Friday, May 25, 2012

A new chapter.

Yesterday afternoon, UNLV's President announced that John White, our law school's dean, would be UNLV's next provost.  We will be doing a dean search this coming year, but in the meantime, I'll be our school's Interim Dean, with the transition happening mid-summer.  Here's what I sent to our community: 
Dear Boyd Community,

I know that we all wish Dean White well in his new position as UNLV's next Executive Vice President and Provost.  He has done many wonderful things for our school:  preserving our financial stability during one of the worst recessions in history, adding talented faculty and staff members to our already strong ranks, and helping to guide us through a rethinking of our first-year curriculum. 

I'm happy to be serving as Interim Dean as we search for our next permanent dean.  We are at a pivotal point in legal education.  Legal practice has changed dramatically, and we are not likely to see a return to the old approaches to practicing law.  Our students will be looking to us to help them find a way to adapt to this "new normal."  We need to continue to provide our students with the right mix of analytical and communication skills, a deep understanding of substantive law, and an ability to use law as one way--but not the only way--to solve complicated problems.  We also need to think creatively about how to adapt our strengths in this changing environment.

This year will be busy for us.  In addition to the dean search, we'll have the ABA site inspection and will embark on our next strategic plan.  For us to be able to make informed decisions, we'll need to do a fair amount of research on legal education and the practice of law.  The good news is that we have a strong and growing alumni base and a significant amount of goodwill in the legal community.  I'm sure that we will be able to tap the knowledge of our friends near and far to help us in our decision-making.

It's an honor for me to serve our school in this capacity.  We have a remarkable school, filled with talented, engaged, and collegial people.  Here's to preserving the best of what we have and finding even more ways to be outstanding.
It is an honor, and I think of Boyd as a very special (strong school and collegial environment) place. 


Dan said...

This is a great step for our law school! Congratulations

Nancy Rapoport said...

Thanks, Dan!