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Dean Alex M. Johnson, Jr. Announces His Resignation

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TO:  Law School Alumni and Legal Community
FROM:  Dean Alex M. Johnson, Jr.
RE:  Decanal Changes
DATE:  April 18, 2006

On April 13th I informed the faculty and staff that I would be resigning as the Ninth Dean of the University of Minnesota Law School effective May 31st. With the imminent completion of my fourth year as Dean of this great Law School, I had to decide whether I wished to stand for reappointment during the fifth and last year of my term. In thinking about reappointment, I realized that I did not wish to seek a new term as Dean. With that decision made, it became clear that the Law School would be better served by installing new leadership now, rather than waiting another year.

I leave the deanship confident that the Law School is in excellent shape. The Law School has a solid financial base, even in the wake of significantly decreased state support. We are also fortunate to have a strong and growing faculty, with the addition of seven new tenured and tenure-track faculty joining the Law School this fall. In addition, this year the Law School enrolled a superb class, with the highest LSAT scores and most diverse student body in recent history. We are also fortunate to have strong alumni support. Our Partners In Excellence Campaign has already exceeded $500,000 for this fiscal year, which is a record amount of annual giving. These factors, among others, will attract a strong and capable leader who will continue the tradition of excellence begun by the first dean of the Law School, William S. Pattee.

Suffice it to say; I have greatly enjoyed visiting and meeting the Law School’s many alumni in the more than 40 cities I have visited nationally and internationally during my tenure as Dean. Adding the alumni I have met outside of Minnesota with those that I have met in Minneapolis and out-state, I have been privileged to encounter a significant percentage of the 11,000 Law School alumni and it has indeed been a pleasure and an honor to do so. I come away from these many interactions with numerous friendships and memories and the sincere belief that this is a remarkable public Law School that produces not only quality lawyers, but also quality people.

The thing I will miss most about being Dean is the opportunity to continue those visits and to provide you with updates and information about your Law School. Although I will be on sabbatical next year as Dean Emeritus, I will be at the Law School and will no doubt attend events at which I will be able to meet many of you and continue to extol the virtues of the Law School.

Thank you for your wonderful support during my four years as dean. I know you will support the Law School and its faculty, students, and staff in this time of transition.