Whenever a law dean abruptly retires over the summer, it’s suspicious. When a law dean abruptly retires and our tipsters start screaming that there’s something more going on here, it’s very suspicious.

And when the university responds to the retirement by essentially saying, “there’s nothing to see here, move along,” then it’s time to fire up the Above the Law crowd-sourcing machine…

The Dean of the University of Alabama Law School, Kenneth Randall, is stepping down. For Alabama fans reading this post, Randall is like the “Nick Saban” of Alabama Law School. And “Law School” is like a practice facility for referees.

Randall’s retirement is surprising and sudden. From AL.com:

UA President Judy Bonner confirmed the news Thursday night, stating an interim dean will be named within the next few weeks while the university conducts a national search for Randall’s replacement.

Randall will enter the private sector upon his retirement, Bonner said.

Randall has overseen a meteoric rise in the stature of Alabama Law School in recent years. Alabama Law is up to number 21 in the U.S. News law school rankings. The school was number 38 as recently as 2010. Alabama clocked in at number 27 in the ATL rankings.

But with success comes suspicion. One of our sources claims that Randall is departing because of a university “investigation” into the school’s reporting of grades and scholarship offers, perhaps in an effort to influence the law school’s U.S. News rank. We asked the university and Dean Randall about these allegations, but a spokesperson said, “University Relations is not aware of any investigations.”

Instead, the university directed us to this statement from UA President Judy Bonner:

Dean Ken Randall has announced that he will retire from the UA Law School at the end of June. Dean Randall joined the UA law school faculty in 1985 and has served as dean since 1993. He has been instrumental in leading the School of Law to unprecedented levels of recognition, including a ranking of 21st among all law schools in the nation in spring 2013. The University will conduct a national search for a new dean, and will name an interim dean in the next few weeks. We wish Dean Randall much success as he enters the private sector.

Maybe the “sudden” departure is just that Dean Randall suddenly decided he could make a lot more money in the private sector?

People hating on Alabama’s success and questioning whether or not they’ve done it fairly is nothing new in Tuscaloosa. In the absence of any evidence, I think the only thing you can say is, “Roll Tide.”

FML.

Dean of University of Alabama law school retiring [AL.com]


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