Case Western Reserve University President Barbara R. Snyder and Provost W.A. "Bud" Baeslack said today that Gary J. Simson has announced his resignation as dean, effective at the end of this academic semester. Starting today, Robert H. Rawson Jr. will serve as Special Advisor to the Provost for the School of Law; he will become interim dean once Simson steps down. President Snyder expressed her appreciation on behalf of the law school and the University for Simson's work over the last two years. Under his leadership the law school raised $1.8 million in the first quarter of this year, and this year's entering class has one of the highest academic credentials in the school's history. Simson will remain in his position as a tenured professor of law.
Rawson is a partner of the Jones Day law firm and served for 15 years as Partner in Charge of its Cleveland office. A Rhodes Scholar who graduated from Princeton University before earning his Juris Doctorate from Harvard University, Rawson is highly regarded as a litigator, with particular expertise in antitrust matters. He also has deep appreciation and understanding of higher education, having spent 20 years on the Board of Trustees of Princeton, including 13 as chair of the board's executive committee. Rawson also serves as chairman of the Northeast Ohio Council on Higher Education, a group of 21 colleges and universities in this area, and is Vice Chair of the Board of Trustees at Cleveland State University.
"Bob Rawson is a supremely talented attorney who possesses the experience and temperament to lead our School of Law during this time of transition," President Snyder said. "I am grateful to him and his firm for the opportunity to tap his knowledge and skills for our School of Law."
Rawson said he agreed to assume this temporary role because of his belief in the law school's importance to the university and the Northeast Ohio community. He emphasized, however, that he has no interest in being a candidate for the permanent position of dean. He will remain a Partner at Jones Day and continue to serve on its Partnership Committee.
"I know well the power universities have to advance both individuals and society, and appreciate this opportunity to provide assistance to an institution with a proud history of legal education," said Rawson, whose wife, Judy, earned her law degree from Case Western Reserve. "Together with faculty and students, I will do everything I can to encourage excellence and collaboration both within the school and across the university."
Stephen J. Brogan, Managing Partner for Jones Day, said he was pleased that one of the firm's partners was asked to contribute in such a significant manner. Rawson's interim appointment "reflects Jones Day's commitment to supporting and strengthening greater Cleveland's most important institutions," he said. "We are pleased and proud that one of the leaders of our firm will have the opportunity to play a constructive role."
Provost Baeslack said that he will appoint a university committee to lead a national search for a permanent dean for the School of Law. Meanwhile, he too appreciates the opportunity to work closely with an individual so accomplished in the courtroom and clearly committed to the work of colleges and universities.
"Although he will be with us only on a temporary basis," Baeslack said. "I am confident that Bob Rawson has much to teach both our law school faculty and students. He will make a significant positive impact that will allow the new permanent dean to build on existing momentum."
Case Western Reserve University is among the nation's leading research institutions. Founded in 1826 and shaped by the unique merger of the Case Institute of Technology and Western Reserve University, Case Western Reserve is distinguished by its strengths in education, research, service, and experiential learning. Located in Cleveland, Case Western Reserve offers nationally recognized programs in the Arts and Sciences, Dental Medicine, Engineering, Law, Management, Medicine, Nursing, and Social Work.
Tracing its origins to 1893, Jones Day now encompasses more than 2,300 lawyers in 30 locations across the globe. It ranks among the world's largest and most geographically diverse law firms. Surveys repeatedly list Jones Day as one of the law firms most frequently engaged by U.S. corporations, and many of our lawyers have achieved national recognition in their disciplines.
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