Tuesday, February 17, 2009
Now that the "word is out" in Cyberspace, I might as well confirm it here: Saul Levmore, who has been Dean of the University of Chicago Law School since 2001, will step down from the Deanship by summer 2010, perhaps sooner if a successor is found before then. (The number of top law schools searching for deans is a central reason Saul wanted us to begin our search sooner rather than later.) As I noted at the time I accepted the Chicago offer, he was instrumental in my decision to come here, and he has been a great colleague and friend. He has been unusual among deans in remaining fully engaged in the scholarly and intellectual life of the school, and it will be wonderful for the faculty and the students to have even more of him in workshops and in the classroom. He oversaw an acclaimed renovation of the Law School's facilities, which are now wonderful, and has increased the full-time academic faculty to its largest size in the Law School's history. He successfully retained faculty in the face of offers from Yale and Harvard, and led the recruitment of at least a half-dozen senior faculty from Michigan, Virginia, Illinois, and elsewhere, as well as a dozen junior faculty members during his tenure.
But having done what Saul wouldn't do in his own announcement of his decision, let me conclude with his words:
It is all too common in these announcements to list the buildings renovated, the capital campaigns completed, the faculty hired, and the programs launched. We should be proud of such things, but I prefer to associate myself with the terrific and important work done by faculty colleagues and with the great students who have blossomed here during my time as dean. Ours is a Law School that cannot possibly be accused of simply giving its stamp of approval to talented inputs, and we should take special pride in the value we have added as a community to the people and ideas that pass through here.