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New dean chosen for College of Law

After more than a year without a permanent dean, President Devorah Lieberman this week announced the hiring of Gilbert Holmes as the new dean of the University of La Verne College of Law.

“It is a pleasure to welcome Gilbert Holmes to the University of La Verne community,” President Lieberman said in a press release. “His values mirror those of the University’s mission, and his professional strengths and insights make him the right choice at the right time to lead the College of Law.”

“I was attracted to La Verne because of its size, and it going through the accreditation process makes it right for providing institutional leadership,” Holmes said in a phone interview Thursday. “It’s an opportunity to redesign a new approach to education.”

Holmes, who starts in July, succeeds Phillip Hawkey, who began serving as interim dean in January 2012.

Holmes is currently a professor at the University of Baltimore School of Law and served as its dean from 2001-2007. He was also an associate dean of the Texas Wesleyan University School of Law and an associate professor at Southern Methodist University Law School and Seton Hall University Law School.

“Gilbert Holmes possesses a deep understanding of legal education and extensive administrative experience that will be a tremendous benefit for our students, our faculty and staff, and the local legal community,” Provost Greg Dewey said in a press release.

The College of Law’s ongoing struggle to earn American Bar Association accreditation was not a deterrent, Holmes said. Rather, he sees it as an opportunity.

“What happened didn’t scare me,” Holmes said. “It made me focus on the quest ahead of me. A few significant issues is better than a lot of significant issues.”

—Elsie Ramos

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