Bobby Chesney Appointed Dean of the School of Law

Dear UT Community,

I am delighted to announce that Bobby Chesney will serve as the next Dean of the School of Law. Professor Chesney, who currently holds the James A. Baker III Chair in the Rule of Law and World Affairs and has served as the school’s Associate Dean for Academic Affairs since 2011, will begin his new appointment on July 1. He succeeds Ward Farnsworth, who will step down after 10 successful years as the school’s Dean.

As Associate Dean for Academic Affairs since 2011, Professor Chesney has helped advance some of Texas Law’s most important priorities, from curating the curriculum and building a more inclusive learning environment, to managing the challenges of COVID-19 and promoting pedagogical best practices.

A third-generation Texan, Professor Chesney is a globally renowned authority on national security, counterterrorism, cybersecurity, and disinformation. He has been on the faculty at UT since 2008 and brings a deep understanding of Texas Law’s values and operations, as well as strong relationships with students, staff, and alumni. He also has extensive experience with strategic planning and higher education assessment, including serving as co-chair of the planning process for UT Austin’s recently launched 10-year strategic plan, Change Starts Here, and as co-chair of the Council for Texas Impact prior to that.

We are fortunate to have an energetic and ambitious leader in Professor Chesney who not only cares deeply about the education we’re providing our law students and the quality of our research, but also about the success and wellbeing of all members of the community.

I would like to thank the search committee and acknowledge their collective effort in the selection of an excellent leader. I would also like to thank Dean Farnsworth, an exceptional leader whose dedication and vision have helped advance Texas Law in numerous ways over the past decade, including raising over $140 million as part of the university’s current capital campaign, improving the school’s public spaces, launching a highly effective alumni-mentoring program, and much more. Dean Farnsworth deserves a great deal of credit, and I want to acknowledge him for his outstanding leadership and service to the school.

Please join me in thanking Dean Farnsworth for his service and congratulating Professor Chesney for his new role.


Sharon L. Wood

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