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Dean of UNM School of Law stepping down

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — David Herring, dean of the University of New Mexico School of Law, is resigning – apparently over policy disagreements with some faculty members – just two years after taking over the helm.

The resignation was announced Tuesday by Provost Chaouki Abdallah in a letter to the Law School community.

“Yesterday, I regretfully accepted the resignation of Dean Herring effective July 1, 2015,” Abdallah said.

“Dean Herring will remain at UNM as a valued and tenured member of the law school faculty when his term as dean ends. I welcome his continued contributions on behalf of the law school and the University as he has indicated to me how much he is looking forward to developing further his scholarship and teaching.”

Abdallah said he had already met with the law school faculty to discuss the search for a replacement. UNM will not be conducting a national search “at this time” or appointing an interim dean, he said.

“Rather, we will conduct a limited competitive search” for a permanent dean “based on the University’s guidelines for internal competitive searches for academic administrative appointments,” Abdallah said. Applicants will be limited to senior UNM Law School faculty, and the hope is to seat a new dean by July 1.

“I think in the end it wasn’t a good fit, for me to lead this law school,” Herring said in a telephone interview. “I came in with clear goals and the faculty seemed excited. But things change.”

Two goals that he articulated when he assumed the position in early May 2013 were a “rigorous assessment of student learning outcomes,” which is now required by the American Bar Association for accreditation, and to “build incentives for the faculty to engage in interdisciplinary, empirical scholarship,” Herring said.

Abdallah said the faculty wasn’t as interested in moving as quickly on the issues as Herring would have liked. He said they discussed the resignation for a “couple of days” before it became official.

Before being named dean in early May 2013, Herring taught constitutional law, lawyering and antitrust at the University of Pittsburgh. He was dean there from 1998 to 2005.