A Visit with the Dean

Published: April 12th, 2004

Category: News

The Levin College of Law will host many of the most active and committed members of its extended “family” this weekend as alumni and friends meet here for Law Center Association Board of Trustees and Alumni Council meetings and activities, several of which will be held in conjunction with University of Florida Foundation “Stakeholder’s Weekend” events.

These events will showcase many aspects of the strong, ongoing and mutually beneficial relationships among faculty, staff and students and the school’s alumni and friends. These relationships — and the financial support you and others provide — make many facilities, activities and programs here possible, and have helped the law school maintain and even improve its place as one of the nation’s top public law schools, as one well-known ranking reaffirmed last week.

I want to emphasize that law school (and university and college) rankings are not to be regarded as the true measure of an institution’s quality. Indeed, the methodological weaknesses in such rankings call into question the uses to which they are often put. But ignoring rankings is not an option, because we know others do not. Also, rankings can provide some indication of strengths, weaknesses, and trends, as long as care is taken to understand the limitations of underlying methodologies. And, at the end of the day, it is always pleasing to be recognized for our strengths.

This year, U.S. News reports that the Levin College of Law continues to be rated among the nation’s top law schools — 43rd from 45th last year. Our Graduate Tax Program continues to be in the nation’s top two and — for the first time — our Environmental Law Program is in the top 10 percent (17th). Our faculty ranked 34th in peer reputation and 40th in lawyer/judge reputation. And we are proud that the UF College of Law remains first among top-tier public law schools in the southeast for diversity. In the final analysis, these rough measures lead to the conclusion that the college continues to progress and its future is bright.

As we approach the end of my first year at the Levin College of Law, I want to take this opportunity to thank you for welcoming me to this outstanding institution, and for making me proud to be one of the newest members of the Levin College of Law family.

Please continue to let us know how we can serve you better. I cannot promise that every request will be granted; I do pledge that we will help every student and member of our college community work through issues and concerns, and we will take every reasonable step at our disposal to assist you. Please feel free to e-mail me personally at jerryr@law.ufl.edu. — Robert H. Jerry, II

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