Wake Forest University invites nominations and applications for the position of Dean of the School of Law. The formal study of law has been part of Wake Forest since 1894. Wake Law is distinctive in many ways, in no small measure due to its culture. Students, staff and faculty at Wake Law care deeply about each other – the atmosphere in the law school is unusually warm and supportive. The law school, which has worked to meet the needs of a changing legal profession as well as the changing needs of students, continues to be a leader in legal education by modeling engagement and professionalism through academic excellence and a thorough commitment to service. The faculty is committed both to teaching and to legal scholarship, regarding them as synergistic aspects of a single vocation.
As its next Dean of the School of Law, Wake Forest seeks a visionary, collegial leader to provide creative and inspiring leadership. Reporting directly to the provost, the dean will be responsible for overseeing the academic affairs, external relations and overall administration of the school. S/he will oversee fiscal management of the operating budget, and have administrative oversight of the school’s 69 full and part-time faculty, 59 staff, and 632 students. Despite recent challenges in the world of legal education, Wake Law faculty are optimistic and see a bright future. To harness this optimism, the next dean must approach her/his role with boundless energy and enthusiasm, and be motivated by a sense of the possible.
Wake Law is well positioned, having weathered the national disruption in legal education, in part due to its financial reserves and in part due to the development and implementation of innovative revenue-generating programs. There has been a dramatic increase in student interest in Wake Law. Applications were up by twenty-six percent in 2018, more than three times the national average of eight percent. It will be important that the dean bring to the role a rich understanding of the changing landscape, both within the academy and within practice, and that s/he have insight into innovations that will serve law schools in changing times.
Wake Forest is committed to the ideal of the teacher-scholar model. The dean must genuinely value the importance of both teaching and scholarship, and must be empowering and supportive of faculty in their commitment to excel in both of these realms. Whether or not the dean has spent her/his career in a law school, it will be crucial that s/he truly value academic excellence and the contributions of faculty, and have a personal record of professional achievement that indicates familiarity with an environment that supports the teacher-scholar model.
Wake Law must continue to strengthen connections between the school and the legal community, both on a regional and national level. The dean is the primary external face of the law school and its most visible fundraiser. It will be important that s/he be a visible presence, both nationally and regionally, within the legal academy and in practice alike. The role of dean requires an ability to balance both external and internal responsibilities.
Founded in 1834, Wake Forest University is a private university located in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, the heart of the beautiful Piedmont Triad metropolitan region with a population of more than 1.5 million. The University is home to nearly 8,000 students. The undergraduate population of more than 5,100 hails from 49 states and more than 50 foreign countries. The University is a vibrant and diverse academic community in which students pursue learning in one of the University’s six colleges and schools, combining the best traditions of a small liberal arts college with the resources of a large research university. In September 2018, U.S. News & World Report ranked Wake Forest as one of the top 30 National Universities for the 23rd consecutive year. Wake Forest is a model for a knowledge-driven society where a community spirit enriches intellectual endeavors.
For further information on Wake Law, please visit: http://law.wfu.edu/. To apply or to express interest, please send a cover letter and vita in PDF format via email (only email submissions will be accepted) to:
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Wake Forest seeks to recruit and retain a diverse workforce, and encourages qualified candidates across all group demographics to apply.