TU Law School Dean to Step Down Join Faculty

Thursday, May 03, 2007

 Published on 5/3/07

University of Tulsa President Steadman Upham today announced the resignation of Robert Butkin as dean of the TU College of Law effective June 30. Beginning with the Fall 2007 semester, Butkin will serve the university as a tenured professor of law.

In announcing his decision to the College of Law faculty this morning, Butkin said, “This has been a difficult decision to make because of my great fondness for the College of Law and the immense personal pleasure I have derived from being a part of a team committed to its betterment. However, the demands of having a young family and pressing family business obligations compel me to redirect my priorities at this time.”

President Upham praised Butkin’s service to the law school since becoming dean in June 2005.

“Robert brought much needed credibility to the College of Law at a critical juncture in its history, and the trustees and I will be forever indebted to him,” Upham said.

Upham credited Butkin with “achieving dramatic gains in bar passage rates; recruiting entering classes with the highest LSAT and GPA profiles in the last decade; strengthening the law school curriculum; lowering teacher-student ratios; attracting preeminent legal scholars for public lectures and symposia; and doubling the law school’s minority enrollment.”

“Moreover, Robert has been a highly effective friend maker and fund raiser for the college, having raised more than $15 million in private gifts for student and faculty support over a two-year period,” Upham said.

In his comments to the College of Law faculty, Butkin said, “I am deeply grateful to the dedicated faculty and staff who have worked tirelessly in service to the College of Law. I stand in awe of our hardworking law students whose dedication to the profession is perhaps best reflected in their own service to the Tulsa community through their massive contributions of pro-bono legal work. And, I am profoundly grateful to the generous donors whose gifts have made so many dreams come true.”

Butkin said he viewed his deanship in the Law School as a natural extension of a career focused on service to others, and that he looks forward to “a long future of continuing service to my community, state and profession.”

Upham said that he and Provost Roger Blais are in consultation regarding Butkin’s replacement.