University of Massachusetts Dartmouth School of Law selected Mary Lu Bilek as its new dean. Bilek joins the newly accredited law school from City University of New York’s School of Law, where she was associate dean and professor.
Bilek, a Harvard law graduate, joined CUNY in 1985 after five years in legal practice. She has helped develop programs for legal education diversity, and in 2010-2011 headed the American Bar Association’s committee on diversity in legal education. At CUNY, where she served under the law school’s first three deans, she implemented a Pipeline to Justice Program, which provides preparation in analytic reasoning and writing skills and a second chance at law school admission for applicants who seek additional preparation.
Bilek will take over the deanship from Robert Ward, who announced his departure last fall for health reasons. Ward said that his decision to leave was unrelated to an audit showing about $2,200 in personal spending on school credit cards for which he reimbursed UMass.
• Stetson University College of Law named a new dean this month, selecting Christopher Pietruskiwicz who will join the college after service as vice chancellor for business and financial affairs at Louisiana State University Law Center.
“Chris Pietruszkiewicz is recognized and respected nationally as a leader in legal education. I am confident that with his dynamic leadership, the Stetson University College of Law will continue to flourish as an excellent law school and earn distinction as an exemplar of 21st century legal education,” said Provost Beth Paul.
Pietruszkiewicz has held several national leadership positions in legal education and is currently on the board of trustees for the Law School Admission Council and the Southeastern Association of Law Schools, where he served as president from 2005 to 2006.
• Vermont Law School named Marc Mihaly as its next president and dean after an eight-month selection process.
Mihaly, who is spending the 2011-2012 academic year on sabbatical, was hired by Vermont in 2004 and is the current Associate Dean of Environmental Programs and Director of the Environmental Law Center. Before joining Vermont, Mihaly ran his own firm for 25 years where he specialized in environmental issues.
“As a proven entrepreneur, fundraiser, and communicator, he will be well positioned to take advantage of new opportunities,” the school said in a statement.
• Southwestern Law School announced that Vice Dean Austen Parrish will serve as Interim Dean and Chief Executive Officer after the school’s current dean, Bryant Garth, steps down in July.
Parrish, who has served as a member of the Southwestern faculty since 2002, has served as Vice Dean since 2008. He is an expert on Canada-U.S. transboundary relations and directed the law school's Vancouver Summer Law Program from 2003-2010. In 2007, he was named as Southwestern's Irwin R. Buchalter Professor of Law and received the First Year Professor Excellence in Teaching Award.
The school is beginning the process of conducting a formal dean search.