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April 15, 2016


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Steven Freedman

I worked for Roger for five years at Drexel. To say he was well regarded would be like saying Superman is kind of strong.

Congratulations on a wonderful career!


Not to take anything away from this particular individual, but, in general, does a Dean typically get involved with faculty appointments (committee, etc.) to the extent we can truly say, other than as a sort of honorary homage, that a Dean "builds" a law faculty? (Perhaps, lateral recruitment a bit, but to what extent this influences the overall faculty composition seems sort of marginal.)

You mention that construction of a building. Yes, indeed, Deans often have an edifice complex. But, a Dean doesn't build a building. He/she helps to raise money to build a building and promotes the building of a building. Sort of like Donald Trump, except the Dean doesn't get to put his name on it.

Again, not to comment on this individual particularly, but how many Deans are actually leaders in "experiential learning." The law academy loves its jargon and slogans and topics de jour, and this is now a big throw away line to try to describe almost anything that involves actually doing something as a student other than taking a final. Most of what it touted as "new and shiny" has been done for years. Not by most Deans, though.

And then we come back to renovating buildings and raising money.

Let's stipulate Deans are often popular (at least with some part of the faculty and at least for a while), and these days are often chosen for a number of other reasons (e.g., see the reaction to the picture of the new Dean at BYU in these pages).

Deans are expected to represent the law school and raise money. The other typical accolades thrown their way ring hollow and almost amount to the Dean with faint praise.

Though, once again, one is sure that Roger Dennis was a fine Dean and deserves praise in every respect and for one, I have no reason to doubt this in any respect.


We can praise someone for their great work in building the most recently constructed law school in Philadelphia if we can assume such an additional law school was needed in that vicinity.

Matthew Reid Krell

"Deans often have an edifice complex."

Okay, this pun wins.

Captain Hruska Carswell, Continuance King

Deans are pretty cool. Dean Martin landed a crippled airliner.

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