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Brian Pappas named dean of UND law school

University of North Dakota Provost Eric Link has appointed Brian Pappas as dean of the UND School of Law after a national search.

Pappas is expected to begin his new position in July. He will succeed Michael McGinniss, who previously announced his decision to step down as dean and return to the faculty.

“We are thrilled to welcome Dr. Pappas to UND,” said Erik Link, provost and vice president for academic affairs. “He will be an outstanding addition to the senior leadership team at the university, and I believe he will prove a transformative leader for the UND School of Law. He brings an outstanding record of administrative experience and achievement to the position, and I believe he will quickly establish himself as a thoughtful, strategic, and innovative leader for the school.”

“It is an honor to be selected as the next University of North Dakota law dean and join Provost Link’s team” Pappas said. “I am excited to serve our outstanding students, alumni, staff, and faculty. The School of Law has a long and successful history of educating great lawyers. I am looking forward to working with the judiciary and the practicing bar to further strengthen the North Dakota Law family and achieve the school’s highest potential.”

Brian Pappas

Currently completing a multi-country Fulbright Grant in Denmark and Greece, Brian Pappas is training academic administrators in mediation and conflict resolution. Until 2022, Pappas served as associate provost and associate vice president for faculty affairs and academic personnel at Eastern Michigan University.

From 2017 to 2019, Pappas served as a faculty member in public policy and administration and directed Boise State University’s conflict management department. Previously he spent 10 years at Michigan State University’s College of Law as clinical professor, associate director of alternative dispute resolution, and director of the Conflict Resolution Clinic, where he developed innovative experiential programs, including training prison inmates to be peer mediators.

Pappas specializes in organizational development, conflict management, interdisciplinary collaboration, and high-impact experiential learning. His teaching includes more than 80 alternative dispute resolution, law, and public administration courses. A frequent mediator and trainer, Pappas also trained thousands of mediators in court, community, business, and government.

His research examines formal and informal dispute systems and focuses on Title IX and dispute resolution. His 19 published works appear in journals such as the Journal of Legal Education, the Harvard Negotiation Law Review, and Law & Society Review.

A past State Bar of Michigan ADR Section Council Member, Pappas received the 2013 George N. Bashara, Jr. Award for exemplary service. He is the chair-elect of the American Bar Association’s Section of Dispute Resolution and serves on the Mindfulness in Law Society board.

He holds a doctoral degree in public administration from the University of Kansas, an LL.M. in dispute resolution from the University of Missouri, a law degree from Wayne State, and a master’s degree in public policy and bachelor’s degree in political science, both from the University of Michigan.

UND was assisted in the national search by Anthem Executive search firm.

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 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.

UND Law 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.