Sunday, February 23, 2020

JOBS: University of South Carolina Dean of the School of Law

University of South Carolina

Dean of the School of Law

Columbia, SC

Following a successful nine-year deanship that saw the hiring of 22 highly productive scholars and three teaching librarians as new faculty members, the reduction of in-state tuition by 17% (from the prior year) and the 2017 opening of an $80 million, 187,500 square-foot facility two blocks from the State House and State Supreme Court, the University of South Carolina seeks a new Dean for its School of Law. 

The new Dean will have the opportunity to support the professional development and retention of a faculty that is ambitious in its scholarship and socially engaged, while enhancing and promoting programmatic strengths in children’s law, environmental law, experiential learning, healthcare law and public interest law.  A new university budgeting model will benefit the School by incentivizing entrepreneurship within each academic unit and allowing the School to retain non-degree revenue, empowering the new Dean to chart a path of financial sustainability for South Carolina Law.

Founded in 1867, South Carolina Law is an incubator for the bar, bench, elected office and civic leadership in its region and across the nation.  Within South Carolina, its influence and prestige exceed those of many flagship state university law schools: currently, every sitting Justice of the South Carolina Supreme Court and some 25% of state legislators are South Carolina Law graduates.  Supported by direct state appropriation, the School maintains the only public law library in South Carolina.  Its location in the state capital affords government access for faculty members as well as internship and career opportunities for students.  The School is home to several important academic and service centers, including The Children’s Law Center and the Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough Center on Professionalism.  The School hosts the annual National Cybersecurity Institute, and South Carolina Law faculty provide key leadership for the University’s Rule of Law Collaborative.  The U. S. Department of Justice’s National Advocacy Center and Fort Jackson, the U. S. Army’s largest training post, are near neighbors to the School.

South Carolina Law currently offers only the JD degree, but it is seeking approval from state accreditors to offer partly on-line Master’s and Certificate programs in Health Systems Law.  The School offers 12 dual degree programs, partnering with top-ranked programs in the Moore School of Business and Vermont Law School.  Fifty-six full-time faculty members, including librarians, provide instruction together with a strong cohort of adjunct and emeriti faculty.  Enrollment has remained steady since 2011, with about 210 entering students per class and 633 total students as of Fall 2019.  Currently, 62% of enrolled students are South Carolina residents.  Following a renewable direct legislative appropriation, in-state tuition (approximately $24k) is now closely aligned with that of the public law schools in neighboring states, and the School is able to offer a competitive non-resident scholar tuition rate to attract highly qualified out-of-state applicants.  Matriculation agreements provide two paths for undergraduates enrolled in the University’s Honors College, the top-ranked in the nation, to gain automatic admission to South Carolina Law.  The 3+3 Bachelor’s/JD degree program allows Honors College students to obtain both degrees in six rather than seven years.

The design of the new South Carolina Law building promotes student-faculty exchanges and supports an unusually collegial faculty culture that faculty members are eager to sustain under a new Dean.  The building is state-of-the-art but also has many reminders of the School’s history, the material culture of South Carolina and the promise of the future in a Sunbelt state experiencing significant economic growth. 

South Carolina Law seeks as its new Dean a prominent leader in the legal academy and/or profession, who will be a visible, credible and effective advocate and promoter for the School, while also overseeing new program development and providing expertise and service in advancing the University of South Carolina as a R1 Doctoral University.  Candidates must possess a JD, at least ten years of experience in the teaching and/or practice of law and a record that meets the School’s criteria for tenure at the full professor rank.  The ideal candidate will be comfortable engaging and stewarding legislators and alumni, providing mentorship for early-career law professors and leading and supporting a dedicated and deeply invested professional staff.  South Carolina Law desires an accessible, student-facing Dean capable of nurturing and sustaining the familial academic community that is a hallmark of the School.   An aptitude and appetite for developing non-tuition revenue streams, as well as raising endowments for enhanced named faculty chairs, scholarships and public interest funding, will be essential to success in this deanship.

Review of candidate materials will begin immediately and continue until the appointment, with a target appointment date of July 1, 2020.  A complete application will include a letter of interest, a curriculum vitae or résumé and contact information for five professional references who can speak about the candidate’s qualifications for this position.  Named referees will not be contacted without the candidate’s prior consent.  Expressions of interest, applications, nominations and inquiries should be directed to South Carolina Law’s search consultant, Mr. Chuck O’Boyle of C. V. O’Boyle, Jr., LLC, at

The University of South Carolina does not discriminate in educational or employment opportunities on the basis of race, sex, gender, age, color, religion, national origin, disability, sexual orientation, genetics, protected veteran status, pregnancy, childbirth or related medical conditions.

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