University of Florida Law dean announces departure

Dean-Robert-Jerry GAINESVILLE, Fla. – University of Florida Levin College of Law Dean Robert Jerry announced today that he will be stepping down from his position June 30, 2014.

Jerry has served as UF Law dean since 2003, during which time the college has thrived under his thoughtful leadership.

“It has been my privilege and honor to serve as the college’s dean, and accepting the offer extended to me ten years ago was one of the best decisions I have ever made,” Jerry said.

Please see the full announcement below from University of Florida Provost and Senior Vice President Joseph Glover. Read the dean’s message at

From: UF Administrative Memo < administrativememo@UFL.EDU>
Date: August 9, 2013, 8:25:41 AM EDT
Subject: UF Administrative Memo: Levin College of Law Dean Robert Jerry
Reply-To: UF Administrative Memo < administrativememo@UFL.EDU>

August 9, 2013

UF Administrative Memo

Joseph Glover, Provost and Senior Vice President

Levin College of Law Dean Robert Jerry

University of Florida Levin College of Law Dean Robert H.
Jerry, II has announced his intention to step down as dean,
effective June 30, 2014.

Dean Jerry became the Levin College of Law’s 15th dean in
2003, and will have led the college for 11 years, which will
tie him for service as the second-longest serving law dean
since the school was founded in 1909 and one of the longest-
serving law deans nationwide. Under his thoughtful and
inspired leadership, the college has continued to thrive
despite tough economic conditions and today’s highly
challenging environment for legal education.  Dean Jerry
assembled an administrative team that during this ten-year
period transformed many of the college’s functions and
programs, including admissions, placement, and student

In 2009, the College commenced a three-year program that
reduced the size of the student body by twenty-five percent,
a transformative change that improved student-faculty ratios,
access to the curriculum, and student services and which
presaged reductions that occurred in 90% of the nation’s law
schools in 2011 and 2012.  A detail-oriented administrator
and a favorite with the college’s 22,000-plus alumni, he
helped build its private endowment into one of the largest
among public law schools in the country. Annual giving
increased during his deanship, exceeded $830,000 in each of
the last three years, and set a new record in 2012-13.

During his tenure, the school’s major reconstruction project
that constructed or renovated all of the classrooms and the
library was started and completed, and a free-standing legal
advocacy center with a new courtroom and advocacy education
suite was planned, designed, funded, and constructed.  Five
permanent lecture series were created during his tenure, and
these and other programs have brought literally hundreds of
top legal leaders to campus, including eight visits from U.S.
Supreme Court justices in the past eight years.

Under his tenure, faculty, with input from UF Law alumni, re-
crafted the college’s mission statement to place a new
emphasis on core competencies essential to the practice of
law, and kicked off an ongoing effort to revise the
curriculum to better prepare graduates for a rapidly shifting
legal environment. Dean Jerry has been a tireless advocate
for students, and he has placed great emphasis on the value
of and support for diversity in the law school community. To
help students in a difficult employment market, he created a
post-graduate fellowship program, supported expansion of the
pre-graduate summer externship program, and initiated a new
program to aid students seeking judicial clerkships, which
last year enabled UF Law to rank 26th in the nation in the
number of graduates obtaining federal judicial clerkships.
He has supported leadership development activities, and has
stressed faculty public service and the example to be set for
students; upon becoming dean, he initiated Community Service
Day at the law school as part of the first-year student
orientation program.

He has chaired or served on scores of committees within the
university and with legal education entities nationwide, and
has made innumerable valuable contributions to this
institution, to higher education, and to the legal
profession.  His publications over the last decade include
two new editions of his insurance law treatise, several book
chapters, and eight published law review articles, mostly on
insurance law topics but also on academic leadership. He also
taught an insurance law course once each year.

Dean Jerry earned his J.D. from the University of Michigan
and his B.S. from Indiana State University. Before coming to
Florida, he was the Floyd R. Gibson Missouri Endowed
Professor of Law (1998-2003) and recipient of the
Distinguished Faculty Achievement Award (2001), University of
Missouri-Columbia School of Law. His previous academic
experience was at the University of Memphis, Cecil C.
Humphreys School of Law, Herbert Herff Chair of Excellence in
Law (1994-98); and University of Kansas School of Law, Dean
(1989-94), Professor (1985-94), Associate Professor (1981-
85), where he received the Chancellor’s Award for University
Service. He was in private practice with Barnes Hickam
Pantzer & Boyd, Indianapolis, Ind. (1978-81), and was a law
clerk with U.S. Circuit Judge George E. MacKinnon for U.S.
Court of Appeals, District of Columbia Circuit (1977-78).

I know you will join me in wishing him well. We have all
greatly enjoyed our relationship with Dean Jerry, and look
forward to continuing to work with him during the next year
and beyond.


Matt Walker, UF Law Communications

Published: August 9th, 2013

Category: Uncategorized

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