UM Law School

MISSOULA, Mont. - The University of Montana law school has announced interim leadership changes while a search for a permanent dean takes place. 

An email announcing the acting deans was sent from the Office of the Provost to UM staff, faculty, and administrators as well as Blewett School of Law students Tuesday afternoon. 

Professors Monte Mills, Sara Rinfret, and Cathy Y.N. Smith will service as the acting deans of the Alexander Blewett III School of Law starting Monday, October 25. 

The email indicates the Acting Deans were selected after discussion among law school faculty. 

The three will lead the school in the coming months while a nationwide search for a permanent dean is underway. 

"I’m grateful to Professors Mills, Rinfret, and Smith for stepping forward at this critical time to ensure the Blewett School of Law will continue to fulfill its mission for students, the legal community, and the state of Montana. I’m confident this leadership team will make progress toward a fresh start and a new era of excellence for the Blewett School of Law," reads the email from Reed Humphrey, Acting Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs

The change in leadership follows the resignation of Dean Paul Kirgis who stepped down from his position earlier this month after UM announced plans to launch an independent review of the law school's handling of sexual harassment and assault victims, and students held a walkout calling for change. At the time Kirgis also announced Associate Dean Sally Weaver would step aside from her position. 


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