Dean’s Welcome Message – August 22, 2013
I am pleased, speaking also for our faculty and staff, to extend a heartfelt welcome to our new first-year students, to all of our returning second- and third-year students, to our transfer students, and to all of our LL.M. and other graduate students. I hope you had a pleasurable and productive summer, and it is great to have you with us this fall.
There are many new faces at the college, and I hope you will soon have the opportunity to meet them. We especially welcome three new members of the faculty — Professor Karen Burke, the Richard Stephens Eminent Scholar Chair in Taxation, who comes to us from the University of San Diego; Professor Darren Hutchinson, Stephen C. O’Connell Chair, who comes to us from American University and will teach constitutional law and remedies, and Professor Grayson McCouch, the Gerald Sohn Professor, who will teach trusts and estates and related courses in the area.
We have many exciting activities on the calendar for this year. I draw your special attention to the visit of noted “legal futurist” Richard Susskind, who will be with us on Thursday, September 12th for the next Marshall Criser Distinguished Lecture. In the afternoon, we will have a roundtable conversation with several noted leaders in the legal profession, and in a special program the details of which will be shared with you soon, students who attend the Susskind lecture in the morning will have the opportunity to dine with one of the roundtable discussants at noon.
As we start this new year, I would like to stress that among the many benefits of being a part of a large and comprehensive institution is the opportunity we have to learn from the diversity of backgrounds and cultures that are represented in our faculty, staff, and student body. I urge you to take advantage of this richness through interaction with those whose life experiences differ from your own. There is much we can learn from each other.
Lastly, you have probably read my announcement that 2013-14 will be my eleventh – and last — year as dean at UF Law. You may not realize that when my prior deanship and the UF deanship are combined, there are only 12 individuals among the nation’s 202 law deans who have served as a dean longer than me. I’ve enjoyed almost all of these days, and I can say without hesitation that accepting the offer extended to me in 2003 to serve as this College’s dean was one of the best decisions I have ever made, and this job is easily the best one I have ever held. I look forward to getting our 1Ls underway, to helping our 2Ls move past the halfway point where the last year of law school is in sight, and to meeting our 3Ls on the stage in the O’Dome on May 16, 2014, where I will congratulate each of you personally on your achievement and wish you well in the legal profession or your other chosen field.
Again, welcome, or welcome back, to the Levin College of Law. I look forward to a great year.
Dean Bob Jerry