Dawson officially named interim law dean

Published: Friday, March 28, 2014 at 3:51 p.m.
Last Modified: Friday, March 28, 2014 at 3:51 p.m.

Two weeks after he suspended the search for a new law dean, University of Florida President Bernie Machen on Friday announced the appointment of longtime law professor George Dawson as interim dean until a new search can be launched to find a successor to Dean Robert Jerry.

Jerry announced last August that he would step down in July to return to the classroom. A nationwide search was begun, with UF paying $90,000 to a California executive search firm to help recruit potential candidates.

Dawson sat on the search committee that ultimately forwarded a slate of three candidates to Machen and Provost Joe Glover. Machen said all three were well-qualified but lacked the transformative leadership qualities he was looking for to get the Levin College of Law to the next level.

"The final slate forwarded to the Provost and to me included accomplished candidates, but we did not find one ideally suited to lead the College through a decade that will be simultaneously challenging for the profession and replete with opportunities for growth and advancement," Machen said.

Machen announced Dawson as his choice to lead the law school while the next search took place when he told faculty he found no suitable choice for dean.

Dawson, who joined UF Law in 1981, is a former associate dean for academic affairs and serves as director of the College of Law Summer Program in France. He is a member and former chair of the Law School Admission Council.

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