MORGANTOWN - The state's only law school is looking for a new leader.
West Virginia University officials have opened a nationwide search for a dean of the College of Law after current dean John W. Fisher II announced his intentions to step down after 10 years of service.
Alex Macia, vice president for legal affairs and general counsel for WVU, said a search committee has been formed, and there are already several candidates from around the country.
According to a news release from WVU President Mike Garrison, the college is looking for someone to head the students as well as secure new funding for the college. WVU also wants someone who has a grasp of the mission of the law school.
"As President Garrison pointed out, he's looking for a leader who has a clear vision and ability to move the law school forward in terms of its ranking and its ability to produce outstanding lawyers and improve on its position in the legal community in the state," Macia said.
The committee will also be looking for a person who can add and expand programs and attract recognized faculty, Macia said.
Fisher has announced his last day as dean will be June 30, 2008. He plans to continue teaching. Macia said he expects a new dean to be chosen and ready to step in for a seamless transition.
Garrison asked in his news release that members of the legal profession and those who care for the College of Law to send in names of candidates who might be suitable for the position.
Law school members of the search committee include professors Gerald Ashdown, Vince Cardi, Robert Lathrop, Marjorie McDiarmid and Caprice Roberts and associate professors Camille Riley and John Taylor; Grace Wigal, director of legal research and writing; Carla C. Williams, assistant dean for development and alumni affairs; Renee Sulipek, administrative assistant; and law student Alvin Hathaway, president of the Class of 2009.
External members of the committee are Norman White of the Board of Governors of the West Virginia State Bar and the Shaffer and Shaffer law firm; Andy Richardson, vice president for Wells Fargo Disability Management; John Allevato of Spilman Thomas & Battle PLLC; and Brian Glasser of Bailey & Glasser LLP.
Macia will chair the committee, and Ellen Cappellanti of Jackson Kelly's Charleston office will represent the University Board of Governors. Both are ex-officio, non-voting members.
The College of Law, founded in 1878, is West Virginia's only law school. It has 30 full-time faculty, 33 staff members and 435 students.
Candidates for the dean position must have a J.D. or equivalent degree, from an accredited institution. The screening process will begin Nov. 15, 2007.