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Miami Law

University of Miami Fires Law School Dean

The University of Miami is ousting its law dean after less than two years on the job.

The dean, Anthony Varona, was asked by University of Miami President Julio Frenk to step down from his dean post, effective July 1. President Frenk told students and faculty that new leadership is critical for the law school’s future growth.

“The historic events of the past 16 months have revealed both challenges and opportunities that highlight the need for a dean with the required vision and effectiveness of execution to bring the school to new levels of excellence,” President Frenk says in a message to the law school community. “In particular, the current capital campaign—which will culminate in four short years—presents a rapidly narrowing window of opportunity to mobilize significant resources on behalf of Miami Law.”

IMMENSE BACKLASH

Following the announcement, Miami Law’s tenured faculty adopted a resolution protesting the decision to remove Dean Varona and requesting an urgent meeting with the President and Provost and the Executive Committee of the Board of Trustees.

“The news is particularly troubling to the faculty of law given Anthony Varona’s many positive initiatives and accomplishments during his less than two years’ time with us as Dean,” the resolution letter states. “He has led us through a pandemic with our community intact, kept us on sound financial footing, and been building systems responsive to rankings and bar pass challenges. We admire his leadership and vision for the School of Law as a forward-looking institution rooted in excellence, integrity, and community.”

In a report by Law.com, Varona says he has received outpouring support in his ouster as dean.

“I remain stunned by my baseless termination, disturbed by how I have been mistreated, and concerned by how all of this will affect our great law school and university,” Varona writes. “I am hopeful that clarity and fairness will prevail as we move forward, and that the University’s decision will be rescinded.”

Sources: Inside Higher Ed, Miami Law, Law.com, Miami Law

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