Dear Willamette community,
Curtis Bridgeman, dean of the College of Law, has notified me of his intention to step down as dean at after the 2019–20 academic year. He will return to teaching and research as a member of the Willamette Law faculty.
With more than seven years leading the College of Law, Curtis is among the longest-serving law school deans in the country. His leadership and service to the university have been exemplary.
In the last several years, law schools nationwide have seen historic lows in enrollment and bar passage. Yet, under Curtis’ leadership, Willamette Law has excelled, growing student enrollment and developing, together with faculty, new strategies to improve bar passage.
Curtis has fostered positive relationships with alumni, who have stepped up to support students financially and professionally through mentorships, scholarships and networking. In recent years, Willamette Law graduates have had higher employment rates than any Oregon law school, among the best on the West Coast.
Although the College of Law will lose Curtis as dean at the end of next year, it gains an outstanding teacher and scholar who will contribute meaningfully to the high-quality educational experiences our students have.
I am particularly grateful to Curtis for leaving the College of Law well positioned to attract a strong candidate pool. The search for a new dean will begin in the near future to ensure a smooth transition.