It's chaired by Paul Kahn and includes Stephen Carter, Amy Chua, Jon Macey, Claire Priest, Kate Stith, and Jim Silk. I'm thinking the successful candidate will probably be a senior partner at a big Connecticut firm, but who knows?
The appointments are organized alphabetically by state, and within each state, by school, with a list of the Head Dean and any Assistant and Associate Deans. In addition, profile links, email addresses and background degree information is provided. Certain information is color-coded to help identify specific factors (e.g., female deans, post-graduate degrees). We specifically focused on questions of gender, pedigree and level of degrees in relation to state geographies, and we have included some overview of our findings below.
There are, of course, a substantial number of additional factors that could be incorporated into the study, and might influence how the data is interpreted: e.g., questions of age, disability, race, sexual orientation, socio-economic conditions, and so forth. The data was compiled from the 2015-2016 academic year, so there may be some more recent updates that are not incorporated into this study. We apologize for any errors, hope the document is of interest, and grateful for any corrections.
From an email message which I received earlier today:
The University of Mississippi (www.olemiss.edu) invites nominations and applications for the position of Dean of the School of Law.
The University of Mississippi School of Law (http://law.olemiss.edu/) was established in 1854 and is the first and only public law school in the state. The School of Law has a record of hiring and retaining distinguished faculty and nationally recognized scholars and attracting highly qualified students. The School is known for its academic rigor, its eleven clinic programs including the Mississippi Innocence Project and the MacArthur Justice Center, three academic concentrations, and eight law journals. In 2016, The National Jurist magazine named the University of Mississippi School of Law among the top 25 nationally for practical training available to students. Supporting the School’s strong commitment to academic and scholarly excellence is an endowment exceeding $23 million. In the fall of 2010, the School of Law relocated to a newly constructed state-of-the-art, 120,000 square-foot facility. Accredited by the Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar of the American Bar Association, the School is a member of the Association of American Law Schools.
The Dean is responsible for long-range strategic planning, advancing faculty research and scholarship, encouraging student achievement, fundraising, and promoting and expanding external and alumni relations for the School. In addition, the Dean represents the School within the University and represents the School of Law and the University with external constituencies. Reporting to the Provost, the Dean supervises more than 30 full-time and part-time faculty members, 65 staff members, and approximately 375 students.
Candidates must hold a Juris Doctor or equivalent, and should have an exceptional record of teaching and scholarship or should have an equivalent exceptional record in the practice of law, in the legal profession, or in a comparable professional setting, proven leadership skills, demonstrated administrative skills, and fundraising abilities. In addition, candidates should possess: strong interpersonal and communication skills; the ability to promote faculty excellence in teaching, scholarship, research, and service; the skill to develop and implement high-level strategic plans; a track record of effective fiscal management experience; demonstrated ability to generate external resources; and a commitment to fostering a diverse faculty, staff, and student body.
THE UNIVERSITY OF MISSISSIPPI
One hundred and sixty-eight years after opening its doors as the state's flagship university, The University of Mississippi is a growing, vibrant institution that offers nationally ranked academic and research programs. Within the last 12 years, the university has produced five Goldwater Scholars, one Rhodes Scholar, four Truman Scholars, 11 Fulbright Scholars, three Udall scholars and two Gates Cambridge Scholars. The state's first public university to house a chapter of Phi Beta Kappa, the University attracts promising young scholars with a litany of new programs including the Sally McDonnell Barksdale Honors College. Ranked among the nation's top public research universities by several measures, The University of Mississippi is home to more than 30 research centers and is designated an R1: Research Universities (highest research activity) in the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education. The University of Mississippi is located in Oxford (www.oxfordms.com), in the rolling hills of north Mississippi, 80 miles south of Memphis, Tennessee. A city of approximately 21,000 residents, Oxford is a vibrant university town filled with unique shops and galleries, eclectic restaurants and historic landmarks.
Starting salary will be competitive and commensurate with qualifications and experience.
ANTICIPATED STARTING DATE: July 1, 2017
Nominations and expressions of interest in submitting an application should be forwarded to:
Search Committee for Dean of the School of Law Dr. David D. Allen, Chair School of Pharmacy
P.O. Box 1848 The University of Mississippi University, MS 38677-1848 (662) 915-7267; Fax (662) 915-5118 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
A complete job description is available online at https://jobs.olemiss.edu. Applications must be submitted online at this site and must include: (a) letter of interest, including a statement of how the candidate satisfies the position qualifications listed above; (b) a curriculum vitae; (c) names, addresses, and phone numbers of five professional references.
The position will remain open until filled or until an adequate application pool has been established. Review of applications will begin November 1, 2016.
THE UNIVERSITY OF MISSISSIPPI IS AN EOE/AA/Minorities/Females/Vet/Disability/Sexual Orientation/Gender Identity/Title VI/Title VII/Title IX/504/ADA/ADEA employer.
Last week, Dean Jocelyn Benson announced she would be stepping down as dean of Wayne State Law, to take over as CEO of the Ross Initiative in Sports for Equality. She served for four years. Next week, Lance Gable - the school's current associate dean - will take the helm as interim dean. Gable, who joined the Wayne State faculty in 2006, holds a JD Georgetown.
The University of Missouri at Columbia (MU) seeks a dynamic and visionary leader for the position of Dean of the School of Law. The Dean reports directly to the Provost and actively contributes to decisions affecting the University at large as a member of the Council of Deans. The Dean is responsible for strategic planning and budgets; hiring faculty and staff; development activities; and building a climate of excellence in the College, and in all aspects of the University’s academic mission.
MU, part of the four-campus University of Missouri System, is one of the most comprehensive universities in the United States. It is an AAU, Doctoral/Research Extensive, and Land-Grant institution with over 35,000 students. MU is located in Columbia, Missouri, one of America’s most livable cities. The School of Law is a full-time J.D. and L.L.M.-granting institution, and is home to 37 full-time faculty and approximately 320 students. MU was the first U.S. law school to offer an L.L.M. exclusively focused on dispute resolution and consistently ranks as one of the top law schools in that field. The School is a charter member of the AALS and is fully accredited by ABA. For more information, please see http://law.missouri.edu/. The School strives to foster a diverse faculty of nationally recognized scholars committed to effective teaching, and to attract a student body with diverse experiences and views.
Qualifications: The Dean should have a distinguished record appropriate to academic appointment as full professor. The ideal candidate is committed to the School’s mission of teaching, research, service, and economic development; is a strong advocate for diversity; and can articulate a compelling vision for the School’s future. Candidates should have appropriate administrative experience. The Dean will devote a substantial amount of his/her time to development activities. S/he should have the highest standards of personal integrity, be committed to stimulating innovation in the School, and be able to communicate the School’s vision to all audiences.
Loyal readers of this website will recall my debate in late 2014/early 2015, with Charlotte Law’s Dean Jay Conison, about Charlotte’s/InfiLaw’s admission policies. (For a refresher, see here and here.) I suggested, as I did in my infamous Dean candidate talk at Florida Coastal, that admitting so many extremely high risk students would inevitably result in a steep drop in bar passage rates, which would potentially jeopardize the school’s accreditation. Dean Conison disputed this notion, suggesting that horrible LSAT scores and UGPAs did not have the same meaning at Charlotte Law as elsewhere and admonishing me that law school is not a “black box.”
Dean Conison took the helm at Charlotte Law in April 2013, in time to impact admissions for the entering class of 2013. Let us not forget that Dean Conison came straight from being the Dean at Valparaiso Law School where the classes that he recruited in his final years have driven the school’s reputation, and bar passage rate, right into the toilet. Since the fall entering class of 2013 recently graduated, I thought it would be a propitious time to check in on how Charlotte’s students have fared under Conison’s leadership.
Retired Davis, Polk partner Harry Ballan has been named the new dean of Touro College Law. Ballan holds a JD from Columbia and a Ph.D in history and theory of music from Yale. He follows Patricia Salkin, who is now provost at Touro.
In March, the ABA Section of Legal Education's Council approved for notice and comment revisions to the ABA Standards 316 and 501 related to stricter bar passage rate requirements, admissions and attrition. Here are the key provisions:
Standard 316. BAR PASSAGE At least 75 percent of a law school’s graduates in a calendar year who sat for a bar examination must have passed a bar examination administered within two years of their date of graduation.
Standard 501. ADMISSION (a) A law school shall adopt, publish, and adhere to sound admission policies and practices consistent with the Standards, its mission, and the objectives of its program of legal education. (b) A law school shall admit only applicants who appear capable of satisfactorily completing its program of legal education and being admitted to the bar.
Interpretation 501-3. ATTRITION A law school having a non-transfer attrition rate above 20% percent bears the burden of demonstrating that it is in compliance with the Standard.
(For those wanting more detail, a marked up copy of the Standards (showing a comparison of the old rule and the proposed new rule) and the comments submitted regarding the proposal are available here.) Several thoughtful comments have been submitted related to these proposed standards, but this post is devoted to a comment submitted by Don LeDuc, the President and Dean of the Western Michigan University Cooley Law School. Mr. LeDuc has written to express his vociferous opposition to the proposed changes to ABA Standard 501 and 316.
It should not be at all surprising that Mr. LeDuc opposes any tightening of the rules regarding admissions given that he presides over the law school that admitted the statistically weakest law school entering class in history in 2015. What is surprising are his outlandish claims that it is an “unproven assertion” that bar results are tied to admission factors, and it is a “flawed premise” “that factors involved in law school admission decisions can be used to predict bar examination success.”
University of Akron Law Dean Matthew Wilson, who joined Akron in 2014, has been named interim president of the university. He will serve for 18 months as the school searches for a new leader. Akron Law Professors Sarah Cravens and Ryan Vacca have been appointed as interim co-deans.
Dean JoAnne Epps, who has led Temple Law since 2008, has been nominated to become the new provost of Temple University. The appointment awaits approval of the Temple's board of trustees. Gregory Mandel will serve as interim dean of the law school.
Professor Judith Daar, who joined the Whittier Law faculty in 1990, has been named the school's new dean. She is a graduate of Georgetown Law and focuses on health law and bioethics. She served as associate dean from 2008 to 2012.
Eric Mitnick, who has been serving as the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, has been appointed Interim Dean at U.Mass. Law starting July 1. From the official announcement:
Professor Mitnick received his A.B. from Cornell University; his J.D., cum laude, from the University of Michigan; and an M.A. and Ph.D. from Princeton University in the fields of Public Law, Political Theory, and American Politics. He also practiced law from 1991-1995, a fact extremely important to the School of Law as it seeks to fulfill the goal of producing graduates who are ready for the practice of law. Professor Mitnick is an accomplished scholar in the areas of constitutional law, rights, socio-legal and multicultural theory and is author of the book, Rights, Groups, and Self-Invention: Group-Differentiated Rights in Liberal Theory (2006).
A Lounge reader reached out to let me know that Penn State Law’s dean search has been unsuccessful (announced to the faculty by the provost) and that at least some faculty have been unhappy with the search process and a perceived lack of faculty input. This seems to be a recurring theme these days -- see for example, this previous discussion regarding the Florida dean search, this one about the SLU interim dean appointment, and this item regarding DePaul law school.
In the case of Penn State, the complaints apparently include search committee composition, a lack of openness and communication during the search process, the way in which candidates were vetted, and whether (or the extent to which?) faculty are polled on their views of candidates. Some of the discontent may also stem from the law school’s recent rankings drop. As Above the Law reported in March:
Penn State, fresh off separating its campuses into two separate law schools, continues its downward descent into oblivion by losing another 15 spots in the rankings, following up on a 20-spot drop just last year. To think, Penn State was once so close to being ranked as a Top 50 school.
Of course, there have probably always been tensions and disagreements surrounding the level of faculty involvement in a dean search. But the enrollment crisis at many law schools and consequent budget tensions with the main university may have exacerbated the issue in recent years. I don’t have a personal knowledge of these events and am simply passing on the information as its been told to me. Readers who do have a personal knowledge of the situation at Penn State are, of course, invited to comment.
Professor Garry Jenkins, the associate dean of academic affairs at Ohio State Law has been named the new dean at the University of Minnesota Law School. Jenkins, who joined the Ohio State faculty in 2004, and holds a JD from Harvard, will take over in July.
Northern Illinois University College of Law announced, today, that Eric Dannenmaier will take over as its dean this summer. Dannenmaier is a Professor of Law at Indiana-Indianapolis Law with a focus on environmental law, He holds a JD from Boston University and a JSD from Columbia, and joined the Indiana faculty in 2007.
CUNY Law School has announced two of the four finalists in its dean search. They are Dr. Lolita Buckner Inniss (Professor, Cleveland-Marshall College of Law) and Justice Fern Fisher (Deputy Chief Administrative Judge for New York City Courts). The bios for these two finalists are here. CUNY has not yet announced the other two finalists.