Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Law School May Get Dean Today Hurt Expected to Win Approval

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Law School May Get Dean Today Hurt Expected to Win Approval

Article excerpt

The founding dean of Florida Coastal School of Law has handpicked a successor, who is expected to be hired as the school's new dean this morning.

Donald Lively, dean of the Jacksonville law school since its opening in 1996, has selected J. Richard Hurt -- a former law school dean and an expert on the American Bar Association's law school accreditation process -- to replace him beginning July 1. Lively plans to remain the school's president and chair its Board of Trustees.

"I wouldn't give the position up for anyone else I can think of," Lively said of Hurt, who gained the unanimous support of faculty members last week and is expected to easily clear the final hurdle today when he goes before the trustees for approval. He is being offered a three-year contract, Lively said. Terms of the contract were not disclosed.

Hurt, 47, is no stranger to Florida Coastal. In his previous job as the No. 2 administrator in the American Bar Association's accreditation process, he oversaw an accreditation review of the school, making several visits to Jacksonville to meet with faculty, staff and students.

The young school was awarded provisional accreditation in 1999, a key step toward securing the ABA's full approval. Hurt spent two years as the ABA's deputy consultant on legal education, a term that ended in July. That's when Lively began speaking with Hurt about the dean's job at Florida Coastal.

Lively said Hurt's reputation in the legal community made his interest in the position something that could not be ignored. Even if it meant Lively -- the only dean the school has ever known -- had to take a different role.

"The one thing you don't want to do as an institution is to miss opportunities," Lively said.

Hurt, 47, is excited about the challenge of leading a young law school.

"They have developed incredibly fast," Hurt said yesterday, "particularly when you consider how tight the law school market is today. …

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