State Bar Association of North Dakota representation bolsters UND law dean search with addition of Williston-based attorney Taylor Olson

N.D. Supreme Court Chief Justice to co-chair search; new leader expected to be named by July 1

Since July 2019, the deanship of the UND School of Law (pictured above) has been held by Michael McGinniss, who announced in May that he intended to return to his role as a full-time faculty member at the law school. UND Photo.

With the addition of Williston-based attorney and State Bar Association of North Dakota (SBAND) Board of Governors member Taylor Olson, University of North Dakota Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost Eric Link today bolstered the representation of the committee charged with finding the next dean of the state’s only law school.

Taylor Olson

Earlier this week (Tuesday, Oct. 5), Link unveiled 12 other members of the search committee, and announced North Dakota Supreme Court Chief Justice Jon Jensen and Amy Henley, dean of UND’s Nistler College of Business & Public Administration, would co-chair the national search.

Olson currently serves as a member of SBAND’s Board of Governors, representing of the state’s Northwest Judicial District for the organization. She’s also an attorney and co-owner of Furuseth, Olson & Evert P.C., in Willison. Olson was born and raised in Williston and is a 2011 graduate of the UND School of Law.

Link expects to name the new dean by July 1, 2022.

Since July 2019, the deanship has been held by Michael McGinniss, who announced in May that he intended to return to his role as a full-time faculty member at the law school.

“I am grateful for the leadership of Chief Justice Jon Jensen and Dean Amy Henley, who will provide invaluable experience and perspectives to this important process,” Link said. “It is a strong committee that was compiled with input from UND School of Law faculty, staff and students. The committee charge will help ensure stakeholder groups will have the opportunity to provide feedback, and I look forward to working with everyone involved as we select the next leader of North Dakota’s law school.”

UND School of Law Dean Search Committee

The search committee will be assisted by Anthem Executive Search Firm. Anthem Executive consultants Michael Ballew, Florene Stawowy, Scott Watson and Mike JR Wheless are supporting the UND law dean nationwide search and selection process. To learn more about the search, become a confidential candidate or confidentially suggest candidates (under North Dakota Century Code, a candidate can remain confidential until they are deemed a finalist), please, email UNDLawDean@AnthemExecutive.com, or visit  AnthemExecutive.com online.

The updated membership of the search committee follows:

  • Dean Amy Henley, committee co-chair
  • Chief Justice Jon Jensen, committee co-Chair
  • Nikola Datzov, assistant professor of law
  • Ariana Meyers, assistant professor of law
  • Alexandra Sickler, professor of law
  • Pam Shea, director of student life, School of Law
  • Julie Simon, director of finance & administration, School of Law
  • Taylor Olson, shareholder/attorney with Furuseth, Olson & Evert; SBAND Board of Governors representative
  • Judge Johnathan Judd, district judge, 7th Minnesota Judicial District
  • Assistant U.S. Attorney Jennifer Puhl, District of North Dakota
  • Lu Jiang, pro bono manager, Legal Counsel for Youth and Children
  • Mike Mannausau, vice president of development, UND Alumni Association and Foundation
  • Zachary Tomczik, student representative, School of Law

    N.D. Supreme Court Chief Justice Jon Jensen

About Chief Justice Jon Jensen:

Jensen, a Grand Forks native, was appointed to the North Dakota Supreme Court by Gov. Doug Burgum in 2017 and elected to a full 10-year term in 2020. Elected Chief Justice in 2019, he holds a bachelor’s degree in accounting from Minnesota State University, Mankato and a juris doctorate from the UND School of Law. Jensen worked in private practice in Grand Forks from 1991 to 2013, when he was appointed to be district judge for the Northeast Central Judicial District, a position he held until being named to the North Dakota Supreme Court.

About Dean Amy Henley:

Amy Henley

Amy Henley joined UND in 2018 as the dean and professor of management at the UND Nistler College of Business & Public Administration. She holds a doctorate in organizational behavior and psychology from the University of Texas in Arlington. She previously served as executive director of MBA programs at Kennesaw State University, and taught management at the University of Southern Mississippi and the University of Texas at Arlington before moving to Kennesaw State. Her research interests include distributive and procedural justice, compensation and pay fairness, and intragroup processes.

About the UND School of Law:

Founded in 1899, the School of Law was the first professional school to begin operation within the University of North Dakota, and has been continuously accredited since its initial approval in 1923. The School was granted membership in the Association of American Law Schools in 1911.

As the only law school in North Dakota, UND Law has a valued tradition of educating many of the state’s leaders and justices, including members of the North Dakota Supreme Court. Nearly three quarters of the attorneys licensed to practice in North Dakota are alumni.

Our graduates are successful in a variety of professions and industries in North Dakota and the Midwest, in Canada, and on both coasts, including fields such as energy, aerospace, and real estate development.  They engage in law practice in private firms, in-house with corporations, and in a wide range of government roles.

The School of Law offers students a “best value” legal education within a personalized setting, emphasizing a practice-ready application of the law.

About the University of North Dakota:

The University of North Dakota is the chief opportunity engine for North Dakota and UND students. Founded in 1883, six years before North Dakota was granted statehood, UND is among the nation’s premier regional public research universities and is at an exciting point in its 138-year history. Classified as a “Doctoral University: Higher Research Activity” institution by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, UND is characterized by a solid foundation of the liberal arts, high quality students and faculty, a diverse curriculum, a widely recognized program of graduate education and research, law and medical schools praised for quality and innovation, rich cultural resources, and an outstanding record of alumni support. Its major academic divisions include Arts and Sciences, Aerospace Sciences, Business and Public Administration, Education and Human Development, Engineering and Mines, Nursing and Professional Disciplines, Medicine and Health Sciences, Law, Extended Learning and the School of Graduate Studies. Long a provider of distance education, UND is developing a robust online presence.  Learn more at www.und.edu.

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