Jay Mootz will be moving out of the Craftsman cottage that is home to the dean of McGeorge School of Law next year.
Mootz, 55, told faculty, staff, alumni and students last week that he will not sign a new contract as dean after his five-year term ends on June 30, 2017.
“I think I’ve accomplished a lot of what I want to,” he told The Bee on Wednesday.
University of the Pacific President Pam Eibeck credits Mootz with helping to transform the Sacramento campus into a multidisciplinary campus that now includes a masters of business administration and a doctoral program in education.
“Jay’s leadership of the McGeorge School of Law during rapid changes in the legal landscape has been essential to our success in re-imagining the law school and campus,” Eibeck said in a statement to faculty and staff at all three UOP campuses.
Law schools throughout the country have been downsizing in recent years because of a steep drop in students applying for admission, brought on by growth in the technology sector, said Dorothy Landsberg, associate dean of experiential learning at the law school.
When Mootz arrived, he changed the motto of the school to “Lawyers for What’s Next,” she said. “He’s training professionals who need to survive in today’s world and need the skill set and competency to be prepared for increased change in the world of public service.”
Mootz said he is proud of the progress the school has made during his tenure. He points to a masters of science of law degree that is in its fourth year, as well as masters of public policy and masters of administration degrees that will be offered beginning in August. “We will be a law and policy law school,” he said.
The dean, hired in 2012, said he misses teaching and taught two classes during his tenure as head of the law school, but that it “was brutal to teach while being the dean.”
He is likely to teach classes in his specialties – contracts, sale of goods, insurance and employment law, he said Wednesday. “I’m joking and saying now I have to butter up my associate dean because he will control my schedule.”
Mootz said it is typical for a dean to announce his resignation early in order to give the university time to search for a new dean and for a proper transition. He said the university will make a national search to fill his position.
The average tenure of a law school dean is 2.7 years, he said. “A five-year deanship is kind of full service. Five years is a good time to turn over the reins to someone else.”
Before joining McGeorge, Mootz was a professor and the associate dean for academic affairs and faculty development at William S. Boyd School of Law. Before that he taught for 18 years at University of Las Vegas, Penn State Dickinson School of Law, William and Mary Law School and Western New England University School of Law. He practiced law with Halloran & Sage in Hartford, Conn., as a business litigator, according to the university’s website.
Mootz has been a guest lecturer in Europe, Africa, and South America and has taught a summer course in Como, Italy, since 2008.