Dean, Howard University School of Law | Washington, DC

The Opportunity
Howard University seeks a distinguished legal and administrative leader as Dean of the School of Law. The School of Law has a rich history of student-centered instruction and excellence in scholarship, service, and legal practice. A national search is underway to recruit an individual with exceptional academic leadership abilities who will become the next Dean to propel the School of Law forward. The Dean, reporting to the Provost and Chief Academic Officer, serves as the chief academic, fiscal, and administrative officer of the School of Law. The Dean provides leadership to the faculty and staff in all matters relating to curriculum and program development; accreditation, assessment, and evaluation; recruitment and retention of faculty, staff, and students; budget development and management; fundraising; and scholarship.

The Dean will assume leadership of an historic institution which has played and continues to play a pivotal role driving social justice in our society. Against a national backdrop of declining enrollment, Howard University School of Law has continued to grow. Key strategic priorities for the School of Law will include continuing the upward trend in student performance on bar exam passage rates, promoting and supporting faculty scholarship within and beyond the legal academy, and driving contributions and fundraising activity. The Dean of the School of Law will provide leadership in defining and articulating the school’s strategic priorities in alignment with the university-wide Howard Forward Strategic Plan, driving its key outcomes and promoting academic collaboration, shared teaching, and scholarly exchange through a commitment to interdisciplinary programs and pursuit of opportunities across the institution and beyond.

The Dean is a leading voice on issues of legal education and access to the legal profession for students of color. Thus, the Dean participates in and leads national conversations on social justice, education, and sociopolitical issues.

Key Responsibilities

As a key member of the Howard University senior leadership team, the next Dean of the School of Law will have an important role in the overall success of the university. It is essential that the Dean possesses key qualities that are germane to a successful leader in a complex, multi-faceted enterprise, including the ability to make fair decisions that are well supported, excellent administrative acumen to achieve results in an organized and timely manner, and the proven ability to instill a strong collaborative culture both within the School of Law and across the Howard campus.

The Dean will be expected to lead the faculty in developing and fulfilling a vision and inspiring others to accept and further the vision for the School of Law. The Dean will serve as an intellectual leader of the faculty through a demonstrated commitment to scholarship, an ability to inspire junior and senior faculty in their scholarly pursuits, and a commitment to continued development of the intellectual environment at the School of Law.

The Dean will also be an advocate for law students, actively engaging and encouraging feedback and participation from students in meeting the school’s vision. The Dean must be committed to leading and supporting diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging efforts.

The Dean must have excellent communication skills and function as the School of Law’s lead representative among internal and external constituencies. The Dean will be expected to lead the unique mission of an HBCU and offer thought leadership on DEI and advancing social justice to the global law school community and larger legal community. The Dean must have the business acumen and cultural sensitivity to manage a complex organization and demonstrate the interpersonal skills that will assure successful relationship building with a variety of internal and external stakeholders, including industry leaders, donors, and affiliated organizations. They will build on the recent fundraising successes in the school and attract further investment in its educational and scholarship activities. The Dean must have a demonstrated commitment to the mission of Howard University and that of Howard University School of Law.

Howard University seeks a Dean with a distinguished record of scholarship, strong leadership and interpersonal skills, demonstrated administrative and fundraising ability, a dynamic management style, the capacity to integrate diverse interests and forge a common vision, and the enthusiasm to match the energy of highly motivated students, faculty members, staff professionals, and accomplished alumni. To move the School of Law forward, Howard University also desires a Dean who is capable of establishing strategic relationships with local and national stakeholders that will amplify the role and contribution of the law school.

Competencies & Areas of Expertise
The successful candidate will have a J.D. and be eligible for appointment at the rank of tenured full professor.

The ideal candidate will have substantial experience in legal higher education or equivalent professional
leadership experience that is appropriate for the Dean’s role and responsibilities. The candidate will possess a track record of excellence in the following areas:

Essential Qualifications

Initial Process for Candidacy
Please send qualifications, cover email, and resume to:

Maureen Ryan
Partner, Global Education & Healthcare Services
+1 202.517.1247
[email protected]

Josh Lewis, PhD
Principal, Global Education & Healthcare Services
+1 706.207.3519
[email protected] 

Candidate Brief