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UND seeks applications and nominations for Law School dean

The next UND Law Dean will replace current leader, Michael McGinniss, who plans to return to the school’s faculty

Applications for the next University of North Dakota School of Law dean will be accepted until the position is filled. Applications received by Tuesday, Jan. 25, 2022 are assured consideration. The search committee is being assisted by Anthem Executive Search Firm. UND photo.

UND is seeking applications and nominations for Dean of the School of Law. The full position description is available.

Applications will be accepted until the position is filled. Applications received by Tuesday, Jan. 25, 2022 are assured consideration. The search committee is being assisted by Anthem Executive Search Firm.

Applications should include a letter of interest (not more than three pages) specifically addressing the applicant’s background in relationship to the qualifications described and current curriculum vitae. Please send applicant materials to

The position

UND seeks a dynamic and visionary leader who will build upon the School of Law’s strengths to provide exceptional professional educational experiences, recruit and develop outstanding faculty, and promote faculty-driven scholarly and creative endeavors.

The next dean will be a committed team player who is devoted to excellence and shared governance. The selected individual will be a consultative decision-maker and will work collaboratively with faculty, staff, students, and administrators. The dean will have unquestioned integrity and exemplary interpersonal and communication skills.

Reporting directly to the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, the Dean is the chief executive officer of the School of Law and is responsible for its effective administration. The Dean will provide leadership and facilitate an environment for accomplishing strategic goals, as well as aligning the functioning of the School of Law with UND’s broader academic identity and strategic planning. The Dean is responsible, in cooperation with the Provost, for academic and administrative planning; budgeting; administration and implementation of department, college and university policies; and fund-raising and external relations. The Dean, in partnership with the faculty, is responsible for academic program development and review; faculty recruitment; development and evaluation of faculty; and student relations.

With an anticipated starting date of July 1, 2022, the next dean will succeed Professor Michael McGinniss, who, after a successful three-year term as dean, has elected to return to full-time teaching and research after leading the School of Law through a period of enrollment growth, program expansion, and increasing visibility across the state of North Dakota.

The School of Law: Looking forward

The next dean of the School of Law at UND will be joining the University during a dynamic period. Under the leadership of President Andrew Armacost (who joined UND in 2020) and Provost Eric Carl Link (who joined UND in 2021), the campus is experiencing enrollment growth and major campus improvements with several buildings under construction and/or renovation currently. Significant investments at the University in terms of research development in critical areas are propelling the University forward as the flagship research institution in the state of North Dakota. Meanwhile, the University’s ongoing commitments to student success at both the undergraduate and graduate level continue to elevate the tradition of educational excellence at the institution.

The incoming dean of the School of Law will have the opportunity to build on the long-standing tradition of excellence within the School, and to work alongside both internal and external partners and stakeholders to increase and enhance the mission of the School. Enhancing access and opportunity for students and faculty through alumni and donor relations will be essential in the coming years as the University engages in robust capital campaigning and relationship building, as will bringing key programmatic opportunities to the students of the college that will position them—and the School—for ongoing service to the state and the region.


The following is an abbreviated list of the responsibilities associated with this position:

  • Promoting high-quality academic programs and supporting high-quality teaching.
  • Fostering collaborative academic planning and innovative curricular development.
  • Promoting student success and advancing research, scholarship, and creative activities
  • Creating an inclusive campus climate that demonstrates a commitment to inclusiveness and encourages service to underserved populations.
  • Attracting support for the University and the School through active engagement of alumni, community, industry, and other external constituents, and effectively participating in fundraising activities/alumni relations.
  • Maintaining accreditation standards and complying with other reporting requirements for accrediting agencies.
  • Managing the budget in accordance with the University’s Model for Incentive Resource Allocation, including the preparation, submission, disbursement of, and working within the budget of the School.
  • In collaboration with others, creating and supporting a plan that results in the recruitment and retention of highly qualified staff and faculty.
  • Leading the coordination of School governance.
  • Maintaining and strengthening partnerships within and outside of the University.
  • Envisioning and implementing a vision for the School in furtherance of the University’s mission and goals.
  • Building relationships across the campus and within the staff that engender trust through open communication.

The search committee

Members of the search committee follow.

  •  Amy Henley, Dean, Nistler College of Business & Public Administration and Committee Co-Chair
  • North Dakota Supreme Court Chief Justice Jon Jensen, Chief Justice of the North Dakota Supreme Court and  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, Northwest Judicial District
  • Judge Johnathan Judd, MN District Judge, 7th Judicial District
  • Jennifer Puhl, Assistant United States Attorney in the 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, UND School of Law Student Representative

Support personnel

  • Taylor Hanson Wald, Administrative Support
  • Becca Bergee, HR Representative
  • Heather Wages, Consultant on Policy and Procedure