The Daily Gamecock

Law school closer to new leadership

Five candidates compete to replace current dean

Decisions on leadership and facilities seem to be approaching for USC's beleaguered School of Law after months of deliberations.

USC released a list of five candidates for its open dean position late Thursday afternoon after a six-month search.

Provost Michael Amiridis also said the university will announce "within weeks" whether it will build a new facility or "completely overhaul" the current one, which suffers from a leaking roof and decades of deterioration. He estimated that a complete renovation of the law building would cost more than$30 million, while a new building would cost between $60 and $80 million.

The candidates for the dean position include the following:

 David S. Caudill, the Arthur M. Goldberg Family chair and a professor of law at Villanova University School of Law in Pennsylvania. Caudill previously served as a clerk for a federal judge and taught at Washington and Lee University and the University of Texas among other schools, according to

Villanova's website. He could not be reached for comment late Thursday.

Stephen W. Mazza, the interim dean and a professor of law at the University of Kansas School of Law in Lawrence, Kan. Mazza taught at New York University and was an honors graduate from the University of Alabama School of Law. He also could not be reached for comment late Thursday.

Susan M. Richey, the associate dean and a professor of law at the University of New Hampshire School of Law in Concord, N.H. Richey told The Daily Gamecock she was excited for her visit to USC later this month.

"The University of South Carolina has a wonderful reputation and academia, and I've known about it for a long, long time," Richey said. "It's a wonderful school. The fact that it sits in the same university as the business school is a true benefit to the law school, and it has some wonderful programs and clinics."

Scott N. Schools, the associate deputy attorney general at the Department of Justice in Washington, D.C. Schools previously worked in the South Carolina attorney general's office "advising federal prosecutors around the country on ethics and personnel matters," according to the San Francisco Gate newspaper. Schools could not be reached for comment late Thursday.

Robert M. Wilcox, the associate dean for Academic Affairs and a professor of law here at USC. Wilcox is the immediate past chair of the University of South Carolina Faculty Senate and has written and spoken extensively on professional ethics, according to USC. Wilcox could not be reached for comment late Thursday.

Rumors circled for weeks that former Attorney General Henry McMaster and current USC trustee William Hubbard could be among the finalists. Both are high-profile, well-connected South Carolinians with deep ties to the University. Each of the candidates selected for the position will make a two-day

campus visit in the upcoming weeks, said Charles Bierbauer, chair of the search committee and dean of the College of Mass Communication and Information Studies.

Details of the visits will be released at a later time, Bierbauer said. He said there were 30 applicants for the position.

"It's a complexity of things we looked for in each candidate," Bierbauer said. "There's no magic formula. You're looking for academic credentials, what they have done in the legal profession, perhaps, and how they would fit with multiple constituencies of the law school, among other things."

The school has previously failed to launch a successful fundraising campaign for building improvements and was told to "paint or get off the ladder" by a national panel commissioned to discover problems in the school.

Dean Walter "Jack" Pratt will step down after this academic year after a five-year term. He was the law school's fourth dean in eight years.

In 2010, the school dropped into the unranked third tier of law schools, and there were chronic leadership and vision issues in the central administration, according to a Blue Ribbon report and faculty and students in the school.