Friday, January 17, 2014

UF Dean Candidates Clarification

After my post yesterday I read UF Professor Jeff Harrison's comment on the Faculty Lounge:

Professor Harrison has granted me permission to quote his comment, which gives a clear understanding of why the disclosure of the UF Dean candidates was necessary. I think he  demonstrates why it is important for each search committee to be selected in an open and inclusive way. Furthermore, it is essential that the law school community have an opportunity to endorse the criteria for the next dean of the school, before the search begins.

Professor Harrison points out that neither of these took place:

...[I]t might be useful to know that the law faculty has had virtually no input to this point. The search was conducted by a private firm which I assume largely recycled the same list created for other schools. The search committee is composed largely of non law school people and, I think law professors, are a minority on the committee but I do no recall off hand. We are still weeks away from the law faculty having any significant input.

He also said that the list was going to be made public shortly, and that each candidate was aware of that impending disclosure.

It seems that the whole issue could have been avoided with more law school buy in on the front-end.

For schools beginning a dean search, I highly recommend Larry Dessem's (former dean at Missouri and Mercer) wonderful essay "Unsolicited Advice to Law School Dean Search Committees."

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