Toni Massaro, dean of The University of Arizona James E. Rogers College of Law, announced her intention to return to full time faculty status at the end of the 2008-09 academic year. Massaro made the announcement at the annual "State of the College" address to faculty and staff on Thursday, and later notified alumni and students via e-mail.
Massaro's 10-year service as dean will conclude in July. During her tenure, the college's national stature has grown with the hiring of prominent faculty, the development of collaborative and interdisciplinary programs and the recent completion of a $21 million construction project – called the Law Commons – to renovate the law school campus. The project was finished on time and at budget, and was opened just three weeks ago.
"Tucson is my home, and this college is my home," Massaro said. "We have an enviable combination of academic excellence, collegiality and aesthetics that can't be found elsewhere in the country. It's what drew me here in 1989, why I pursued the deanship in 1999 and why I remain dedicated to Arizona Law almost 20 years later."
UA Provost Meredith Hay has appointed Eller College of Management Dean Paul Portney as chair of a search advisory committee that will conduct a national search to make hiring recommendations to the president and provost.
Citing her strengths as a leader, Law College Association President Jeff Simmons said, "All of us who work closely with Dean Massaro laud her authenticity, her skill and her passion. She'll be an extraordinary dean until her last hour on the job. But we've also known that her first love is teaching and scholarship, and we realize that cutting back in these areas has been a sacrifice. She has perfectly positioned the college for this change – and for the next chapter of the law school's history."
Massaro is the college's 10th dean since its establishment in 1915, and the first woman to hold the position. She serves as the Milton O. Riepe Chair in Constitutional law and has written extensively on constitutional topics and in the area of civil procedure.
In 2007, she was named a Regents' professor, the UA's top honor for faculty excellence.
She also has served on the University Provost Search Committee, the University Presidential Search Committee, the Social and Behavioral Sciences Dean Search (chair) and the College of Law's Promotion and Tenure and Faculty Appointments Committees.
Massaro received her undergraduate degree from Northwestern University in 1977 and graduated with honors from The Marshall-Wythe Law School at the College of William and Mary, where she served as the editor-in-chief of the law review. She practiced law in Chicago before becoming a law professor.