It's now official. Bill Powers, Dean extraordinaire of the UT Law School, will be the next President of the University of Texas at Austin, come February 1. I have written previously about what an outstanding Dean he has been, so it makes me sorry, indeed, to lose him in the law school, though very glad for the University which is so important for me and for the law school's success. I have often remarked on the tangible, "external" indicator's of a Dean's success, and Bill Powers's are very tangible indeed: he recruited faculty from tenured posts at NYU, Stanford, Northwestern, Michigan, George Washington, and elsewhere; he retained faculty in the face of bids by Penn, Michigan, NYU, Cornell, and Vanderbilt; he made possible outstanding programs and colloquia series in Constitutional Law & Theory; Law, Business & Economics; Law & Philosophy; and International Human Rights; he revamped the curriculum to make it more friendly to interdisciplinary students and more personal and engaged for all students; and he decisively established the Law School's connections with the rest of the University.
I'm confident that Bill Powers will do as well by the University as he has done by the Law School. He inherits leadership of one of the fifteen best research universities in the United States, and one of the five-or-so best public universities; his task, as it were, is to make that top ten and number one-or-two. If anyone can do it, I believe it will be Bill Powers.
Of course, this means UT will now be seeking a new Dean for the Law School. Fortunately, we already have several outstanding internal and external candidates...more on that in due course.