College of Law dean resigns from position, plans to continue teaching
A national search will soon be underway to find a new dean for the James E. Rogers College of Law.
Dean Lawrence Ponoroff recently announced his resignation from the position after three years. Ponoroff, also a law instructor, cited personal reasons behind his resignation, but explained that he still plans to teach at the university.
Ponoroff talked about various issues he has faced over the past few years, including significant budget cuts, a decline in applications and the retirement of several longtime faculty members.
“It’s been a challenging time, but one takes these jobs because of the challenges,” Ponoroff said. “I feel like we’ve navigated some pretty choppy waters with reasonable success.”
Andrew Comrie, senior vice president for academic affairs and provost, will meet with law faculty on Monday in order to discuss the future of the college and the next steps. An interim dean will be appointed while the search is conducted.
A search committee will be appointed in the coming weeks, which will represent faculty, students and relevant community members, Comrie said. The committee will work toward shaping the job advertisement and the search.
“What you have to do is go and find the very best people, and that’s not just sticking an ad on the web,” Comrie said. “This is a challenge in any leadership job, to really find those successful people and be sure we can get one of them here to lead our college.”
Although some students said they are sad to see Ponoroff leave, they said they are excited for him to continue working within the college.
“I thought in many ways he was moving us in a good direction,” said Josh Miller, a third-year law student and president of the UA’s Student Bar Association. “It’s sad that he is resigning as dean but we are happy that even with his resignation he’s going to be staying on as a teacher and a faculty member at least for the foreseeable future.”
Miller said he hopes the new dean will maintain an open mind in regards to what students see as the need to change some of the ways the law school functions.
“I hope whoever our new dean is will be open to those changes or at least to having that discussion,” Miller said. “And I’m pretty sure he or she will be.”
Ponoroff said he hopes the school will continue to attract a diverse student population and will center its focus on students.
“I would, every year, like to see a more academically talented and diverse student body, as strong and diverse as our student body is,” Ponoroff said. “And my other hope for the college is that we would continue our emphasis on putting students at the center.”