April 9, 2004To the Boston University School of Law Community:I have served as Dean of the Boston University School of Law for the past fourteen years. During that time, the School has improved markedly. We have a top-flight student body, nationally prominent faculty, better physical plant, and successful alumni across the nation and around the world. We have reformed our curriculum, created opportunities for international study, and added new degree programs. Our rankings have improved commensurately, with top ratings in teaching, recognition as one of the best values in legal education, and solid rankings everywhere. Even US News & World Report now ranks us among the top twenty-five law schools. This year's ranking, at 23, is twenty places higher than when I began my deanship. Credit for these accomplishments must be shared, but I am proud to have been at the helm during such a remarkable period of success for the School.Although I am pleased with the School's present standing, I know that our success is not complete. Most obviously, we need a new building, and as my letter of March 1, 2004 explains, we are not yet able to announce when that building will go up. The University has some costly construction projects, including ours, and constraints on its ability to fund them. The timing of this project depends most critically on those factors. Of course, we continue to pursue funds for this project as well. This pursuit has produced the first million-dollar gifts in our school's history and laid the foundation on which we must build. Our processes for recording and reporting gifts, pledges, and promises have differed in some respects from the system used by the University's central development offices, and we are changing our processes to conform to those used by the University. The University is conducting a review which will help us to make that transition. It is important in this context to emphasize that, contrary to some speculation, all funds received are fully accounted for and every dollar received for our building and other capital funds is secure. It is important, as well, to remind ourselves of our shared goal and the gains we have made at the school these past fourteen years. Throughout my service as Dean, I have remained committed to promoting the School's interests and focused on fulfilling the mission of making this permanently one of the very finest law schools anywhere. I continue to believe in that mission. I am now making a change that stirs deeply mixed emotions. I am stepping down as Dean at the conclusion of the academic year. This change, while a poignant one, will allow me to explore new scholarly and other professional projects and to do work that I have put aside for the many years I have spent in administration. I will of course always remember what has made the past fourteen years so rewarding for me, most of all the people I've had the privilege to know and to work with during this time.I am grateful to the many donors, alumni, students, faculty, staff, and friends who have expressed confidence in my leadership and support for the achievements of the past fourteen years. I will miss all of the extended law school family with whom I've worked so closely for so long. Ronald A. CassDean
Dean Cass's will be replaced by an "interim dean" for one year. This will likely be a current faculty member and word is that it will be Maureen O'Rourke. However, other names have also popped up. As far as a permanent replacement, I'd say they will probably hire from outside. I would not be particularly worried about this. There are plenty of top people out there and BU is a top law school so the job is very attractive...THE GRADUATE
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