Gary Myers named dean of MU School of Law

Monday, April 9, 2012 | 3:16 p.m. CDT; updated 5:17 p.m. CDT, Monday, April 9, 2012
Gary Myers was named dean of the MU School of Law on Monday.

COLUMBIA — Gary Myers has been selected as the next dean of the MU School of Law, Provost Brian Foster announced Monday.

Myers, 49, will begin serving as dean Aug. 15. He succeeds R. Lawrence Dessem, who is stepping down to teach full-time after 10 years as dean.

His salary will be $250,000 a year, according to the MU News Bureau.

Myers is associate dean of research and a professor of law at the University of Mississippi School of Law. He has worked there since 1989.

Before starting at the University of Mississippi, he worked as an associate with Powell, Goldstein, Frazer & Murphy in Atlanta and as a law clerk for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit in Jacksonville, Fla.

Myers holds a master's degree in economics and a law degree from Duke University. He received his bachelor's degree from New York University.

Myers' selection follows an open search process, during which the MU School of Law announced five finalists for the position and held public forums with the candidates throughout January and February.

Myers said he had a full schedule during his visit Jan. 19 and 20. He met representatives of all of the constituency groups of the School of Law, including faculty, staff, administrators, alumni and students, he said.

"I was very impressed with the quality of the students and the strength of the faculty," he said.

Myers said he plans to visit Columbia several times before he begins his term as dean, though his travel schedule is not yet set.

"I am hoping to be back in the next few weeks," he said.

Myers said he was struck by the role the law school has taken in the history and leadership of the state. Several current state leaders are graduates of the school, including Gov. Jay Nixon and Attorney General Chris Koster.

"I'm very excited and honored to have been selected and I'm looking forward to coming to Columbia," Myers said.

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