Law School Deans, Law Schools

Texas Hires Another Yankee To Run Its Law School

I wonder if the new UT dean is related to the Farnsworth on Contracts guy.

This past winter, faculty at the University of Texas were busy running their popular and successful law dean, Larry Sager, out of town. The rumors surrounding his ouster suggested that some faculty members were not too happy about Sager’s attempts to pay top dollar for certain professors. But bringing a little East Coast administration to Texas seemed to work out for UT.

We’ll see if there is more magic in that well, as Texas is about to transplant another Yankee to the Southwest….

News of the new Texas dean has been filling up our inbox all day. The man to lead UT Law is Ward Farnsworth. He’s currently the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs at Boston University Law School. Farnsworth got his J.D. from the University of Chicago Law School, and has clerked for Richard Posner and Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy.

Here’s some more adulation from the UT press release:

Ward Farnsworth, associate dean for academic affairs at Boston University School of Law, has been named dean of the School of Law at The University of Texas at Austin.

Farnsworth’s appointment, effective June 1, fills the position currently held by Interim Dean Stefanie Lindquist.

“As a teacher, a scholar and a leader, Ward Farnsworth is just what UT Law needs,” said President Bill Powers. “I’m confident he’ll not only continue the tradition of first-class legal education and service to society at The University of Texas, but take the law school to even greater heights.”

Farnsworth joined the Boston University faculty in 1997 and has remained active in the classroom, teaching courses in civil procedure, torts, contracts and rhetoric. He brings with him a passion for teaching and legal scholarship.

We’ve reprinted the full statement on the next page.

Meanwhile, Farnsworth’s students at BU are sad to see him go. From a tipster:

Said to see him leave BU….Farnsworth was perhaps THE best professor at BU and innovative administrator who pushed the faculty….he will be missed.

PS: There has always been a rumor that he delivered his son in the backseat of his car on the way to the hospital. The man can do it all.

In Austin, Dean Farnsworth will be expected to deliver the goods on a quarterly basis, so this seems like a good start.

Here’s part of the email Farnsworth sent to BU students:

Faculty leave their schools for lots of reasons — some because they are not content where they are, and some because they see something elsewhere that they must do. I am strictly in the second camp. I am very attached to this law school, and haven¹t been looking to go elsewhere; indeed, you may have noticed that our faculty rarely leave. But I have been diagnosed with an unusual genetic disorder that causes me to enjoy administrative work, so the opportunity to try my hand at being a dean was impossible to pass up.

That’s a nice sentiment, but shouldn’t it read: “Faculty leave their schools for lots of reasons — some because they are not content they’re not being paid enough where they are, and some because they see something more money being offered elsewhere that they must do spend.” There, I fixed it for him.

Seriously though, we wish Farnsworth the best of luck in his new role. And thanks again to everybody in Austin who came out to see me when I was at NALP. If you are as welcoming to Farnsworth as you were to me, Farnsworth is going to need to take out insurance on his liver.

Click through to the next page for the full UT press release, and Farnsworth’s letter to the BU community….

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