|Dear Colleagues and University of Miami School of Law Community:
As the University of Miami approaches its centennial and we prepare to accelerate progress on our strategic priorities, I have asked Anthony E. Varona to step down as dean at the School of Law, effective July 1, 2021.
This is a crucial moment in Miami Law’s trajectory, and as President, I have determined that new leadership is vital for the benefit of the institution, our students, and our community. The historic events of the past 16 months have revealed both challenges and opportunities that highlight the need for a dean with the required vision and effectiveness of execution to bring the school to new levels of excellence. In particular, the current capital campaign—which will culminate in four short years—presents a rapidly narrowing window of opportunity to mobilize significant resources on behalf of Miami Law.
The University appreciates Dean Varona’s service during a time of unparalleled disruption in higher education. He will retain his role as the M. Minnette Massey Professor of Law and focus his full attention on teaching and growing his distinguished body of legal scholarship, particularly in the areas of media and sexuality law. At a time when social justice remains at the forefront of jurisprudence, we look forward to his continued impact on the school and its students as a tenured member of the faculty, who has brought a wealth of knowledge and experience to Miami Law.
As an academic community, we must never lose sight of the fact that the essence of our mission is education, research, and scholarship. Some members of the academy are called to sacrifice part of that work for a finite period of time in an administrative role. After careful deliberation, I have concluded that Dean Varona can make a more meaningful and lasting contribution as a professor, than by continuing to carry the burden of his present administrative duties.
In the coming weeks, I look forward to consulting with the faculty and other key stakeholders on plans for a transition and the search for a new dean. Please join me in thanking Dean Varona for his collaboration as we prepare both the University of Miami and our School of Law for a successful second century.