Law dean resigns upon president’s request

Jillian Bliss

UT President William Powers Jr. requested immediate resignation Wednesday of School of Law dean Larry Sager due to concerns over Sager’s management of the school.

Sager signed a letter of resignation Wednesday afternoon, according to The Texas Tribune. He joined the law faculty in 2002 and became dean in 2006.

In a letter to law school faculty, Powers said due to “deep divisions within the faculty at the moment,” the decision to remove Sager was “in the best interest of the law school.” Stefanie Lindquist, associate law school dean, will serve as interim dean until administrators find a permanent replacement.

“I know there are concerns about compensation and gender inequalities at the law school, and the new leadership will be committed to exploring these issues and taking appropriate steps to address them,” Powers wrote in his letter.

According to documents obtained by The Texas Tribune, Sager wrote in a letter to colleagues that he made gender equity an important aspect of the budget committee, designated many raises for women faculty members and supported the Center for Women in Law. Sager also wrote that he and Lindquist established the Gender Equity Task Force to look into concerns.

Sager said in his letter his highest priority was building and maintaining law school faculty. Sager said he believed offers of greater compensation at law schools such as Harvard could draw UT faculty members away, and he “tried to meet the market” when recruiting and maintaining those appropriate for positions.

“All that said, I may not have gotten every case right in the course of our sustained effort to build and hold on to faculty,” Sager wrote.

In August, Sager announced his intent to step down from the position of dean following the academic year without giving a specific reason, according to The Tribune.

Powers wrote in his letter that he “hoped we could get through the transition year without interim leadership, but that is now not possible.”

UT law school representatives were not available for comment.