Gary Myers to step down as School of Law dean after four years

Senior Associate Provost Ken Dean will serve as interim dean.
Headshot of Dean Gary Myers. Photo courtesy of Dean Myers’ office

School of Law Dean Gary Myers announced in an email to faculty May 27 that he will step down from his position to return to teaching, effective Aug. 14.

Myers said in his email that the decision comes after “a number of conversations with Provost Garnett Stokes regarding my future plans.”

“The law school continues to build on its many strengths, and I am confident that it will continue to do so in the future,” Myers said in the email.

In an email to the chancellor and provost’s staffs, deans and Faculty Council, Stokes said that Myers has worked hard in his four years as dean to ensure that students have received a quality education as a result of hiring award-winning faculty, upgrading technology within the law school and raising more than $10 million for the Mizzou: Our Time to Lead fundraising campaign.

“I want to thank Gary for his service to the University of Missouri,” Stokes said in the email. “Please join me in wishing him the best as he transitions to this new role.”

The Law School Foundation, which raises money for the School of Law from various donations, issued a statement that praised Myers’ work.

“During his tenure the clinical program offerings have expanded, student credentials have improved and the bar pass rate and employment rate of graduates have continued to remain strong,” Rodney Loomer, Law School Foundation Board president, said in the statement. “Further, alumni investment has become very strong for the various initiatives Dean Myers has achieved. He has certainly left the law school in a very good position for the next dean.”

Myers was recently named as a defendant in a lawsuit filed by former Republican state Rep. Kevin Elmer. According to the Columbia Missourian, Elmer submitted a sunshine request last May to obtain records to see if former associate law professor Josh Hawley, who is currently on unpaid leave from MU, received support from the university duing his campaign for attorney general of Missouri. Elmer alleges that MU violated the Sunshine Law by overcharging him and taking too long to fulfill his open records request.

The lawsuit names Myers, the Board of Curators, UM Custodian of Records Paula Barrett and former associate School of Law professor Josh Hawley as defendants.

Elmer requested almost 70,000 pages of records that cost $10,000, according to documents obtained by the Missourian. Those documents included all of the documents on Hawley’s computer and records of complaints filed against Hawley, among other records. Since then, Elmer’s attorney has also requested more records.

MU spokesman Christian Basi told the Missourian that being named in the lawsuit was not a factor in Myers’ decision to step down.

Myers said in his email to faculty that he is planning two book projects as well as “various interdisciplinary initiatives in the new academic year.”

The interim dean is Senior Associate Provost Ken Dean, who has previously served as the School of Law’s associate dean for 20 years and interim dean three times. Later this summer, Stokes said in her email, a national search will be conducted to find the next permanent dean.

Edited by George Roberson |

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