The University of Florida Levin College of Law announced its new interim dean on Friday.
George L. Dawson, a professor in the UF Levin College of Law, agreed to postpone his retirement to serve as the interim dean. He will begin his term on July 15, according to a university press release.
The announcement comes ten days after UF president Bernie Machen met with law students and faculty to announce the end of the search for a new dean after Robert Jerry stepped down from the position.
The closed-door meeting was the conclusion to a search that lasted several months and had been criticized by faculty who felt they were not being included in the process.
The company’s search produced 24 applicants, which was narrowed down to three by an administrative committee, according to the press conference.
After meeting with the three candidates, Machen and Provost Joe Glover decided none of the applicants fit the college’s needs, according to the Gainesville Sun.
Dawson said he will be filling in for a year, and will step down in July of 2015.
“I think that it’s too bad that the law school will not have a dean starting this summer,” he said, “but there will another search initiated this year and the expectations is that there will be a permanent dean appointed in 2015 at the end of my one-year term.”
While acting as dean, Dawson said he plans on focusing on issues such as the college’s rankings, which have recently dropped.
“As is always the case, rankings of the institution are issues that need attention, and that was true for Dean Jerry, it is true for me, and it will be true for my successor,” he said.
Dawson has been a professor at UF since 1984. He previously worked as assistant professor, assistant dean and associate professor at the University of Oregon. Dawson graduated from Princeton University with his bachelor’s degree before attending the University of Chicago for his law degree.