University of Arkansas Begins Search for School of Law Dean

Waterman Hall, home to the University of Arkansas School of Law.
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Waterman Hall, home to the University of Arkansas School of Law.

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — Provost Jim Coleman has appointed Todd Shields, dean of the J. William Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences, to chair the search committee for the new dean of the University of Arkansas School of Law. The committee will seek a successor to Dean Stacy Leeds, who has led the school since 2011. Leeds will remain a professor of law and continue her role as interim vice chancellor for economic development.

"This is an exciting time for the University of Arkansas School of Law," Coleman said. "Dean Leeds has been a truly effective leader of the law school through a combination of her tremendous leadership skills and her extraordinary commitment to excellence in education, scholarship and service to the state and to the legal profession. This change will allow her to continue in her interim role coordinating the University of Arkansas' efforts to foster economic development and outreach throughout the state. "

Under Leeds' leadership, the school has been named among the top 20 best values in legal education since 2011 - and top 10 since 2013 - by National Jurist magazine. The school has been in the top tier of law schools for nine consecutive years in ­­U.S. News and World Report's annual graduate school rankings.

"Our entire law school community has worked incredibly hard as a cohesive group to reach new heights in terms of national prominence, community impact and student success," Leeds said. "Successful and smooth leadership transitions are critical for institutions, and I'm very proud that our law school will start this search from a position of strength."

The committee plans to begin reviewing applications this fall. Applications submitted by Nov. 30 will be given full consideration. More information about the position is available at University of Arkansas Careers.

"Provost Coleman has convened a committee that represents the law school faculty and staff as well as students, alumni and friends," Shields said. "The committee and the entire law school community want to ensure we find the best person for the job and have a smooth transition in leadership."

The search committee includes the following members:

  • Todd Shields, committee chair
  • John Alford, law school alumnus; co-chair, Law School Campaign Arkansas committee; attorney, Alford Law
  • Carl Circo, Ben J. Altheimer Professor of Legal Advocacy
  • Patti Cox, senior director of development and external relations, School of Law
  • Caroline Currier, law school student liaison
  • Uché Ewelukwa Ofodile, E.J. Ball Professor of Law
  • Will Foster, associate dean for academic affairs and associate professor of law
  • Sara Gosman, assistant professor of law
  • Mary Beth Matthews, Sidney Parker Davis Jr. Professor of Business and Commercial Law
  • Tiffany Murphy, associate professor of law
  • Karen Roberts, law school alumna and executive vice president and general counsel, Walmart
  • Susan Schneider, William H. Enfield Professor of Law
  • Randy Thompson, associate professor of law and director of Young Law Library and IT services

The School of Law prepares students for success through a challenging curriculum taught by nationally recognized faculty, unique service opportunities and a close-knit community that puts students first. With alumni in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, two territories and more than 20 countries, it has been ranked among the top 10 "Best Values in Legal Education" by the National Jurist magazine for five consecutive years and is among the top 42 public law schools, according to U.S. News and World Report.


Darinda Sharp, director of communications
School of Law


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