As most of you will have heard by the time you get the magazine, I have announced my stepping down as dean of the University of St. Thomas School of Law, to take effect at the end of this fiscal year – June 30, 2012. University President Dennis Dease has graciously accepted my resignation, and I have met with several others, including Dr. Susan Huber, executive vice president and chief academic officer, to discuss a smooth transition.

As I explained to Father Dease and to Board of Governors’ Chair Larry LeJeune, I do this now for two reasons. First, I believe that the tenure of a successful law school deanship should last no more than about 10 years. This is my 10th year as dean of the School of Law. On June 30, I also will be completing my 19th year of continuous service as a law school dean. That’s a really long time to be a dean, and I am quite frankly ready to hand off my role to the next dean, who will bring new energy and new ideas to this excellent lawschool. I will have a chance to talk more about the transition plans for the School of Law and my own professional goals in the next St. Thomas Lawyer magazine, which you will receive this summer.

But let me say briefly now, I am honored to have served all of you, as well as our faculty and staff, for these 10 years. This community – its commitment to professional excellenceand its embracing nature – has far exceeded all my hopes and dreams. This issue of the magazine highlights some of the reasons why the School of Law is so fabulous. I also truly believe that there is a great future ahead for the School of Law. Just last month I had the pleasure of being in Washington, D.C., when we were welcomed to membership in the Association of American Law Schools, an event which marks our last major professional accreditation/membership goal. Beyond that story, in the news section you will see that our faculty was recognized on Princeton Review’s “Best Professors” list.

Our feature articles underline a few more points of pride. One article focuses on the several professors who are engaged in appellate and Supreme Court litigation and demonstratesthe significant role that faculty scholarship can play, not only in classroom teaching, but in development of the rule of law and a just society. Another article features faculty andstudent partnerships, showing just some of the ways that our faculty and students connect to enhance the law school experience. We recently have added to our curriculum the nation’s first Federal Commutation Clinic and its work is highlighted in a couple of our feature stories. Finally, we spotlight professors Ben Carpenter and Mark Osler and their important and exciting work.

Over the next several months, I pledge to dedicate my energy to the work of this outstanding law school and to the joy of serving as your dean. These almost 10 years have been incredibly happy years for me and my wife, Mona, due in significant part to the frequent opportunities to work with you.

Thomas M. MenglerDean and Ryan Chair in LawUniversity of St. Thomas School of Law

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