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After a 1 1/2 year search for a law school dean and failed courtships with at least two candidates — one of which ended late last week — Atlanta’s Emory University finally has named its new law school leader. Thomas C. Arthur, 55, will become dean on July 1. Arthur, who was a partner with Kirkland & Ellis in Washington, D.C., from 1978 to 1982 and served clients including General Motors and Union Carbide, joined Emory’s faculty 20 years ago and specializes in antitrust, civil procedure and administrative law. Speaking by telephone from his office at Emory, Arthur said he was delighted to be chosen as dean. At about 11:20 a.m. on Tuesday, his words were drowned out for a moment by cheering from the hallway outside his office. “People are outside my window with champagne,” he explained. Arthur’s appointment comes as something of a surprise, because Emory President William M. Chace has spent the past nine weeks negotiating for the post with someone else — Vanderbilt University law professor James F. Blumstein. Chace, who was vacationing in Europe, could not be reached for comment. It’s unclear exactly how the negotiations ended. “There were issues on which Jim and the university could not agree, and the discussions on those issues continued late into Friday and on Saturday morning, Bill Chace called Jim Blumstein and withdrew the offer,” said Ben F. Johnson III, chairman of Emory’s Board of Trustees. Blumstein, reached at his office in Nashville, Tenn., said that on Thursday night and Friday, he told various people at Emory that he would not accept the deanship. “I said that I would not agree to be the dean at Emory. … New terms were introduced at the 11th hour that in my sense changed previous agreements.” THE PRESIDENT’S PLEASURE According to Johnson, “The dispute — the quote, deal-breaker — related to whether or not Jim Blumstein would agree to a provision that says he would serve at the pleasure of the president and the provost.” He also said that the university told Blumstein that if his deanship were terminated during his contractual term, he would continue to be a tenured faculty member and would be paid as such. Blumstein said, “I didn’t think that the autonomy and independence that I would need as dean would be assured, and that I could be effective in that role under the circumstances.” According to Johnson, serving at the pleasure of the president and provost is standard in academia and at law schools including those at Stanford University, Harvard University, the University of Pennsylvania and Duke University. “The issue was whether or not Jim Blumstein was going to be the exception to all of that, and to my knowledge, be the only dean in America who did not serve at the pleasure of the president,” Johnson said. Lawrence R. Dessem, the outgoing dean of Mercer University’s law school, said that in his experience both systems — serving a set term of years, or serving at the pleasure of the president — were common in private law schools. Dessem will leave Mercer in July to become law dean at the University of Missouri-Columbia. Neither of his agreements with these schools mentioned a term of years or that he served at the pleasure of the president, he said. “If things get bad, it’s not a question of contract law but a question of relationships,” he said. Blumstein praised search committee Chairman and Emory law professor Richard D. Freer, Emory alumnus Henry L. Bowden Jr., Johnson, Robert W. Woodruff Foundation President Pete McTier, and others he worked with during his negotiations with the school and said he appreciated the warmth with which the faculty received him. “There’s a disappointment that we could not make this a marriage,” he said. ARTHUR’S APPOINTMENT Arthur, Emory’s new dean choice, said he will serve at the pleasure of the president and provost. “It’d be great to have tenure as dean so that you could tell the president to go take a hike, but in reality it doesn’t do any good,” he said, explaining that success as a dean depends on good relationships with the university. Arthur was in Europe during the latter part of Emory’s negotiations with Blumstein. He had just returned to Atlanta when, he said, Chace called him late on Friday and asked to meet with him at Lullwater, Chace’s home, on Saturday afternoon. Chace didn’t say what he wanted to talk about. “He said it was about something important, but, you know, I wasn’t born yesterday,” Arthur said. When the two met, Chace offered him the job, and after some negotiation, Arthur signed an agreement Tuesday morning. That signature ends a dean search process that involved two separate searches and spanned about 1 1/2 years. Arthur was not a candidate in the first search, which sparked some controversy because two of its three final candidates were not lawyers. That search ended in November after about 10 months after the sole lawyer, Davison Douglas, a law professor at William & Mary’s Marshall-Wythe School of Law, withdrew his name from consideration. Arthur was one of four candidates in the second search, which began in December. Johnson said that the search committee gave Arthur’s name to Chace along with Blumstein’s. Chace, however, first pursued Blumstein. Even though he was passed over initially, Arthur said he didn’t hesitate to accept the offer when it came. “Michael Jordan was the third draft choice,” he noted. “You don’t like to lose, but if you’re going to, be adult about it. It’s a little like Harry Truman’s ‘If you can’t stand the heat, then stay out of the kitchen.’ “ Johnson said, “There was initially some sense that the faculty was looking for an external candidate. I think over time, that view changed.” Johnson said he was very excited about Arthur’s deanship. “It’s a great thing to have a dean who knows the university as well as he [Arthur] knows the university.” Arthur said that Emory ultimately gave him the same financial commitments of university money and support for the law school that it had promised to Blumstein. “As President Chace phrased to me, this wasn’t a Jim Blumstein package, this was a ‘looking at the law school’ and seeing what the law school needed to do. This was a law school package,” he said. Arthur would not disclose dollar figures, but characterized the commitment as a “substantial increase” in both the law school’s annual budget and in one-time funds. Blumstein praised Emory for its generosity in its negotiations with him. “There were some things that I thought, as is always the case, should have been included, but overall, I thought the financial presentation was good and quite generous and would have amounted to, in effect, doubling of the endowment at the law school.” He explained that this means the university would double the amount of spendable money drawn from the endowment each year — not the total amount of the endowment itself, which was $21.9 million at the close of fiscal year 2001. PLANS FOR EMORY’S FUTURE Arthur, clearly delighted at his new appointment, outlined some of his plans for the school. He said he wanted to add more top-rate faculty to Emory, and to pursue first-rate students. He also said the law school’s building needed renovations to make room for student law reviews, now housed in trailers, and to improve the first-floor common area known as the “bus station,” where students have their lockers. But his primary focus was on what it takes to be a great law school in the 21st century. Law teaching hasn’t changed much since the 1970s, he said. “I’d like us to explore what we should be teaching people, what we should be coming up with that makes our graduates perform successfully and ethically in the world we live in.” Part of that, he said, may mean an expansion of the school’s already healthy international law program. He noted that U.S. law schools do not teach law in a global context. In his area of specialty, antitrust, he said casebooks rarely devote space to competition laws in countries outside the United States. There’s a need for a global perspective, he said, adding that a friend of his who is competition counsel for the Coca-Cola Co. said that he spent 20 percent of his time on U.S. antitrust law and 80 percent on foreign antitrust law, whereas the percentages were reversed for his predecessor. Emory law professor David J. Bederman praised Arthur’s knowledge and vision for the future, saying, “In many respects, Tom is the perfect candidate to lead us for the next five to 10 years. I think he combines so many of the elements that are important in a law school leader.”

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