a new leader.
Lawrence Mitchell, who came to Case Western Reserve Law as its new dean in 2011, has resigned. He has been on a leave of absence since November when fellow faculty member Raymond Ku sued, claiming that Mitchell had retaliated against him for reporting alleged sexual harassment. More details here.