Alumna to head UI law school

Jones to be first woman dean

By Kristen Schorsch
Iowa City Press-Citizen

Carolyn Jones, a University of Iowa alumna and native of Carroll, has been named the first woman dean of the UI College of Law, school officials announced Friday.

  • Name: Carolyn Jones, newly named dean of the UI College of Law.
  • Age: 48
  • Family: single; daughter Allison, 22.
  • Occupation: University of Connecticut law professor. Jones is now a visiting professor at Ohio State.
  • Education: bachelor’s and law degrees from UI, Master of Laws degree from Yale University.
  • Hobbies: reading, gardening, knitting, traveling.

Jones, 48, was chosen as the law school's 16th dean. She will replace current UI law school dean N. William Hines on July 1.

Hines is retiring after 28 years. His tenure is the longest of any current U.S. law school dean and is the longest in the history of the UI law school. Hines will remain a faculty member in the college.

"I didn't actually anticipate that I would" return to UI, Jones said Friday, "but it turned out that it just proved to be so attractive. It's so interesting. (The law school) really kind of launched me on my academic career."

The University of Connecticut law professor was selected from a field of 239 applicants and nominees considered by UI's 11-member search committee. The committee, led by law school professor Adrien Wing, forwarded three names to UI President David Skorton for his final decision.

"She was unique among the candidates because she was a native of Iowa and had Iowa degrees, and an Iowa law degree in particular," Wing said.

"She has a very outgoing, vivacious personality," Wing said. "So she's going to, we think, have a good experience relating to all of our constituencies."

Since 1990, Jones has taught at Connecticut, where she has been associate dean of academic affairs and served on committees including faculty appointments and a dean's search.

Jones said she aims to continue the law school's commitment to providing accessible and affordable legal education, which allowed her to go to law school, as well as fund-raising for scholarships.

Her annual salary will be $245,000. Her appointment is pending approval by the Iowa state Board of Regents.

At UI, Jones received a bachelor's degree in English and completed course work toward a master's degree in English. She also received her law degree from the UI law school, graduating with highest honors. Jones was on the staff of the Iowa Law Review as a student and returned twice as a visiting law professor since graduation.

As for filling the shoes of Hines, who Jones remembers during her UI law school days, she said it will be a challenge.

"It's a wonderful opportunity because he's made the place such a good law school," Jones said, adding that other people involved also helped give UI its positive reputation. "Obviously, he's provided the leadership."