New York Law Journal, Brooklyn Law School Parts Ways With Dean:
Nick Allard is out as dean at Brooklyn Law School after six years in the job.
Allard and a law school spokesman on Friday declined to discuss the reason for his departure, but said they planned to make an announcement May 29.
Brooklyn Law School faculty received an email Thursday from the chairman of the board of trustees informing them that Allard was no longer dean, according to a Brooklyn Law professor who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the professor was not authorized to speak on the subject.
The chairman, Stuart Subotnick, did not disclose the reason for Allard’s departure in that email, the source said. A subsequent email from Allard, who was in China at the time, indicated that he was surprised by the move, the professor said. Professor Maryellen Fullerton has been named interim dean.
Allard’s abrupt departure is unusual in legal education, where law deans typically announce their intention to step down months or even a year in advance. Even when law school leaders clash with university officials or faculty, they are typically allowed to plan graceful exits out of the dean’s office. ...
Allard’s deanship coincided with the national downturn in law school applications, and the school struggled with financial issues during that time. It has sold a number of its residential properties in the highly sought-after Brooklyn Heights neighborhood, and in 2016 sold off an office building across the street from its downtown Brooklyn campus for $76.5 million.
But those sales don’t appear to have been enough to keep the school in a strong financial position.
Last month, Moody’s Investors Service lowered the law school’s outlook from stable to negative, citing, “ongoing tuition pricing challenges and operating deficits that are deeper than previously projected and will continue for a period longer than anticipated, leading to a likely deterioration of spendable cash and investments.” But Moody’s also noted that the school’s unrestricted reserves give it time to “move to operating equilibrium.” Moody’s reported that the school generates $43 million annually.
I reached out to Dean Allard, and he provided me with this statement for publication on TaxProf Blog:
To paraphrase Mark Twain, a media report of my demise is greatly exaggerated.
Stepping down as dean of Brooklyn Law School was a very difficult and bittersweet decision that was a long time in the making. In recent months, my wife, Marla, and I have been intensely thinking about where we are in our lives and the ways in which we would like to use our time. And certainly the state of our country and world hasled me to question how I can best be of service in this challenging time.
There are many exciting opportunities that we want to pursue and feel we can now do because the law school is in such a strong position. The end of a sixth very successful, enjoyable school year is as good a break point as any to hand over the heavy day to day responsibilities as President and Dean. In doing so I am now able to consider welcome opportunities including working on long postponed writing projects, spending more time in, if not eventually moving back to, Washington, D.C., and, as I have been preaching to others, reengaging in politics and the public policy issues of our day, which are of such concern to Marla and me. I also have been considering whether to pursue other positions in higher education, which recently have been presented to me, and that are extremely interesting.
I am proud that I am leaving the next Dean a school in a very strong economic and operational position (our endowment has quadrupled since I arrived and now is roughly $250 million) and with our world-class faculty and exceptional staff, we are well-positioned to tackle the challenges ahead. I will continue to be part of this great law school as a tenured faculty member and always as a loyal cheerleader. Under the able leadership of our esteemed professor Maryellen Fullerton, who will serve as interim dean during the transition, and the future dean, I am confident that Brooklyn Law School will continue to thrive, as it has done for the last 117 years.
I must acknowledge that my life’s bucket list includes hoping someday to have occasion to utter Arnold Schwarzeneger’s famous movie line from “The Terminator : I’ll be back”. Or better yet I’ve thought about the wicked pleasure it would be to grin and holler like Jack Nicholson in “The Shining” or like “Randy Quaid” in “Independence Day” the words “I’m baaaack!”and rattle the cages of those who do not appreciate my style, or lack thereof. However, the truth is I do not believe that I will ever have the chance to use those words because.as I have indicated here, I do not intend ever to leave higher education. Nor do i intend to abandon my commitment,a commitment which we all, my prized and wonderful colleagues share, to vigorously and unceasingly seek improvements in educating able people from all walks of life to be of use to themselves, their neighbors and the world. I thank you all for the education you have given me. I offer sincerely my regrets for any clumsiness or lack of skill on my part chasing our mutual goals.
Press Release, Nicholas W. Allard To Step Down As President & Dean Of Brooklyn Law School