MISSOULA – The University of Montana will interview four candidates for the position of School of Law dean in coming weeks. Each meeting will feature a presentation given by the candidate on the topic of “UM School of Law’s Role in Legal Education’s Future” followed by a public Q-and-A forum.
The candidates are Robert Ackerman, professor of law at Wayne State University Law School in Detroit; Norman Bay, director of the Office of Enforcement for the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission in Washington, D.C., and a pro bono member of the NCAA Division I Committee on Infractions; Oren Griffin, associate dean for academic affairs and associate professor of law at Mercer University’s Walter F. George School of Law in Macon, Ga.; and Andrew King-Ries, professor at UM’s School of Law in Missoula.
The UM School of Law dean is responsible for implementing the school’s mission by promoting excellence in teaching, scholarship and service; developing and maintaining supportive relationships with alumni, legal and business communities and tribal, state and federal governments; working effectively with the School of Law’s faculty, staff and students; managing its budget; and executing School of Law affairs in accordance with all applicable laws, accreditation requirements, and Board of Regents and University policies.
“After an extensive national search, UM Provost Perry Brown has identified four exemplary finalists for interviews,” said Roberta Evans, dean of UM’s Phyllis J. Washington College of Education and Human Sciences and chair of the search committee. “Each individual brings a distinct perspective, blending backgrounds in impressive legal practice with academic achievements, and each one is eager to discuss the future of legal education with the many high-caliber faculty, students, staff and administrators in our School of Law. As a committee, we are very pleased to introduce these candidates to campus colleagues as well as to the esteemed members of the Montana Bar Association and Judiciary.”
Public forums will be held on campus and are scheduled for:
- Friday, Nov. 1 – Robert Ackerman, 3:30-4:30 p.m., School of Law Room 215.
- Monday, Nov. 4 – Andrew King-Ries, 3-4 p.m., School of Law Room 201.
- Friday, Nov. 8 – Norman Bay, 3-4 p.m., School of Law Room 215.
- Wednesday, Nov. 13 – Oren Griffin, 3:30 to 4:30 p.m., School of Law Room 215.
Ackerman has been a professor of law at Wayne State University Law School since 2008. Previous positions include Wayne State University Law School dean and professor, Pennsylvania State University’s Dickinson School of Law professor, Willamette University College of Law dean and professor and The Dickinson School of Law associate dean for institutional programs and planning. Prior to holding the position of associate dean at The Dickinson School of Law at Penn. State, Ackerman taught law at the school since 1983. Ackerman earned a juris doctorate degree from Harvard Law School and a Bachelor of Arts degree from Colgate University.
King-Ries is a professor at UM’s School of Law and has taught law at UM since 2002. Previously he held visiting assistant professor positions at Golden Gate University School of Law, Xiamen University School of Law and Seattle University School of Law. Before beginning his teaching career he worked as a deputy prosecutor for the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office in Seattle, served as a staff attorney for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit in St. Louis and was a speech writer for the U.S. Department of Education in Washington, D.C. King-Ries earned a juris doctorate degree from Washington University School of Law and a Bachelor of Arts degree from Brown University.
Bay has been the director of the Office of Enforcement at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission in Washington, D.C., since 2009. In August, he was appointed as a pro bono member of NCAA Division I Committee on Infractions, which determines whether violations of NCAA Bylaws have occurred and imposes appropriate sanctions. Previously Bay was a professor of law at the University of New Mexico School of Law, was a U.S. Attorney for the District of New Mexico and also was an assistant U.S. Attorney in Albuquerque, N.M. Bay earned a juris doctorate degree from Harvard Law School and a Bachelor of Arts degree from Dartmouth College.
Griffin currently is the associate dean for academic affairs and an associate professor of law at Mercer University’s Walter F. George School of Law. He has taught at the school since 2006. Before joining Mercer University, he worked as a labor and employment attorney at the firm of Elarbee, Thompson, Sapp & Wilson, LLP, where he was a partner, and also at Miller, Canfield, Paddock & Stone, PLC. Griffin earned a juris doctorate degree from Washington and Lee University’s School of Law; a doctorate degree from the University of Iowa; a master’s degree from the University of Northern Iowa and a Bachelor of Science degree from Southern University at New Orleans.