Dear UT community,
I am writing to share news that Ward Farnsworth has decided to conclude his tenure as dean of the School of Law after the 2021-22 academic year.
His deanship, now in its 10th year, has been immensely successful. Dean Farnsworth led a wide range of strategic initiatives, including recruiting and hiring a new generation of excellent faculty members and working with staff and leadership to introduce a new admissions recruitment program to increase the opportunities for Texans of all backgrounds to join the legal profession.
The law school experienced the strongest period of fundraising in its history during Dean Farnsworth’s tenure, with more than $150 million raised. The largest share of these funds now supports scholarships for students. He also oversaw transformative improvements of the law school’s public spaces — the atrium that is the center of life of the school, and two beautiful new outdoor areas. All this work was done with the support of the School of Law’s dedicated alumni, who have been strong partners in the success of the school and our students.
Finally, Dean Farnsworth focused efforts to improve the overall student experience at the School of Law. He established a highly effective alumni-mentoring program, improved support for students interested in public service and pro bono work and increased the loan-repayment assistance program. Dean Farnsworth is a consistent and vocal advocate for his community, and his devotion to students is evident.
“Ward’s contributions to the UT community cannot be overstated. I have always admired his vision, ability to build consensus and his devotion to the educational experience of our students. When I speak to law school students and graduates, a theme I hear time and again is how deeply invested Ward is in the success of every single person. His success as a leader is grounded in his unwavering devotion to serving others and is a big part of why our law school has continued to have even greater impact and remains among the very best in the nation.”
— President Jay Hartzell
Dean Farnsworth will continue serving as dean until a successor is selected and ready to start. He plans to continue serving the School of Law and the university community in the future.
Please join me in thanking Dean Farnsworth for a decade of outstanding service.
Sharon L. Wood