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Initial Report

Levin College of Law - Dean Search Comment Form

February 20th 2017, 5:24 pm EST

Q2 - Candidate

(Please choose one):

# Answer Count

1 Alexander Acosta 80
Total 80

Field Minimum Maximum Mean Std Deviation Variance Count


4.00 4.00 4.00 0.00 0.00 80

Q3 - 1. What do
you believe are the strengths of this candidate as you have observed them?

1. What do
you believe are the strengths of this candidate as you have ob...
Leadership; vision; can do attitude; confidence; awareness of the field; collegial spirit
The candidate may have some, but i find him unacceptable and want to focus on why (see #2).
Interesting man and backgroundHe seemed to be a strong talker - wanted to be open to students - has a strong
record of leadership at FIU Law - raising money and ranking. A pretty aggressive personality, but charming.
- Experience as current law dean
- Knowledge of actual law practice and how that is important for today's law students
- Willingness and desire to work with other colleges to improve the Law School and UF
- Many contacts in the legal system in South Florida, Washington, DC, and New York
- Did a good job of sharing his vision for the Law School at UF
Limited experience as Dean of a Law School.
Bright. Good ideas, but others have same.
Has sitting dean experience. He is charming in his conversation.
None for the Deanship.
Knows a lot of people. Clever "idea man."
Dean Acosta had the clearest and most realistic plan to address the greatest challenges facing students: the job
market. He is clearly passionate about the subject and will devote a significant amount of time and attention to
getting students jobs. Furthermore, his record shows he is capable succeeding. UF Law's weakest area is its
overwork, underfunded, and stagnant Career Services office. I believe Dean Acosta has the experience and drive to
transform the office into a efficient and productive service for the students.
Is already a Dean (but at a much lower ranked, and relatively new law school)
He seemed personable, engages with students and has experience as a dean.
Interesting ideas about future of law schools in changing economic climate
I believe he is probably good at networking and fundraising. He also appears very politically connected, which
could be beneficial in providing funding in a primarily Republican dominated state (where politics unfortunately
matter in state funding - as demonstrated with Dr. Judy Genshaft after her dealings with JD Alexander and the USF
budget cut showdown).

He also said he likes making time and interacting with students. Additionally, he has an academic background and
real world experience which could help students with job placement.

A huge strength of Acosta was that he discussed his desire to have a low cost of tuition for students. I think
affordable access to education should be a main concern for any state university and it was great to hear this
verbalized by Acosta during the student discussion forum.
I was impressed with his energy and enthusiasm during the interview session. Also his credentials are impressive.
Dean Acosta has a forceful and engaging personality. He has previous experience as a dean, albeit at a law school
ranked significantly below UF (and below Kentucky, where candidate Brennen has deanship experience).
He is very direct and honest about the strengths and weaknesses of UF Law as he sees them. He articulated a
vision for where he wants the school to go and gave reasons about why he thinks it is attainable.
That he was the Dean of FIU Law.
Acosta is is the strongest candidate for Dean. He knows the law as a practitioner and has proven successful in the
academy. Acosta has stronger ties to this State than any other candidate, and frankly, this is the only candidate
with an eye for the future of this program and it growing with our fast-growing State. U of Florida must ask what
kind of product it wants to put out into the legal market: practice-ready low skill para-legals; or highly skilled
"thinkers" that this profession has been predicated on for thousands of years. The latter is what Acosta
emphasized in his broadcast interview with the faculty and I could not be happier that at least one person in that
room views us students as top-caliber future lawyers (the others have advocated for Susskind lawyers as legal
technicians... )
None in particular for our law school - he does have academic administrative experience, but not such that would
prepare him for our school.
Strong understanding of how to expand access to the legal market for UF Law graduates. Holistic focus of how to
place graduates in different legal markets beyond Florida. Hard worker, seems to be very active and involved.
Interesting experiences prior to becoming a dean.
He is a Dean of a FL Law School
Experience, prescence on campus, personability, legal experience, reputation
He has a charismatic attitude and is good at being casual in the way he speaks.
Danced around every question students asked him. Had a cell phone out during hid presentation. Told students
UF is not the place to go when he was a Dean at FIU. He is a sale person not sure if he is a Dean though.
-Ability to connect with people, particularly potential students and donors.
He seems like a straight shooter and likeable. Given all he has accomplished with FIU, I think he would make a
good dean.
Dean Acosta has results. I was only able to watch two of the candidates but Dean Acosta really impressed me with
his experience as FIU's dean. He was very authentic and had concrete ideas to improve our job numbers. The fact
is even UF graduates are not getting jobs and we are not tapping into major markets like Miami. I want a Dean
that will produce results and not just give a great political speech.
Very charismatic
Strong Florida Ties, Strong fundraising capabilities, connections to employers in Florida.
He already has experience being a dean, which is good. I think he would be personable with the students.
He is very smart and a good presenter. He has a proven track record as Dean of FIU. He has connections in south
Florida which will help us move the needle quickly in increasing our fundraising in that area. He will relate well
with our alumni base and has the personality to cultivate large gifts. He greeted everyone as they walked into the
room during the faculty/alumni luncheon which is key to creating relationships and shows he is willing to take the
time to do this at alumni events and is approachable. He is dedicated to being on the road and understands the
importance of fundraising and the time it takes.
He is strong-willed enough to manage the faculty if he doesn't cause an outright rebellion.
experience as law school dean, demonstrated success in significant areas such as fundraising, placement and
alumni relations; connections to south Florida and Tallahassee; good administrative skills
He seems excited and he has political connections among Republicans
Successful dean at FIU. Increased rank, scores, etc. Very successful fundraiser
He is very successful as Dean at FIU. He would transition well to UF. He has strong leadership skills and a direction
of where he wants to take the UF law school.
Experience in practice. Contacts in South Florida
He has ideas -- that is a good thing! He'd probably be good at fundraising.
Prior dean experience; passion about improving the law school -- but for his own image; South Florida
currrently a dean at FIU
Personable and informal, but gets straight to the point. Recruiting seems to be a strong point. International Law
This candidate knows the ins and outs of a Florida Law School and has significant knowledge about the needs of
the Cuban community.
very focused and energetic; likely to be an excellent fundraiser; had a vision for finding outside sources of
financing for the law school; successful experience as dean of start-up law school; responsive and respectful even
when his positions were challenged
I believe Dean Acosta was very poised and articulate. During his time with the students, I feel like he answered his
questions very thoughtfully. He is very charismatic and comes across as genuine. When I was an applicant last year,
I narrowed my choices down to UF and FIU. He was a very good recruiter and advocate for his school. I believe his
connections to Florida, especially to the Miami market are great strengths he can bring to UF Law. As someone
from South Florida, I feel like I made the best decision in coming to the best law school in the state, however, I
know I am missing out on a connection to the largest market in the state. I know there are a lot of other students
at UF Law who want to eventually move to South Florida and work in that legal market. Having Dean Acosta as our
dean will hopefully bridge that gap and bring more Gator Law alum from South Florida to Gainesville and hopefully
get them excited to hire us for summers.

I believe Dean Acosta's ability to fundraise was also impressive.

He seemed smart, capable and a quick study. He is already a law school dean. He also is willing to try things that
others who are more steeped in the culture of legal education might not attempt. He may be bolder and more a
leader because he is not (yet) from a career perspective completely entrenched in legal education. He also struck
me as strong and decisive. I don't think he would be anyone's pushover and I do think that he would try to be a
leader and to challenge us to consider initiatives that might be a stretch for the faculty. Also, his practice
experience is a plus and gives him a perspective most law teachers simply do not have (or at least) don't have
anymore. I think he would be able to explore some new avenues in fundraising and has apparently been
successful at this already. I think he would be very focused on the students and the quality of their education.
He has experience as a sitting dean, but it is at FIU, a law school that in US News rankings comes in at 159th as
ranked by law school faculty compared to UF College of Laws ranking of 36 (tied). So I do not view his experience
as a strength. Its like saying being the manager of a single A minor league baseball team is a strength when
considering a pool of candidates to manage a major league baseball team. We would be a national laughingstock if
he were appointed dean. I do not consider that he recognizes that lawyers who clamor for practice-ready law
school graduates and suggest that the curriculum be revised to that end in fact, when asking for references want
to know about the students skills in legal research, analysis, and writing, all of which are and have been for many
years the core of law school curricula. Brennan and Donaldson are also well aware of this cognitive dissonance in
the practicing bar.
Political involvement
Approachable, keeps students as priority, history of success at FIU, member of "minority" population
He did a good job with FIU.
Very eager to bring his experiences to UF law.
Vision for the law school
very specific plans regarding programming (Miami and DC semesters), fundraising and student placement
dynamic speaker

Entrepreneurial; very intelligent; direct manner; observant; thick-skinned and self-confident; understands all
aspects of the position; experienced and successful fund-raiser in an academic setting; experienced and successful
in improving student placement; good connections to practicing bar.
He has an understanding of the challenges facing law schools and he has made good improvements to FIU's
standing within the rankings.
His strong political connections and ties to leaders in South Florida, combined with a strong vision for the
acquisition of new external funding could have a positive impact on the financial future of the school. His current
service as dean at FIU has given him great insight into how to succeed as a leader in an academic environment. It
is also likely that he would succeed in improving our school's employment statistics and help us move up in the
Dean Acosta is a smart person who presents himself well.
Dean experience; state of Florida connections.
Experience; leadership; ability to increase fundraising; understanding and knowledge of Florida's regional
He is good with recruiting. He is very friendly, and has positive ambitions for UF law. The network he already has
established in Miami will also be very helpful to our students.
He has AMAZING ties to many areas. He also has a great background and experience in being an attorney. He
seems very well connected to many areas UF needs to break into more and goes out of his way to be there for his
students. I have met him previously and I strongly believe that he would be a great advocate for UF.
UF is the staple school in the third largest state in the US and has the best law school in that state. Miami is the
biggest market in this state and its growing exponentially. Acosta understand that market and should open UFs
doors to it. Also, he rubs elbows with federal judges, law partners, and federal prosecutors. What can make more
sense for a law dean? Faculty forget that students want one thing, jobs! No student cares about someone's
pompous ideas in some publication about a niche area of law that nobody practices in. Those sorts of credentials
are great from the faculty. Not the dean. Acosta seems like a candidate that may deliver what his customers want.
Alamaba, in a land locked state school, jumped from #38 to #20 in three years. It bothers me that UF has stayed in
the same spot for over a decade. I challenge the provost to take this law school seriously and see if we can do
similar. If so, I guarantee many happy alumni will be glad to open up their wallets down the road.
Good work ethic.
Background seems strong. Has good ideas for areas to make changes in (and has visions for those changes).
Straightforward and open. Mentioned focusing a lot on students (which is why we are all here). Has good ideas on
how to better prepare students for jobs. Doesn't have strong ties to the school so it sounds like he would be open
to making appropriate changes rather than relying on tradition.
Connections in Florida.
He has experience, interesting ideas, leadership qualities, a great knowledge of the state, and potential untapped
sources of resources. Seems very personable and sensitive to the needs of the community.
Very well educated credentially. This is the type of Dean that could make a significant impact on UF Law.
- Strong fundraising skills
- Already a Dean
- Proven track record of improving a school's rankings
-Harvard education
-South Florida legal market connections
-Current Dean of Florida law school
Dean Acosta
law. He went He spent two hours
with us, answering any and every question we had.

He strikes me as a strong leader and a tenacious manager. In all honesty, I almost went to FIU over UF in large part
because of his personal touch and reputation for connecting his students to jobs in south florida.

I am a huge fan of his and would be sincerely pleased if he were to join UF.
Q4 - 2. What
weaknesses do you see in this persons candidacy for the position of Dean?

2. What
weaknesses do you see in this persons candidacy for the position...
Academic experience limited.
I urge the committee to vote against forwarding Mr. Acosta's name to the provost and president because Mr.
Acosta's history casts serious doubt on his character, judgement, and professionalism. Many faculty members have
verbalized similar concerns.

Among other causes for grave concern is Mr. Acosta's unusual communication with a judge while Mr. Acosta
worked for the Department of Justice's Civil Rights Division. As background, a lawsuit was filed after political
operatives had questionably targeted more than 20,000 African American voters for removal form the voter rolls
before election - creating risk of wrongful disenfranchisement.

Although the judge reportedly had not sought the federal government's input, Mr. Acosta sent a letter to the
judge, which essentially expressed support for the political operatives' potentially unjust activities.

One mission of the DoJ's Civil Rights Division is "to uphold the civil and constitutional rights of all Americans,
particularly some of the most vulnerable members of our society." Playing fast and loose when people's
constitutional rights are at stake is the opposite of what Civil Rights Division attorneys should do.

Viewed in a light least favorable to Mr. Acosta, his sending that letter suggests (1) that he prioritized partisan-
political agendas over his duty to promote justice (perhaps to "score points" with superiors) and (2) that he
disregarded the rights of the people whom he was duty bound and paid to protect. Those possibilities cast doubt
on Mr. Acosta's character and sense of justice.

Viewed in a light most favorable, Mr. Acosta (while acting as an attorney and public servant) failed to avoid even
the appearance of impropriety, which casts doubt on his judgement and professionalism.

Our law school's reputation - and its ability to instill in students a sense of justice and professionalism - would be
undermined if our new dean's own character, judgement, or professionalism were subject to any such doubts.
A pretty independent guy - maybe a threat to staff in IT & Dean's office? He might be more likely yo "step on toes."
- I found myself counting how many times he referred to accomplishments in the first person instead of giving
credit to others
His ethics and character provide poor role models for our students and demean the reputation of our law school.
He was not articulate and demonstrated insufficient intellectual abilities. Lacks understanding of the current legal
education challenges. Faculty will not respect him as a leader.
Appears to take very divisive positions. In meetings with faculty, he did not listen to faculty concerns. Instead he
was disrespectful and dismissive. No significant teaching or scholarship experience. Does not know what legal
scholarship is - equates scholarship with practice-based writings, websites, videos.
- not a community builder; arrogant
- instincts tell me he will be divisive, we ca't go in that direction - we have to work together to achieve our goals
and UF's goals as top 10!
Lack of academic background and, notwithstanding 5 years as dean, seems to lack an understanding of an
academic culture of intellectual engagement. His point system seeking to measure scholarly value of work is an
example of his lack of comprehension of intellectual value.
If the law school needed a dance instructor, he would be qualified. in a one hour discussion with faculty, he never
once gave a straight answer to a question, but tap danced around. His extreme right wing political views were
evident, and even if not directly conflicting with those of most of the faculty, I do not see this candidate working
Much too top-down oriented. Likelihood of creating conflicts and divisions within faculty is very high.
Dean Acosta may face certain geographical challenges when attempting to improve UF's employment statistics in
his move from Miami to Gainesville.
Some question about working with faculty . Questions about directness to inquiries.
Would be extrememly divisive among the faculty. Not a good fit for the institution. He is too much of a politician.
Does not really understand UF or its culture. Would cause much dissension with policies and practices.
I don't think he would be a good fit for the law school. He doesn't seem to have the same outlook and vision in
terms of the future direction of the law school (e.g., he has a rigid view of how the law school environment is
changing in terms of adapting for being practice ready and that doesn't seem to fit with what is going on now).

I don't get the sense he supports diversity in the way we need it. I meet with racial/ethnic minority student leaders
regularly and they recently brought up the major concerns they have with his politics (e.g., his
perspective/understanding of voter caging) and how those views would impact the diversity at UF law (in terms of
support for programming, admissions, students in general). They don't feel he would be supportive or advance the
diversity agenda. I also agree with that in terms of how he answered some questions. I think we need a dean who
is at the very least comfortable with diversity and understands it (I think Huebner or Brennen would be very good
at handling issues of diversity here).

I found that he had no concrete answers for any of the questions asked by students, and instead would deflect to
the success that he's had at FIU. He stated that UF was not currently penetrating large markets, but had no
solution he could offer for this. I feel that he fails to take into account the fact that he is the Dean of a school in a
large city. The students there have greater opportunities to network, and obtain clerk positions during the
semester, and are therefore more likely to be hired by whoever their current employer is.
Looks like he could make decisions on the spur of the moment without thinking through the consequences, and
without getting input from others affected by the decision.
Problematic decisions in pre-dean career
Unrealistic appraisal of realities of UF, especially as compared with FIU, a low-ranked law school
Not a legal scholar
While Acosta's political connections may prove beneficial with respect to being able to get funds from a republican
controlled state government, I believe that the bidding he performed on the behalf of the Republican Party (via his
role in the vote caging case) should have disqualified him as a candidate. This issue is too divisive politically and
has potential racial implications.

UF is a school that has a history of racism (just google "Virgil Hawkins") and racial tension (as recent as the
townhall discussion in Fall of 2012 to address diversity in the 1L class). We need a Dean that is willing to address
these and future concerns at a minimum but preferably will attempt to solve problems and act proactively to
ensure diversity. Academia at a state funded institution should be led by an individual that would not let his biases
affect rationale fair decision making. I fear Acosta's political ties will not allow him to be this unbiased actor or
fully support positions that may run afoul of his political beliefs. While I acknowledge the diversity he cited at FIU,
I question if this is an issue of correlation or causation. Is the diversity he mentioned actually caused by policies
enacted or supported during his tenure? Or is it merely correlated with his deanship at an institution with
historically greater cultural diversity that is located in a more diverse region?

Additionally, his unwillingness and inability to reconcile the story he has been telling potential law students
regarding FIU's greatness, superior opportunities and location when compared to UF, is troubling. During the
student discussion session, he admitted that he has not yet figured out a way to reconcile these opposing
narratives. I expect a dean that truly believes that UF is the number one law school in Florida (as Brennan and
Donaldson both stated during their respective sessions). I do not think UF should hire a dean that would only make
a statement to that effect after being offered the position. While I understand the delicate position Acosta is in as
the current dean of FIU, he still should have been prepared and willing to make a statement speaking to UF Law's
excellent standing in the State of Florida (at a minimum not make it seem that he believes that UF is at a parity
with FIU).

While I acknowledge that UF is not perfect in many respects, the degree and quickness that Acosta was willing to
question and state that UF Law is not successful in tapping into Miami's labor markets and not successful with
fundraising seemed to borderline on unprofessional. I question if he is aware of the efforts made by Dean Jerry
and OCI. While he was quick to point out shortcomings during the student session, he gave no actual details of a
plan of action to remedy the situation other than to host parties at his house (or other notable alumni's houses) in
order to mingle with alumni and potential donors. I am sure Dean Jerry has networked with alumni, has hosted
similar types of events and probably done much more. After Acosta was so quick to point out UF's shortcomings, I
was hoping that he would provide a novel or cutting edge plan for fundraising. However, I was left disappointed by
his answer.

Finally, he picked up and read his phone at least three times during the student interview session (which lasted
less than an hour). This was in direct contrast with the statements he made about his desire to communicate with
students. I was somewhat shocked at this behavior. I could not imagine being an interview and reading my phone
during a Q & A session.
His perspective seemed tethered to his experience at a fairly low-ranked law school in Miami. He did not seem to
appreciate the distinction between running a law school in a major urban setting, and running a law school in a
smaller college town such as Gainesville. He has no academic publication record. Although he had done his
"homework" in researching many aspects of UF Law, he fell flat in other fairly obvious areas with information
easily available online. As a result, he made some suggestions for programs UF could pursue (such as externships),
even though we already have a program similar to (and more expansive than) the ideas he recommended. In
making some of his suggestions for the future of UF Law, his tone struck me as mildly insulting of UF Law and of
past adminsitrations. Perhaps this is just intra-state competitiveness among two Florida law schools, but his tone
struck me as falling beneath the standard of graciousness and professionalism that one would expect from our
next dean.
The only weakness I see is that he has never been an academic and also does not have experience at a law school
that offers an LLM program like the prestigious tax program at UF Law.
He was involved in a political campaign that intimidated Democratic voters from voting. His answer to getting
more minorities in school as to give "first generation scholarships" which is an extremely stereotypical and racist
thing to say. He also talked about how he wasn't going to deal with the trivial issues in the law school.
Acosta's politics seem too radical. If Acosta were to become dean of UF Law, then the relationship that have
already established with the community outside of Gainesville may be in jeopardy. I also worry about the state of
the minority population here at UF. Acosta does not seem to be open to minority idea or involvement. If Acosta
were to become dean I believe the number of minority students present UF would drop back down to the
numbers seen in the 1L graduating class of 2015.
He's a terrible fit for UF - he is arrogant in thinking his experience at FIU is transferable to UF, which it is not. We
are the flagship state law school, located far from the urban centers he is used to having as a resource for his
various programs at FIU - there's no real comparison. He has a clear political agenda - his comments about
normalization of relationships with Cuba were offensive in my view, seeming to indicate a colonial patronizing
attitude toward Cuba. He would be a polarizing figure, and would be a major disruptive force, and not for the
A strong weakness is a tendency to be abrasive.
Not many Gainesville connections (but enough Miami connections to compensate for this)
He is polarizing. He seems to look down on people when he answers their questions. I see him rubbing people the
wrong way and do not think he will be an asset to the University of Florida. He started out his student session
speech by telling UF students not to speak to FIU students about him. I think that him saying that speaks volumes
about how he is received by many FIU students. He also was very abrupt in the way he answered questions and
seemed to be shrouding a more combative nature. He was quick to hit his rankings point which seemed to be his
main goal as Dean at UF. While it is great to go up in the rankings, I do not believe that Acosta will go about it the
right way.
Refer to number one. Additionally he has stopped black and latinos from voting during his time as the US
Coming from a smaller law school I don't know if he would be able to make the changes necessary here to make it
a more amenable working environment for faculty, staff and students.
He seemed a little nervous but I do not necessarily see it as a weakness. He was very authentic and genuine.
Provided false information about local programs with firms in one-on-one conversations. He grew very agitated
when other versions of the programs were mentioned. Very pessimistic.
Not having enough connections to Gainesville.
There are many things that make Acosta unsuitable for the position of Dean at UF. First, his focus on off-book
revenue streams does not serve the greater public interest of the State of Florida, nor does it serve our students,
who should be our primary focus. Second, his management style is dictatorial and that will not go over well here.
He expects to lead, not manage. His idea of incentivizing scholarship by paying bonuses based on a scholarship
metric is completely unacceptable. And finally, his views about the limits, or lack of limits, of legal arguments
places him squarely in the fringe of legal academics. His history of using law to further political goals and not the
goals of justice or equality or democracy make him a very troubling choice for dean. I liken his views on the
appropriate limits of the rule of law to views of creationists, holocaust deniers, and climate change deniers.
Although I don't care what views one has on creationism, the holocaust, or climate change in the dean of a law
school, I think it would be incredibly divisive and demoralizing to appoint a creationist to the position of chair of a
biology department, a holocaust denier to chair of a history department, or the climate change denier to the chair
of the environment and ecology department. Acosta's views on the rule of law would be a slap in the face to the
faculty who believe, with the vast majority of lawyers and academics, that law should be deployed for equitable
ends, not political ones, especially when those political goals entail undermining democracy, sanction the use of
torture by a civilized country, or blatantly disregard the law of this country.
uncertain how well strengths at FIU translate to UF
In my opinion this candidate was not acceptable. He has a number of troubling ethical incidents in his past. When
asked about those matters in the informal interviews he tried to minimize these incidents and was not completely
truthful about the circumstances under which the federal judicial criticism of him occurred. This seemed odd
because the matters do come up in Google search. In addition, he stated, in the context of Congressional
testimony that you read whatever statements your higher ups give you. He did not seem to recognize that the
person testifying, under oath, has an independent obligation to review the veracity of the statement. I do not
think this is the model for ethical conduct we want to place before our students and our community, particularly in
a time where the standards of lawyers' ethical conduct is under intense scrutiny.

On a different front altogether, he is not seasoned enough within the academic environment to be the Dean of a
school the size of UF. He was asked during his lunch talk about faculty governance and putting administrative staff
on sensitive faculty committees such as Appointments. His answer indicated that he now knows that practice was
unacceptable, however, any one who has taken time to understand what faculty governance means, would have
realized that was inapprorpriate. Our institution is very complex and we need a dean who knows the academic
environment or at least shows an awareness that one must investigate what the "normative" procedures are
rather than just acting and having to back track and repair later.
Finally, the law school community has been experiencing quite a bit of internal tension during the past five years.
We need a new dean who will assist the community in finding a way to work together. I do not have confidence
this candidate can accomplish this. In his own institution this year his administratively driven committee brought in
ten candidates to interview for faculty positions. Nine of the candidates were white. We do not need this approach
at UF. Our faculty is diverse and the fight to make it so and keep it so is on going. I cannot see this candidate
supporting our goals.
Vote caging issue when US attorney
He seemed aloof and uncomfortable talking with staff.
Smug, arrogant. I don't think he'd get the buy-in of the faculty.
Hiring Acosta would be VERY divisive for the law school. A substantial number of people expressed concern about
his candidacy -- both students and faculty. If the Provost hired him, this would really send a TERRIBLE message to
the law school. And it would do great damage to our inter-faculty relations.

Acosta is arrogant, misinformed about many aspects of UF (employment of students, externships). He carries a lot
of baggage and concerns regarding his commitment to social justice, and while others departments might not
worry about this-- as LAWYERS, this is a central role of our profession. Consider an analogy: hiring a Dean for the
College of Medicine who smokes and who works for a tobacco company.

Acosta is also regional. Even though he worked in national politics, his only reference points were South Florida
and Washington, DC. That's not what we need. Also, it seems that he only wants to create a stronger presence for
UF in South Florida, perhaps, allowing him to remain there much more. He does not seem interested in moving to
North Florida at all.

Acosta did not overcome his lack of academic credentials. He compared writing policy statements to producing
good scholarship. Also, he implemented a terrible "point system" for "ranking" legal scholarship. That is also
incredibly bizarre - and it discriminates against junior faculty who lack the reputation to get high placements early
in their career and against people who write more controversial scholarship. That ranking system would be a
disaster at UF, and no one would support it. He is bad news.
FIU is a new law school and is very small. Not sure the faculty is ready for someone like him.
The candidate may have views that border on subjective and obsessive that will reflect in his duties as Dean. It is
important that the Dean be objective when making decisions that affect the Law School.
lack of academic experience as faculty member; potentially divisive within the law school (but not sure how
serious this issue is); would likely view deanship as stepping stone to another position (but would have obvious
incentive to succeed in this position)
As much as he came across as genuine, I did not like how he was checking his phone while one of the students
asked him a question. I felt like that was a bit rude coming from someone who prided himself in his relationships
with his students and staff. However, as someone from South Florida, I know the environment is just fast paced
and he may not have realized how his actions came across. He would need to learn how to adapt to the Gainesville
Whatever Dean Acosta's strengths are, he is a mismatch in my opinion for this law school. I am afraid this will be a
replay of Richard Matasar's deanship. He came to the school with an attitude that we needed whipping into shape
and he was the guy to do it. He did not seem to have much respect for the school and its faculty. Did not work;
ended badly; cost the school in a number of ways. I worry in particular that Dean Acosta will not be sensitive to
diversity issues and how they play out in this complicated environment. We have had issues that were in my
opinion poorly handled in the past and the faculty's reputation suffered as a result. Dean Acosta has an elite
private education and no ties to this part of Florida. I did not get the impression that he had much respect or
affinity for the school. He evidenced no appreciation for the differences between a solidly ranked, 100 year old
school in north central Florida with a large, powerful, and entrenched faculty, and a new "blank slate" urban law
school like FIU. His attitude seemed to be "look how great FIU guys could learn something." Perhaps he
is right, but I know that he will have to learn many things to be a success in this environment and frankly I am not
sure he has the temperament for it. In short, my prediction is that our faculty will provoke him to mishandle a
situation and his deanship will be ineffective (despite his best efforts) and plagued by controversy. The law
school's reputation in academia will take another hit.
Where to start, where to start. As noted above he is out of his league in trying to jump from the deanship at FIU to
UF. He is not an academic. Hes a politician who got to be a dean a law school based on political connections. He
is not remotely qualified for tenure at the UF College of Law. He is not a scholar or a teacher. He has no real and
significant first-hand understanding of what a law professor does either as a scholar or teacher. Like Huebner,
there is no evidence that understands what legal scholarship is, how it is conducted, or how to evaluate it in the
promotion and tenure and post-tenure review processes. He does not meet the College of Law's standards for
tenure as a lateral professorial hire, and I strongly believe that it is completely inappropriate for a law school at a
flagship state university, particularly and AAU university, to appoint as dean a person who could not be hired as a
professor with tenure under written tenure standards that are otherwise rigorously applied. His luncheon
presentation, in marked contrast to Donaldson and Brennans presentations, was boastful and arrogant. (For other
evidence of boastfulness and arrogance read his bio on the FIU website.) He failed to demonstrate any in-depth
knowledge of the publicly available information about the College of Law actually made some statements that I
(and other faculty members with whom I have spoken) consider to be factually inaccurate. When discussing issues
that arose and changes that were implemented at FIU during his deanship Acosta spoke in the first person singular
I, mine, me, unlike Brennan, who used plural pronounswe, our, usunlike. Acostas manner
reflected a very different a very different attitude toward the faculty and the institution. There is every indication
that he would attempt to be a top-down manager, which would be a disaster. I think Acostas lack of
understanding of academia and management style is reflected in his pride in devising a system for paying bonuses
to faculty members for publishing law review articles and books and his admission that all he does is count, not
measure quality. His view is that legal scholarship is like piece-work or billable hours. If this is his idea of a good
management technique, it evidences that he is a disaster waiting to happen. I am absolutely100 percent
certain that if acosta were the dean not only would the UF College of Law cease to attract to the faculty the
outstanding entry-level and lateral-hire faculty members that we have been attracting in recent years, but we
would lose many of our current scholars of national renown. Furthermore, it is my understanding that if an FIU
student seeks to transfer to another law school, before the student will be certified to be in good standing (thus
enabling the transfer), Acosta requires an exit interview at which he attempts to dissuade the student from
transferring. Such bullying practice is highly objectionable. Students do not transfer for frivolous reasons; it
typically involves transfer to a more highly regarded law school in an effort to better employment prospects (or
sometime family needs). To attempt to interfere with that process rather than to facilitate it reflects that Acosta is
putting his needsmaking FIU look good while he is deanover the students needs. That is unconscionable in
someone who purports to be an educator. But that is what to expect from a politician. I have absolutely no
confidence that in any decision he confronts he will put the needs of the UF College of Law, its students, and its
faculty above his own needs to burnish his resume to improve the chances of landing the next job that he seeks,
which in all likelihood will be in the political arena. Acosta is wholly unacceptable as a candidate for Dean of the
College of Law

Will have hard time getting faculty support

Never been a faculty person never at AAU university 106 th law school
Ties to Miami not really translatable to Gainesville (not the same legal market)- He didn't really have an answer on
how we can tap into that market from here. Success at FIU not something that can be necessarily recreated at
UF...its a lot easier to go up from the bottom then it is to move up at the top.

He seemed more interested in FIU and Miami than UF and Gainesville.

His experience is with Miami and it at least seems on the surface that things are done very differently in Miami
than Gainesville.

His major interest was in brining up the rankings, while it is quite easy in a lower ranked school I dont feel that
moving up to the top should be UF's main concern.

He seemed keenly interested in Miami, while a lot of students want to work in Miami many do not.
His message was not consistent. While he said that rankings were not as important, his presentations were filled
with ranking facts and data. He said that he was a hands off dean, it was obvious that he micromanages his staff. A
lot of double talk and assumptions on many issues.
some faculty seem to be against him
May come off as brusque or arrogant which could create challenges for forging and maintaining positive working
He is very student-focused, in terms of being accessible to students, to the point of it being unrealistic (his
students have his cell phone number???). I think he would want to be too involved in the small details of each
office and I think he would constantly overstep on the authority of the department heads.
His confidence came off as arrogance to some audiences. He also lacks a strong academic background, and would
have to work hard to gain credibility with the faculty.
Despite his frequent statements about faculty cooperation, he appears to be very top down oriented, and some of
his ideas would clearly be divisive within a faculty. They might have been acceptable at FIU that has nowhere to go
but up, but there is too great a risk here that his management style will be very disruptive.
A lack of completeness and candor that I discuss further below.
Certain groups seem to have a strong negative reaction to him.
I do know he has yet to address his potential deanship at UF with his current FIU students. He has not made any
statement to them about this application process, and FIU students found out online without notice from the
school. Transparency seems to be an issue.
I did learn that he was involved in a voting issue about 10 years ago involving minorities, but I believe that his work
at FIU is superior. He also went out of his way to speak with and meet students after the forum. I believe he will be
a strong advocate for students thus I do not really have an issue with this.
He's a politician.
Not trustworthy, willing to abuse power, lousy listener, lack of understanding of what goes on at a law school
ranked as highly as ours.
I should preface this with the fact that Levin Board of Trustee members have already said that Dean Acosta has
been selected which is a little disheartening. However I will take the time to express the fact that Dean Acosta was
my least favorite of all of the candidates. I found him incredibly slimy and disingenuous. He has a lot of
connections in Florida, and can bolster our standing as a solid Florida school, but I don't think he has the capability
to bring us to the next level, ie graduating students who are competitive outside of Florida.

He repeatedly said that UF was doing a poor job with employment and pointed to the fact that his students often
work during school in the US attorneys office, state attorneys office, etc while in school and then get job offers that
way and thought we should do something similar. When I pointed out that those big offices are in Miami or other
cities, and you know, our school in in Gainesville, so that might be sort of difficult he acknowledged that his
current system was totally inapplicable in Gainesville but had no thoughts on how to adapt.

He pointed out that only 6 students went to DC after graduating last year, and that this was a low number. He then
asked us why we thought people were having trouble (not being able to get funding to accept externships in other
cities, etc.). However when I asked him what he was going to do differently to help us get to these places beyond
things we're already doing like externships and visiting other universities for a semester, he literally had no idea.
He seems all talk with no actual substance, and no good ideas. He's a lot of energy, and certainly has connections
in Florida, but I don't think those are the qualities that this school needs right now.
He carries baggage. If the faculty cannot accept him or work with him, then it will not be productive. Although I
do not like when the faculty members say we should not hire him because he is a Republican or a Bushie, the
controversy surrounding the voter dilution issues has resonated with the faculty (and this is a legitimate concern).
Although I have talked with faculty from his school and they seem to think he is fair and a good leader, his part in
the voting issue has created a hostile environment that he would be walking into.
This is a strong candidate that would dedicate themselves to the position.
-FIU is a poor law school, although an up and comings law school.
n/a -- nothing intelligent to add here.
Q5 - 3. Is there anything else you would like to add
as to the candidates suitability for the deanship?

3. Is there anything else you would like to add

as to the candidates suit...
I thought he was a terrific communicator. His plan for community engagement and collaboration with public health
and medicine were forward thinking.
Need a more proven academic.
Alex A. and David B. were the strongest candidates. I think Alex A. would be less status quo - more likely to make
- This person could step right in and lead the Law School in new directions
- Impressive candidate
He is totally not suitable.
I think he is not respected in legal education or law practice and will harm the reputation of the school. I believe
he will be divisive and will further divide an already divided faculty.
I fear that this candidate would do active harm to the health of the law school. This is, sadly, a very divided place
and he would further divide the faculty. His record is problematic and we are a much more complex and larger
institution than FIU.
He actually scoffed at the idea that skills courses require "critical thinking"!
Absolutely not!
During my meeting time with him, he made a side comment about how he is different than his Senior Associate
Dean at FIU (Dean Mason). He described himself as leading with his head and his associate dean as the one who
makes decisions with "heart." I don't think that's a good fit with our law school. I think the new dean needs to be
able to have both. He gave a lot of examples of this.

I was also concerned when he mentioned how Dean Mason told him when he was getting too involved with the
students. That is a red flag for me. It doesn't seem like he thinks things through all the time and in this case I think
it reflects his lack of self awareness and understanding of boundaries with students. I think that would be
problematic for a dean. I'm not sure what happened in this situation, but as a dean you should be able to manage
boundaries and assess what is appropriate.

He repeated a lot of what he said in his meeting with assistant directors in the faculty/alumni presentation.
It concerns me that he was previously involved in voter suppression. UF has made great strides this year in
increasing minority enrollment. As a minority student, if I found out that the Dean of a school I was thinking of
attending had previously been involved in something like this, there is no way I would matriculate.
I would put the other three candidates ahead of this one
The negatives outweigh the positives
I would just like to add that
I think he is an incredibly competent and skilled man and I believe he would be an excellent
addition to UF Law. I have no particular allegiance to Dean Acosta but I think if he
had the access to the resources and alumni base that UF Law have to offer, he could accomplish incredible things.
I know the main critique of Dean Acosta is his lack of academic experience but I can say that while at FIU he did an
incredible job working with the faculty and earning their trust. His reputation is great among the students and
faculty I know at FIU Law.
He is NOT hands on. He is extremely politically biased which is a huge issue for not only the school but for the
students. How are the Democrats of the school supposed to feel that their potential Dean encouraged the
intimidation of Democratic voters. We want a Dean who can keep his political views as far out as possible but his
comment about diversity shows that he is NOT worldly. While he was a law school Dean that can be an inhibitor
because he's stuck in his ways. Not flexible. I will protest if he is chosen.
I think he would cause major problems for this institution.

Seems the most qualified

I think that there are much better candidates than Acosta for Dean of our law school. While I am sure he is a great
person and very accomplished, he is not a good fit for the University of Florida. Dean Jerry is such a wonderful
person and so charismatic. I would feel awful if we got a Dean candidate who would not feel comfortable having
all kinds of students, people, and importantly alumni in his home.
I believe Dean Acosta is the best candidate to become the next UF Law dean.
He would be my 3rd choice.
He seems to interact with students a great deal which is always a plus. Sometimes Deans are isolated but he is
very personable and seems to really help you out if you need it. I have friends that go to FIU Law and they
absolutely love him. I think this is a great opportunity for our law school and we should capture it.
We are the Flagship of the state of Florida, we need someone who is tapped into the state's market.
I believe he will make a positive impact on our program and will help build our relationships in south Florida which
will help increase our fundraising dollars and career placement numbers.
I am also troubled by Acosta's record on diversity. Although he is a Latino, his background and life experiences
show that he has little understanding of the matters facing other minority groups. His record on civil rights does
not make me optimistic that he can handle the issues that are likely to arise at UF, and I suspect that if he were
appointed you would see a large exodus of faculty.
signs of animosity among faculty seem to stem from Acosta's perceived political leanings rather than from his
record as dean; his professional demeanor and specific, direct answers to challenging questions made a favorable
In my opinion he is not suitable.
He would have had my full support if not for the vote caging issue. Because of this, and the fact that we have
another candidate that I think will be successful, I think we should pass on him and go with Brennan
He would be divisive, but at least he would try to improve the College.
If the Provost wants to create an environment where the law school is a part of the University's Top 10 initiative,
then he should NOT hire Acosta under any circumstances.If the Provost wants to divide the law faculty and create
a very tense environment among the faculty, then he should hire Acosta. I am one of the most published and cited
members of the faculty. I would seriously consider looking for another job if Acosta becomes the Dean.
Said that he doesn't change things for the sake of change. I think this may be good in terms of evaluating the law
school once here, and continuing things that work well and adjusting things that may need improvement.
I believe that this candidate is realistic in his view on funding.
I had expected to rank him near the bottom of potential candidates but was extremely favorably impressed. Based
mainly on the strength of his performance in interviews and presentation, I would now rank him among my first
two choices.
I did not get a chance to see any of the other candidates. However, given my interactions with Dean Acosta during
my application cycle and during his visit, I would be very happy to have him be my dean here at UF Law. I was very
close to deciding FIU over UF just because of how much I liked him and what he had to offer. I believe he has what
it takes to take us to a higher level- he is a politician at heart and knows how to work a crowd and how to recruit.
He is charming when he needs to be and very persuasive. I think his ability to fundraise for his college is a positive.
If he could do well at FIU, imagine what he would when he has a chance to mingle with the UF Law alumniI and
fundraise for our college. I think he would be a great fit here and would do great things for the law school, its
students, its future students and the alumni.

My biggest worry is going through this educational process and not being able to find a job after I graduate. It's
already difficult trying to find a summer experience now. Based on his connections to the state and the South
Florida community (where I eventually want to end up), I would feel good knowing I had him reaching out to
prospective employers and alumni on my behalf. I don't think Dean Acosta would have applied for this deanship if
he wasn't ready to leave FIU Law. I think Dean Acosta is a go-getter and he would be great here at UF Law.
I don't think the potential up side with selecting Acosta is worth the risk. He does not really bring anything to the
table that Brennen and Donaldson do not also offer, except perhaps a greater ability to stand up to controversy
and potentially more of a willingness to push the faculty. Maybe you think I am wrong about the "down" side risk
of choosing Acosta, but why take the risk when we have other viable candidates? If you are willing to take a risk, I
would suggest Huebner who does bring a non-legal education perspective--an "up" side--that might justify taking a
Will be good in fundraising and perhaps in relationship with central administration
I didn't like how he kept throwing numbers at us in response to questions.
He came across more as a used car salesman rather than a viable dean candidate. Due to his involvement with
voter caging I really question his motives. As a minority student I would feel concerned about the future of UF Law
with Dean Acosta at the helm.
Not really, not impressed.
I don't think he is the right fit for our law school.
There is great concern that he is a divisive candidate, with many at UF's law school who are expressing strong
feelings against his ability to succeed here as dean. He may be able to overcome this, but it would be a challenge.
Most definite negative among all the candidates.
Dean Acosta is an extremely intelligent person who presented himself very well as a decanal candidate.
But the public record strongly suggests that his answers to questions and presentation statements lack the level of
complete candor that one ought to expect of the Dean of any law school, let alone that of the flagship law school
in Florida. On multiple occasions I found Dean Acosta to be less than forthcoming about important facts in his
performance as Assistant Attorney General, United States Attorney and in his current deanship. This not mere
puffing by a job candidate, rather it looked to me to be a clear pattern of lack of candor and completeness that
was entirely disingenuous. This behavior is deeply troubling and leads me to conclude that Dean Acosta is not a
satisfactory candidate for this position.
Scholarship record not sufficient for P&T process and probably not for entry-level position. That being said,
candidate is still acceptable because of strong academic administrative experience.

Since this is final candidate, I would rank the candidates as follows (1) Brennen, (2) Donaldson, (3) Acosta, (4)
Huebner. I see prior academic experience as most important followed by administrative experience.
I don't like being accused of being racist for saying something positive about Dean Acosta nor do I like being
accused of being a racist if I point out a negative aspect of Dean Brennen.
Dean Acosta seems very goal oriented and also seems to achieve the goals he sets. If FIU does break top 100, I
would be extremely impressed with his ability to better FIU's reputation. I wonder what improvements he could
make to UF's reputation.

and he made sure

to introduce himself to me. He is a very approachable person.
I think that he is the best choice out of all of the candidates. He understands what we need here at UF and I
believe that he can definitely help UF to succeed even further. He is very concerned with employment rates and I
believe that that is where the focus should be. I feel that his connections more so than the other candidates will
help UF Law students to achieve job offers in places they actually want to work.
No, however I would like to speak to the Provost directly: Take your law school more seriously. I came to this
school for a better opportunity. What I found was a dysfunctional faculty and a complete disregard for students,
best reflected in the budget--raising professor salaries by cutting out our healthcare! I personally now owe $2000
for a single Shand's visit. And no, mom and dad don't make money. In fact, one works minimum wage and the
other is on disability. Also, the $500 for books per semester does not afford us even half of our books. I find that I
am doing well in spite of the school I attend, but hope that this soon changes. Maybe Acosta is a step in that
direction. Maybe not. But, respectfully, I hope that you personally become more involved.
Seems very honest and open.
After having seen each of the candidates, Mr. Huebner is my favorite without reservation. I feel that he has the
connections and experience outside of Florida to bring this school to the next level. Further he was the only
candidate who really had novel ideas, who had taken the time to actually think of things we can do differently. The
others at best just had a grand plan to take what they are already doing and putting it here. I feel that Mr.
Huebner's lack of experience in academia is almost a plus in this regard in that he does not have preconceived
notions of what a law school should look like, and is open to really changing things for the better.
I think it is time to have someone who is of Dean Acosta's stature as the dean at UF Law. We also need to be able
to bring on someone who will be a hispanic dean and highly qualified. This is the type of candidate Mr. Acosta is.
I honestly think this is the only candidate we should be looking at.
It should be noted- I want a Dean that will work to make UF students more competitive in landing Big Law jobs. We
need an overhaul of the Career Resource Office and need to triple our OCI employer participation.
Q6 - 4. Please provide your assessment:

Is the candidate acceptable?

# Answer Count

1 Yes 38
2 No 40
Total 78

4. Please provide your assessment:

Is the candidate acceptable?
4. Please provide your assessment:
Is the candidate acceptable?
Q7 - I
base my comments based on seeing the candidate at:

base my comments based on seeing the candidate at:
An interview in early morning
comments are based on research
staff 1/2 hour
The Dean's breakfast
informal session, law faculty
meeting with faculty, presentation to faculty
several interviews, lunch, reception
small group
discussion with faculty and lunch presentation
The student open forum
sessions; talk
Lunch Presentation and meeting
student forum
several group meetings and lunch presentations
Three presentations
Student Session
his formal presentation at the law school; his informal presentation to the law faculty; review of his cv and cover
Student availability session, spending 1L year at FIU Law while he was Dean
Open Forum
Info session
noon presentation.
His Forum/Meeting with UF Law students.
FIU, his own school, and how he handled a situation during a trial team that FIU law offered scholarship and had at
their law school.
the student Q&A
His student answer session and speaking to him while he walked around campus
Student Q&A session on Friday
the Dean Candidate interview with the students.
Reception & lunch
Speaking Q/A, Research
Student Q and A session
faculty/alumni luncheon, one-on-one meeting
faculty discussion and his presentation
two small group sessions, lunch presentation, and reception
informal meetings and watching his luncheon talk and the Q&A that followed.
student forum
Feb 20 Staff Q&A
schedule meeting
Presentation & session
Morning meeting.
Two small group presentations, lunch presentation, talking to people at his home institution
Staff Discussion/Presentation
Live streaming site of his presentation on 2/24/14 at 6:15am.
interviews and presentation
His open forum to meet students
lunchtime talk
luncheon presentation (I was out of townon law school business when teh faculty interview sessins were
Faculty open session
Breakfast meeting
Open Forum
Q and A session
Open forums and sessions.
meeting and lunch
Faculty presentation and smaller group meeting
director's session
Multiple interviews with various audiences at the Levin College of Law
Lounge, Lunch
Small faculty meeting, reception meeting, luncheon presentationa and QA, judicial opinions, published reports of
his performance
Faculty lunch
The student forum on 2/20, and personal experiences with Mr. Acosta.
Open Forum
The student forum
Student forum
presentation to the faculty
Q&A Session
Lunch in NYC's Ed's Chowder House almost a year ago today
Q10 - Your Name

Your Name
Linda Cottler, filling in for Dean Perri
Allen F. Wysocki

Danaya Wright
Prof. Michelle Jacobs
If this were not a public record, I would sign my name.
Victoria A. Redd
John kraft
Stuart Cohn
Pedro A. Malavet, Professor
Q12 - Please indicate whether you

# Answer Count

1 Faculty 34
2 Staff 8
3 Administration 7
4 Student 30
5 Alumni 0
6 Other: 0
Total 79


Field Minimum Maximum Mean Std Deviation Variance Count

Please indicate whether you
1.00 4.00 2.42 1.37 1.86 79
are: - Selected Choice
University of Florida
Dean of the Levin College of Law

The University of Florida Levin College of Law invites applications, nominations and inquiries for the
position of Dean.

The University of Florida (UF) seeks a creative and energetic leader to serve as Dean of the Levin College
of Law. The University of Florida Levin College of Law (UF Law) has a longstanding tradition of producing
national leaders. It placed first in Florida, fourth among public schools, and eighth overall in output,
i.e., the caliber of a schools graduates. It ranked fourth among public law schools in 2011 (eighth
overall) in the number of its graduates serving as federal district and circuit court judges; more than 250
graduates serve as state appellate and trial judges in Florida, and many serve in those roles in other
states as well.

No other law school has produced as many presidents of the American Bar Association since 1973; five
including 2010-11 president Steve Zack. Graduates are also represented by the majority of The Florida
Bar presidents, including current president Eugene Pettis (JD 85), Gwynne Young (JD 74), Scott Hawkins
(JD 83), Mayanne Downs (JD 87), and John G. White III (JD 79). Four Florida Governors and hundreds of
state senators, representatives and cabinet members hail from UF Law. Nine graduates also became
college presidents, and more than a dozen have served as deans of law schools.

UF is particularly proud of its track record in producing diverse leaders for the legal profession. Eugene
K. Pettis (JD 85) became the first African-American president of The Florida Bar this year. Stephen N.
Zack (JD 71), came to the United States from Cuba in 1961 and became the first Hispanic president of
both The Florida Bar and The American Bar Association. Martha Barnett (JD 72) became one of the first
female ABA presidents in 2000. UF Law is one of the top 10 law schools in the nation for Hispanics,
according to Hispanic Business Review (seven times in nine years), and was ranked in 2012 as one of the
top six schools for blacks in the South by On Being a Black Lawyer magazine.

U.S. News & World Report ranks UF Law 23rd among public law schools and 46th overall; its Tax
Program first among publics and third overall; Environmental Law at fifth among publics and 12th
overall. UF Law also continues to be highly rated in terms of reputation 10th among publics and 26th
overall in the assessment of practicing lawyers and judges, and 15th among publics and 35th overall in
the assessment of academics.

UF Law was accredited in 1925 by the American Bar Association and is a member of the Association of
American Law Schools. The generosity of its loyal alumni and friends, including college namesake Fredric
G. Levin, a prominent trial lawyer, makes the college one of the nations best endowed public law
schools in the United States.

UF Law is one of the nations best values in legal education. American Bar Association data for 2011-12
indicate that UF Law is the second most affordable top-tier law college when taking tuition and cost of
living into account. Approximately 50 tenure/tenure-track faculty and 80-plus other faculty members
who support the college through clinical, research, skills training and administrative programs work to
educate over 1,000 students.

In addition to the J.D., the college offers LL.M.s In Taxation, International Taxation, Environmental and
Land Use Law, and Comparative Law as well as one of the countrys few S.J.D.s in Taxation. UF Laws
strong international programs, such as the L.L.M. in Comparative Law, and faculty expertise in
international law issues expand the colleges curriculum and international offerings and strengthen its
ties with programs and scholars around the globe. In addition, the law school
offers J.D. certificate programs in Environmental and Land Use Law, Estates and Trusts Practice, Family
Law, Intellectual Property Law, and International and Comparative Law; an extensive array of joint
degree programs; specialized centers, institutes and program areas; and strong clinical offerings.

Gainesville hosts one of the largest on-campus recruiting programs in the Southeast, with legal
employers interviewing throughout fall and spring. Additionally, UF Law draws distinguished visitors to
campus every year to speak with students.

Recent updates to its facilities make UF Law a premier learning environment. A $25 million expansion
and renovation project in 2005 made the UF Law library one of the largest in the Southeast and among
the top 20 in the country. The new multi-million dollar advocacy center that opened in fall 2009
provides students with state-of-the-art trial facilities.

For additional information about UF Law, please visit

Responsibilities of the Dean

The Dean serves as the chief academic and administrative officer of UF Law. The Dean sets the standard
for intellectual engagement and accomplishment by providing strategic vision for and operational
leadership of UF Law. The Dean is responsible for the leadership and management of the colleges
faculty, students and staff, including developing the colleges curriculum, overseeing programs,
cultivating resources and managing its finances. The Dean reports directly to the Provost and also serves
as a member of the Universitys senior administrative team. The Deans responsibilities include
promoting and fostering excellence in teaching, research and service; overseeing faculty hiring,
promotion and tenure; leading professional and support staff, the law library, student admissions,
financial aid and career placement; representing UF Law within the university community and to
external constituencies, including alumni and members of the bench and bar; preparing and
implementing an appropriate and efficient budget for UF Law; linking the work of law faculty and
students to other disciplines, communities and interests within and outside the academy; maximizing
opportunities for students during law school and upon graduation; and developing new initiatives
designed to educate lawyers for a rapidly-changing global society and enhance the impact of the
facultys intellectual activities. The Dean serves as the schools public voice, articulating its contributions
to local, state, regional, national and international communities and pursuing a comprehensive
development program to build the schools resources.


UF Law seeks a creative and ambitious individual with the vision necessary to build on its momentum in
a challenging and complex environment for legal education. Applicants for Dean of UF Law should
The University of Florida
Dean, Levin College of Law
Page 2 of 3
possess a record of professional accomplishments (in an academic setting or otherwise) appropriate for
the position of Dean and a tenured member of the faculty. Candidates must also possess strong
leadership, managerial and communication skills; the ability to work effectively with the Provost and
other university officials; the ability to foster faculty and student development, academic programming
and strategic planning; a commitment to diversity of background and viewpoint, both with respect to
faculty hiring, promotion and tenure, and student admissions; the ability to work effectively with alumni
and members of the bench and bar; and the ability to attract external funding to support UF Laws
strategic initiatives.

UF is a major, public, comprehensive, land-grant, research university. The states oldest and most
comprehensive university, UF is among the nations most academically diverse public universities. The
university has a long history of established programs in international education, research and service. It
is one of only 17 public, land-grant universities that belongs to the Association of American Universities.
With more than 50,000 students, UF is now one of the largest universities in the nation. UF infuses
$8.76 billion into the Florida economy each year and provides more than 106,000 jobs directly and

The University of Florida is located in North Central Florida, one of the countrys most desirable areas.
Gainesville is ranked first of 400 cities in the United States and Canada by Cities Ranked and Rated,
Second Edition and has been highly rated by such publications as Money Magazine, Forbes and Popular
Mechanics. In 2006, UF launched the Florida Tomorrow campaign to raise $1.5 billion. In fall 2012, it
became one of the largest public university campaigns in history, surpassing $1.7 billion to fund
scholarships, research, construction and other programs.

Confidential review of applications, nominations and expressions of interest will begin immediately.
Applications are encouraged by January 17, 2014 to ensure full consideration, though the search will
remain open until the position is filled. Candidates should submit a letter summarizing qualifications and
interest, along with a CV to: Korn/Ferry International, c/o John F. Amer, Esq., Partner, 1900 Avenue of
the Stars, Suite 2600, Los Angeles, CA 90067 by email to Inquiries may also be
directed to Korn/Ferry by phone at (310) 556-8577.

The University of Florida is an equal opportunity institution dedicated to building a broadly diverse and
inclusive faculty and staff.

The University of Florida

Dean, Levin College of Law
Page 3 of 3
R. Alexander Acosta


Appointed as the 2nd Dean of South Floridas new state-supported law school.
Established Center for Professionalism & Ethics.
Key Milestones include:
Law School U.S. News & World Report ranking increased from unranked (below 150th) to 105th.
Law School fundraising increased from about $400,000 per year to over $1.55 million (200% of
goal) for 2012-13 fiscal year. Already over $1.4 million as of 1st quarter of 2013-14 fiscal year.

Presidentially-appointed, senate-confirmed (unanimous consent) to lead one of the nations largest
U.S. Attorneys offices, with more than 280 attorneys.
Key Prosecutions and Initiatives include:
Public Corruption Prosecutions, including:
Palm Beach County Commission Chairman Masilotti.
Palm Beach Commissioner Newell.
Palm Beach Commissioner McCarty.
Broward Sheriff Ken Jenne.
Health Care Fraud Prosecutions, indicting more than 280 cases charging over $1.4 billion.
Bank Fraud Prosecutions, including U.S. v. UBS, a deferred prosecution concerning tax
avoidance, which resulted in the payment of a $780 million fine and the disclosure of the names
of previously anonymous Swiss bank account holders.
U.S. v. Charles Taylor, Jr., the first prosecution of criminal torture (2340A) in U.S. history.
U.S. v. Jack Abramoff, concerning fraud and corruption.
U.S. v. Jose Padilla, concerning terrorism.

Presidentially-appointed, senate-confirmed (unanimous consent) to lead the Justice Departments
Civil Rights Division, with nearly 350 attorneys.
Reopened the criminal investigation of the 1955 murder of Emmett Till.
Authored Guidance to Federal Financial Assistance Recipients Regarding Title VI Prohibition
Against National Origin Discrimination Affecting Limited English Proficient Persons. See 67 Fed.
Reg. 41455 (June 18, 2002).


Presidentially-appointed, senate-confirmed (unanimous consent) to be one of five Members of this
independent, quasi-judicial federal agency responsible for regulating private-sector labor relations.
Authored or participated in over 125 decisions. See volumes 338 & 399 NLRB Reporter.
R. Alexander Acosta
(page 2)



HARVARD COLLEGE, B.A. in Economics, June 1990.


Served as law clerk to Judge Samuel A. Alito, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit.

LANGUAGES: Native Spanish Speaker.



U.S. Century bank is among the largest community banks headquartered in Miami, with assets in
excess of $1 billion.


Gulliver Schools, established in 1926, operates four campuses and educates students K-12.


Appointed by Senators Rubio and Nelson to this Commission, charged with recommending
candidates to be United States District Court Judges, United States Attorneys and United States


Appointed by Order of the Florida Supreme Court.
Chair, Workgroup on the recording of custodial interrogations.


RESPONSIBILITIES (2012 to present).
Appointed by ABA President.


Appointed by Order of the Florida Supreme Court.

Appointed by three ABA Presidents to three successive one-year terms.





BOARD OF EDUCATION (PUB. L. 107-41) (2004).
R. Alexander Acosta
(page 3)


Presentation to the joint luncheon of the Administrative Practice and the Court Procedure &
Practice Committees of the Tax Section of the American Bar Association (February 25, 2013).


U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee (March 29, 2011).
See, at 1:28 following remarks of Cardinal McCarrick.
(GPO serial appears to be pending).


U.S. Congress Energy and Commerce Committee, Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations
(March 2, 2011). See Serial No. 112-13, Government Printing Office, Washington D.C.


American Bar Association Commission on Hispanic Legal Rights and Responsibilities (May 20,


5 FIU L. REV. 347 (Spring 2010) (subsequently cited in National Association of Manufacturers v.
NLRB, __ F.3d __ (D.C. Cir. 2013) and in Board Proposed Rulemaking, 76 F.R. 36812 (June 22,
2011) at footnote 1 and 76 F.R. 80143 (Dec. 22, 2011) at footnote 10 (noting that the Board had
seldom exercised rulemaking authority, that the Board had not held a public hearing attended by
all Members for at least half a century, and that the Board is now engaging in rulemaking as
suggested by this article and by other commentators at the FIU symposium on the NLRB)).


U.S. Senate Special Committee on Aging (May 6, 2009). See Serial No. 111-5, Government
Printing Office, Washington D.C.


U.S. Congress Ways and Means Committee, Subcommittee on Health and Subcommittee on
Oversight (March 8, 2007). See Serial No. 110-20, Government Printing Office, Washington D.C.


U.S. Congress Government Reform Committee, Subcommittee on Human Rights and Wellness
(July 8, 2004). See Serial No. 108-247, Government Printing Office, Washington D.C.


Presentation on behalf of the U.S. Delegation (June 16, 2004). See


Presentation to Assembly regarding Human Trafficking (December, 2003) (remarks delivered in
R. Alexander Acosta
(page 4)









One of five recipients, along with Professor Drew Days, III (Yale); Professor Frank Sander
(Harvard); Don Liu (General Counsel, Xerox); and Sylvia Fung Chin.


For white collar prosecutions.




For unwavering efforts to combat discrimination and protect the civil rights and liberties of all





For authoring and implementing Limited English Proficiency regulations.

For demonstrated long-standing commitment to Hispanic peoples.
Alex Acosta
Dean Candidate Visit Schedule

Wednesday, February 19th

5:30 pm Glenn Good to pick up at hotel for dinner

5:45 pm Dinner with Search Committee Chair Glenn Good and Dean Jerry

Hotel: Homewood Suites by Hilton

3333 SW 42nd Street
Gainesville, FL 32608

Day 1 Thursday, February 20th

7:15 am Glenn Good to pick up at hotel for breakfast

8:00 9:00 am Breakfast with Academic Deans

1 Tigert Hall CFOs Conference Room

10:00 11:00 am Provost Glover

235 Tigert Hall

11:00 11:45 am President Machen

226 Tigert Hall

12:00 1:00 pm Lunch with Vice-Presidents

1 Tigert Hall CFOs Conference Room
Escort to next meeting: Milly Pena

1:30 2:20 Informal Discussion in Faculty Lounge

383 Holland Hall
Escort to next meeting: Rachel Inman

2:30 3:20 Open Forum with Students

Room 345 Holland Hall

3:30 4:00 Staff

Room 345 Holland Hall
Escort to next meeting: Doris

4:00 4:50 Assistant Deans/Directors (Admissions; Career Development; IT;

Communications; Associate Director of the Library; etc.)
Rare Book Room; 266A Holland Hall
5:00 5:30 Tour of Facilities: Brock Hankins

5:30 6:30 Reception at College of Law, including alumni representatives

180 Holland Hall
Chesterfield Smith Ceremonial Classroom

7:00 Dinner with Search Committee Members: Rachel Inman, Lyrissa Lidsky,
and Paul Ortiz
(Rachel Inman to drive to dinner and hotel afterward.)

Day 2 Friday, February 21st

6:45 George Dawson to pick up at hotel for breakfast.

7:00 8:15 Breakfast with Search Committee Members: George Dawson,

, and Mary Adkins
Alberts at the UF Hilton

8:15 8:30 Travel to Levin College of Law with George Dawson

8:30 9:00 Deans Jerry and Flournoy

Dean Jerrys Office
264 Holland Hall
Escort to next meeting: Doris

9:00 9:50 Informal Discussion in Faculty Lounge

383 Holland Hall
Escort to next meeting: Elizabeth Rowe

10:00 10:50 Associate Deans 271 Holland Hall

Escort to next meeting: Rachel Inman

11:00-11:30 UF Foundation and College Development Deans Conference Room;

Room 271 Holland Hall

11:30 12:00 Break Deans Conference Room; Room 271 Holland Hall
Escort to next meeting: George Dawson

12:00 1:30 Luncheon with faculty and alumni representatives (Presentation)

**So that there is enough food for everyone attending, please rsvp to
Room 180 Chesterfield Smith Ceremonial Classroom

George Dawson to return to hotel after lunch.

College of Law Dean Search Committee Meeting
October 15, 2013
11:00 am to 12:30 pm
226 Tigert Hall Presidents Conference Room


Present: Glenn Good, Chair

Mary Adkins
Judge Anne Conway
George Dawson

Scott Hawkins
Rachel Inman
Lyrissa Lidsky
Paul Ortiz
Milly Pena
Elizabeth Rowe
Provost Joe Glover
John Amer, Korn/Ferry International
Amy Hass, General Counsels Office
Fallen Walker, Assistant to Chair

All search committee members present. Provost Glover called the meeting to order
at 11:01 am, following which all present were introduced. Provost Glover presented
the charge to the Search Committee outlining the key items he would like the
committee to keep in mind throughout the search. He closed with thanking the
committee for their service and turned the floor over to Amy Hass. Amy gave a
review of the laws relating to meetings and open records laws. All members were
notified that they needed to complete the online training required by UFs Human
Resources. The search committee reviewed the proposed search timeline. It was
agreed that there would be four stakeholder meetings, one each for faculty, staff,
students, and alumni. These meetings would allow those within the College of Law
to express to the chair of the committee what they think are important attributes for
the next Dean to possess. It was agreed that the committee members would review
the draft position description and return all the suggested edits to John Amer by
5:00 pm on Friday, October 18th. It was recommended that the next meeting occur
the week before or after Thanksgiving and that a Doodle Poll would be sent in order
to secure a time that worked best for the most members. Meeting ended at 12:39
College of Law Dean Search
Stakeholder Meeting Alumni
November 5th at 5:00 pm
Deans Conference Room

Dean Jerry was very good at outreach to alumni, this will be very important
to continue as college moves forward
New dean needs to understand the job market challenges of job market,
placement of students
Someone who may not come from an academic background judge, leading
jurist, practice
Law School and law community have lots of challenges and change
Placing students in small to medium firms; prepare students to walk in and
begin work from day one
Unable to bill for time training recent graduates, they need to hit the ground
running at a higher level
Bring more of a national perspective to the College; more attractive to
students across the US and send them out nationally after graduation
Tax Institute
Perspective outside of Florida
Frank about strengths and weaknesses; transparency about all processes
Merging of all groups together (faculty, staff, students, alumni)
Build on strengths
Strong academic attract elite faculty
Gives perspective od having been in field
Ability to have relationship with President, Provost, and other Deans
someone who can push agenda without burning bridges
Fight for budget on ever changing ground
Flexibility and transparency
College of Law Dean Search
Stakeholder Meeting Faculty
October 30th at 12:00 pm
355 B Holland Hall

Qualities of next dean:

Someone who has been an academic in the legal field
Leadership with vision someone who embraces and welcomes change
Has a strong record of scholarship and committed to scholarship broadly
Strong commitment of legal skills
Vigorous look for female candidates and candidates of color
Dean who can run the Law School not through the delegation of a small elite
o Be responsive to faculty
o Make use of faculty, not delegate
Supportive of library/understand the value of library
Invest in technology infrastructure
Vision to push school in new directions; sees how market is changing
Expand public law
Maintain civil rights law, even expand it
Connected nationally and internationally
Grounded/in-touch with diversity
Does not see knowing and doing as two different things; able to integrate the
Open to faculty doing Dean is ambassador do faculty take the lead
Must know how to manage budget
Good ambassador
Facilitate/help faculty
Grand vision
Dean who works for the faculty
Committed to transparency in faculty hiring and rewards
College of Law Dean Search
Stakeholder Meeting Staff
October 31st at 12:00 pm
283 Holland Hall

Qualities of next dean:

Approachable, not sheltered; able to go to them without repercussions
Care about all members of college equally
Good communication
Values/realizes the assets that he has in the college
Help the college to stay strong in the future and realize how law is changing
in the future
Work on decreasing gap between faculty and staff; make them more of a unit
College of Law Dean Search
Stakeholder Meeting Students
November 5th at 12:00 pm
Advocacy Center Courtroom

Qualities of next dean:

As the legal market is changing, need a dean not stuck in the past, but
looking towards the future
Make sure students are prepared for the future
Fundraising capabilities
Keep smaller class size
Maintain student quality
Mindful of diversity maintain diversity initiative
Democratic approach to running the college
Help alleviate disconnect between students and faculty
Communication/willingness to listen; recognize that students have valid
Look at new/updated ways to address modern students; social media,
Push future of curriculum; open to modifying class structure
Real world/practical skills push
Academic advisor assigned to each student
Varied experiences in legal profesion; come with network in both higher
education and outside experience
Some private practice background, but law school experience preferred
Understands college cannot be run like a business
Balance of current market trends, quality law experience in real world, plus
academic experience
Must push change and move forward as market does, but not loose
history/tradition of UF
Reevaluate admissions process; focus more on students and wooing them;
great students being lost due to poor admissions process
Attract most capable and talented students but keep tuition affordable
Avoid raising tuition
Commitment to allowing access to everyone (afforablity)
Driving up the amount of scholarships, both academic and need based
Improvinf level of expectation of students every year
Attract legal lumineers in field
Additional faculty in healthcare and intilectual property
Willing to look at policies that might need to be updated/reevaluated
Look at career preperations examine externships/process; allowing
students to have unpaid exturnships
Forward thinking/new ideas
Advocate to UF as a whole for Law School in bigger campus politics
Diversity faculty and students
Network well in private sector
Students need more practical experience
Search for Dean of the Levin College of Law
Interview Topics and Questions
We are so pleased to have you join us, and look forward to getting to know you better
during our time together today.

We have had the opportunity to review your materials and understand that you are
prepared to lead off our conversation today by briefly summarizing (5 minutes) what
makes you most interested in the position of dean of the law school, highlighting those
aspects of your background and experience that have best prepared you to assume this

Members of the Search Committee ask questions in these areas over the course of a 75 minute
interview, asking for specific examples throughout.

Vision & Leadership:

1. What major issues do you see for legal education in the 21st century in a global
2. What are your thoughts on the type of lawyer that a law school ought to produce?
How would you go about preparing students for that?

3. How would you ensure that the law school has sufficient resources to implement its
vision? How will you secure any additional resources needed to implement that
vision and where will you find them?
4. Where would you take the law school in the first year?
5. What differences do you anticipate between your current job and the Deans

Excellence and Scholarship:

6. What does faculty excellence consist of and what would you do to promote that?
Development and External Relations:
7. Development and external relations are important parts of this position. Please tell
us about your experience with - or your possible approach to - fundraising and
alumni outreach.
8. How much cultivation, solicitation and stewardship do you expect to do on your
own, and how might you involve others in development efforts?
9. How would you continue to build a culture of caring and giving back at the law
school, both among students and alumni?

Management Style and Values:

10. What do you see as a Deans role in enriching diversity in an institution? Please
share how you have worked to enhance diversity at your institution.
11. Please describe your experiences with and guiding principles on shared

Personal Style and Cultural Fit:

12. What was the best decision youve made in the last three years? Why? What was
the worst decision youve made in the last three years? How might you approach
that decision or the communication of that decision differently now?
13. What role does culture play in the success of an organization? What is your
approach to understanding organizational culture?
14. What do you think is most distinctive about you as a candidate?

15. Are there any questions we should have asked you but did not?
16. What questions do you have for us?

CANDIDATE: ________________________________________
Vision & Leadership:
1. What major issues do you see for legal education in the 21st century in a global

2. What are your thoughts on the type of lawyer that a law school ought to produce?
How would you go about preparing students for that?

3. How would you ensure that the law school has sufficient resources to implement its
vision? How will you secure any additional resources needed to implement that
vision and where will you find them?
4. Where would you take the law school in the first year?

5. What differences do you anticipate between your current job and the Deans

Excellence and Scholarship:

6. What does faculty excellence consist of and what would you do to promote that?

Development and External Relations:

7. Development and external relations are important parts of this position. Please tell
us about your experience with - or your possible approach to - fundraising and
alumni outreach.
8. How much cultivation, solicitation and stewardship do you expect to do on your
own, and how might you involve others in development efforts?

9. How would you continue to build a culture of caring and giving back at the law
school, both among students and alumni?

Management Style and Values:

10. What do you see as a Deans role in enriching diversity in an institution? Please
share how you have worked to enhance diversity at your institution.

11. Please describe your experiences with and guiding principles on shared
Personal Style and Cultural Fit:
12. What was the best decision youve made in the last three years? Why? What was
the worst decision youve made in the last three years? How might you approach
that decision or the communication of that decision differently now?

13. What role does culture play in the success of an organization? What is your
approach to understanding organizational culture?

14. What do you think is most distinctive about you as a candidate?

15. Are there any questions we should have asked you but did not?
16. What questions do you have for us?