Campus News

Search underway for new law dean


Published October 21, 2016

The search for the next dean of the School of Law is underway, with the search committee recently holding listening sessions on campus with members of the UB and law school communities to discuss campus interests and priorities for the search.

The search, chaired by Paul Tesluk, dean of the School of Management, is seeking a successor to Makau Mutua, who stepped down as dean at the end of the fall 2014 semester after seven years in the position to pursue his research as a member of the law school faculty.

The search committee, appointed by Provost Charles F. Zukoski, includes faculty and a student from the law school, as well as other faculty, staff and community members with relevant professional interests and expertise.

In addition to Tesluk, the committee includes:

  • Sharmistha Bagchi-Sen, professor and chair, Department of Geography, College of Arts and Sciences.
  • Rajan Batta, SUNY Distinguished Professor of Industrial and Systems Engineering and associate dean for faculty affairs, School of Engineering and Applied Sciences.
  • Lauren Breen, clinical professor and director of the New York City Program in Finance and Law, School of Law.
  • S. Todd Brown, professor and vice dean for academic affairs, School of Law.
  • Anne Curtis, SUNY Distinguished Professor and Charles and Mary Bauer Professor and Chair, Department of Medicine, Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences.
  • Douglas Dimitroff, partner, Phillips Lytle LLP, and chair, Dean’s Advisory Council, School of Law.
  • Wendy Irving, associate vice president for individual and planned giving, Office of Philanthropy and Alumni Engagement.
  • Meredith Kolsky Lewis, professor; vice dean for international and graduate programs; and director, Cross-Border Legal Studies Center, School of Law.
  • Isabel Marcus, professor, School of Law.
  • Farina Mendelson, JD student and president, Buffalo Moot Court Board, School of Law.
  • James Milles, professor, School of Law.
  • Sean Sullivan, vice provost for academic planning.
  • James Wooten, professor, School of Law.

UB also has hired the consulting firm of Russell Reynolds Associates to assist in the search. Ilene Nagel, head of the higher education practice for Russell Reynolds, will be the principal from the firm working on the search. Nagel has worked with UB for a decade, assisting the university in senior leadership searches at the cabinet and decanal levels.

A strategic planning process positioning the School of Law for future success has been led by Interim Dean James Gardner, who intends to return to the faculty upon the conclusion of the search.   

“We expect the search to conclude early in the spring semester with a new dean on board in advance of the fall 2017 semester,” Zukoski saYS.  “The UB School of Law is well-positioned to sustain its strengths in legal scholarship and in preparing legal minds into the future. The strategic planning process plays a vital role in taking us forward and will alert a strong pool of candidates about the creativity and ambitions of the school.”

Law school faculty members and students, and others who were unable to attend the listening sessions are invited to provide input to the search committee online. This survey site will remain active for comments and questions throughout the search, and collects all input confidentially.

For more information and progress with the search, visit the search website.