The University of Texas at Austin invites applications and nominations for the position of Dean, the School of Law.
The University of Texas at Austin seeks a leader of distinction, vision, and ability to become the next Dean of its highly ranked School of Law. The University is committed to selecting a dean who will build on over a century of achievements at the Law School; further enhance the Law School's stature and influence; effectively promote diversity, equity, and inclusion among all members of the Law School community; and pursue excellence in every activity within the School.
The Dean will promote and expand the Law School’s mission of excellence in education, scholarship, and service to the community. We seek a leader who will build upon the strengths of the institution and guide the Law School as the legal profession evolves. The next Dean of the Law School must have a distinguished record of scholarly accomplishments, including a sustained and successful research program, that merits appointment at the rank of tenured full professor and as an endowed chair in the Law School.
Key priorities for the Law School's next Dean include:
Articulate and pursue a vision for the Law School. The new Dean will lead a strategic planning effort to generate and articulate the Law School’s goals and a plan for the achievement of these goals. The Dean will pursue this effort in coordination with University strategic planning efforts and in cooperation with Law School faculty, staff, students, and alumni.
Pursue excellence. The Law School seeks a Dean who will pursue excellence and enhance the impact of every activity the School undertakes.
Secure and deploy resources. The Law School’s priorities will require its new Dean to energetically represent the Law School and engage in development activities to increase philanthropic support for the School. The Dean should deploy and use available resources to advance and wisely balance the School’s priorities, including through capital investment, faculty and staff hiring and retention, and student scholarships and support.
Advance diversity, equity, and inclusion. The Law School’s new Dean will commit to further creating and sustaining a diverse, equitable, and inclusive environment. Persistent racial discrimination and economic and social inequality in society make this effort imperative. The new Dean will use the priority of diversity, equity, and inclusion to guide decisions such as strategic planning, student scholarships and support, curriculum, and the recruiting and retention of faculty and staff.
Support free speech and further the pursuit of knowledge. The Law School values a range of viewpoints and scholarly methods. The Law School’s next Dean will advance the pursuit of knowledge by supporting academic and scholarly diversity through policies including curriculum, student support, and the recruitment and retention of faculty.
Recruit, retain, and develop a world-class faculty. The Law School's next Dean will further the Law School’s strong track record of excellence in scholarship and teaching. The Dean will recruit and retain a diverse, talented, and intellectually rigorous faculty, and actively support their development as researchers, scholars, teachers, clinicians, and leaders in their fields. The Dean will recognize faculty success in research, teaching, and service including through the established appointment, promotion, and tenure process of the University.
Support, respect, and develop staff. The Law School’s next Dean will cultivate and model a work environment of respect, communication, and commitment to excellence. The Dean will collaborate with staff to identify institutional needs and develop innovative solutions and policies, will celebrate staff success, and will consider staff recruiting and retention as a priority in financial planning.
Recruit, develop, and support students. The Law School’s next Dean will recruit, develop, and support a diverse, energetic, and talented student body. The Dean will seek to understand and address the specific concerns of students. The Dean will commit to supporting students’ entry into the legal profession by building connections with a range of employers and practice areas.
Foster a collaborative and collegial community. The Law School’s next Dean will support and strengthen community within the Law School, including through fostering collegial, collaborative, and supportive relationships among faculty, staff, and students.
Sustain and build the legal community in Texas and beyond. The Law School’s 25,000 alumni form the core of a community of lawyers that includes the bench, bar, and government and community leaders. The Law School’s next Dean will support and strengthen relationships throughout this community and continue to nurture their involvement with the Law School.
Work collaboratively with the University. The Law School Dean is responsible to the Executive Vice President and Provost for all aspects of the Law School’s budget and operations. The Dean will manage the Law School to accomplish its goals within the context of University policies and procedures.
Communicate and publicize the Law School’s achievements and activities. The Law School’s excellent reputation depends in part on efforts to publicize the Law School’s success. The Law School’s success depends in part on internal communication as to goals and plans within the Law School. The School’s next Dean should develop and implement appropriate, regular, and effective plans for both external and internal communication and publicity.
The search committee seeks candidates with the following experience, abilities, and professional and personal attributes:
- Academic credentials, including a J.D., and a research record sufficient for appointment as a tenured full professor and as an endowed chair at the Law School;
- A demonstrated history of pursuing excellence and enhancing impact within an academic setting;
- A clear and demonstrated record of advancing and achieving specific and significant goals of diversity, equity, and inclusion;
- A commitment to the pursuit of knowledge, with a record that demonstrates understanding of and respect for the enterprise of legal scholarship and support for academic diversity and debate;
- A commitment to legal education in particular, including proficiency in issues such as access to justice in law, legal ethics, emerging research and scholarly methodology, experiential legal education, technology in the legal profession, and developing trends and changes at law schools;
- Capacity to lead and implement strategic planning, including the ability to build consensus and work collaboratively;
- Demonstrated fundraising experience or the personality traits and stamina to suggest strong potential to succeed at that effort at the Law School;
- Past leadership in higher education, preferably with experience at a public university;
- Administrative experience, preferably including personnel and budgetary oversight;
- A fair, collaborative, and transparent leadership style that will support listening, communication, and an environment of shared governance and collegiality;
- A positive demeanor and an ability to unite people behind a common cause;
- The ability to work cooperatively and effectively and develop meaningful relationships with the senior academic leaders of the University, other academic deans, administrators, faculty, students, staff, and alumni;
- An interest in being a visible member of University life and connected to civic life in Austin, throughout the State of Texas, and nationally and internationally;
- A willingness to engage with members of the federal and state executive, legislative, and judicial branches of government in representing the Law School; and
- The experience, courage, and energy to manage organizational change.