UF College of Law Dean departs to become Barnard’s ninth president

by | Mar 10, 2023

  • Laura Rosenbury, the dean of the University of Florida (UF) College of Law, is leaving her post to become the president of Barnard College, New York.
  • She was selected by a search committee for her commitment to the values of an arts and science education and her astute and calculated leadership style.
  • During Rosenbury’s tenure as dean, UF Law rose 27 ranks in the US News law school rankings, ascending from 48th to 21st in the overall rankings and from 24th to 6th among public law schools.
  • UF has not yet announced who will replace Rosenbury as dean of its College of Law.

University of Florida (UF) College of Law Dean Laura Rosenbury is departing the university following her appointment as Barnard College’s ninth president. Rosenbury, who is currently the first woman dean at UF’s Levin College of Law, specializes in teaching feminist legal theory, employment discrimination, children and law, and family law.

Following a nationwide search process that began last summer, Rosenbury has been selected as the successor to Sian Leah Beilock, the outgoing President of Barnard. The university’s search committee highlighted Rosenbury’s commitment to the values of an arts and science education, along with her astute and calculated leadership style as the driving factors behind her selection. Rosenbury is expected to assume her new position on July 1.

In 2015, Rosenbury assumed the position of dean of UF Law with an objective to heighten the institution’s prominence on both the national and international stages. She spearheaded a multifaceted approach that resulted in unprecedented levels of private donations, a 200 percent surge in applications, and the enrollment of seven of the most accomplished and diverse cohorts in the law school’s history.

The initiatives catapulted the school into the echelons of the top 25 law schools in the country. During her tenure, UF Law rose 27 ranks in the U.S. News law school rankings, ascending from 48th to 21st in the overall rankings and from 24th to 6th among public law schools.

“It’s an honor to be named Barnard College’s next president, and I look forward to carrying forth its legacy as the leading academic institution for the advancement of women,” Rosenbury said. “Higher education is where I learned to see and understand the world in a new way, and was given the space to identify where my passions lie. It’s incredibly special to be joining a community devoted specifically to helping the next generation of women do the same.”

Following her graduation from law school, Rosenbury worked as a litigation associate at Davis Polk Wardwell in New York City before moving to Fordham University School of Law, where she taught Feminist Legal Theory. She eventually became a full-time professor at Washington University in St. Louis School of Law in 2002, where she served as vice dean from 2010. In 2015, Rosenbury became the dean of UF’s College of Law.

According to UF, Rosenbury presently serves as a member of the Board of Directors at the Guttmacher Institute and as an elected member of the American Law Institute, as well a Fellow at the American Bar Foundation.

“Dean Rosenbury’s strategic focus and determined leadership elevated UF’s law school,” said UF President Ben Sasse. “I’m confident that President Rosenbury will do the same at Barnard College. We’ve got big shoes to fill in the upcoming dean search, but we’re proud of our friend and colleague.”

It is currently unclear when UF intends to appoint a new dean to its College of Law. An inquiry made by The Capitolist was not immediately responded to.


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