Garry Jenkins named new U of M Law School Dean

May 12, 2016
Garry W Jenkins

An experienced, collaborative leader, Garry W. Jenkins will be the next dean of the University of Minnesota Law School, effective July 31, 2016, and pending approval by the Board of Regents in June.

Jenkins comes to Minnesota from The Ohio State University where he served as associate dean for academic affairs and the John C. Elam/Vorys Sater Professor of Law at the Moritz College of Law.

“Garry brings to the Law School extensive experience as a scholar of law and philanthropy, administrator at a public law school, and a foundation executive,” said Karen Hanson, executive vice president and provost. “His breadth of experience, strategic acumen, and collaborative leadership style will position the Law School for well for the future.”

As dean, Jenkins will be chief executive officer and chief academic officer of the Law School, which is ranked as one of the top public law schools in the country. He will provide strategic and intellectual leadership and administrative oversight for the school and work to maintain and enhance the school’s stature. Jenkins will also collaborate with other deans to advance the broader educational mission of the University.

“I am honored and thrilled to have been chosen by Provost Hanson to serve as dean,” Jenkins said. “I have long admired the Law School, and am eagerly looking forward to working with its extraordinary faculty, staff, students, and alumni. For over 128 years, the University of Minnesota Law School has provided a superior legal education with a rigorous blend of theory and practice, and has a proven track record of producing outstanding lawyers and leaders. I am so grateful for this opportunity, and I am excited to see what we can achieve together.”

A specialist in law and philanthropy, corporate governance, and leadership studies, Jenkins co-founded the Program on Law and Leadership, a multifaceted education and development initiative to advance the theory and practice of leadership among lawyers. Prior to joining the Ohio State faculty in 2004, Jenkins was chief operating officer and general counsel of the Goldman Sachs Foundation—responsible for domestic and international grant-making programs, communications, finance, legal affairs, and investment management for one of the country’s largest corporate foundations. Earlier, he was an attorney with the New York law firm of Simpson Thacher & Bartlett, where he counseled public charities and private foundations as well as private investment funds.

As associate dean of the Ohio State law school, he had primary oversight of academic programs and policy, curriculum, communications, and other key areas and collaborated to help shape and implement a strategic plan, advance fundraising, and support diversity and inclusion. An energetic, creative, and collaborative leader and consensus builder, Jenkins worked as part of an entrepreneurial team to advance the school in the increasingly challenging environment for law schools and public higher education. He also led the law school’s efforts to implement significant curricular reforms and innovations, develop new co-curricular programs, and revitalize branding.

“During his twelve years at Moritz, and eight years as an associate dean, Garry has made an indelible impact on Ohio State,” said Alan C. Michaels, dean and Edwin M. Cooperman Chair in Law at Ohio State. “His leadership, creativity, and counsel in his administrative role have been of the highest order, and our community has been privileged to benefit from his talent and dedication. The College’s influential Program on Law and Leadership, our robust and consistently refreshed curriculum, and our strong external communications team are just some of the areas that would not have reached current heights without Garry’s leadership. At the same time, Garry has established himself as a leading scholar in the rapidly changing field of nonprofits and philanthropy. With his passion for excellence in research and teaching and his great judgment, he will make an outstanding dean. All of us at the College of Law wish him the very best in his new position, and I personally look forward to working with him as a Big Ten colleague.”

Jenkins earned his J.D. from Harvard University Law School, where he was editor-in-chief of the Harvard Civil Rights-Civil Liberties Law Review, and he went on to clerk for Judge Timothy Lewis on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit. He also earned an M.P.P. from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, and his B.A. is in political science, from Haverford College. He currently sits on the governing boards of Haverford College and the American Civil Liberties Union of Ohio as well as the advisory board of the National Center on Philanthropy and Law at New York University School of Law.

Law School Professor Joan Howland and Humphrey School of Public Affairs Dean Eric Schwartz co-chaired the national search to replace David Wippman, who will be the next president of Hamilton College (New York).

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