Jon Garon
Jon Garon (06-14-2014 handout)

Jon Garon, a law professor and founding director of the Chase Law + Informatics Institute at Northern Kentucky University, has been appointed dean of the Shepard Broad Law Center at Nova Southeastern University.

Garon succeeds Athornia Steele, who stepped down last September after five years as dean at the Davie law school. He will start work July 1.

NSU president George Hanbury II selected Garon following a national search. The school has not released the names of other finalists for the position.

Garon’s “academic achievements, engaging vision and passion for the law and the future of legal education make him ideally suited to build upon the excellent work of his predecessors and to further advance the visibility of the law center,” Hanbury said in a statement.

Garon previously served as dean of the Hamline University School of Law in St. Paul, Minn., where he also served as interim dean of its business school. Prior to that, he was a faculty member at the University of New Hampshire School of Law in Concord.

As past chair of the American Bar Association’s Law School Administration Committee and American Association of Law Schools Section on Part-time Legal Education, Garon is considered an authority on the study of the future of legal education.

Nova law school professor Bob Jarvis said the school is lucky to get Garon, whom he voted for in a faculty vote. The two co-authored a book many years ago.

“He’s a very bright guy,” Jarvis said. “He’s been a law school dean, and he’s on top of the changes going on in legal education. He’s a highly respected guy.”

Garon is taking the reins at Nova at a challenging time for law deans with enrollment plummeting nationally and post-graduate employment options dwindling. Nova recently offered buyouts to professors at its schools of law, business and education.

Founded in 1974, Nova law school has 927 students, full-time and part-time, and 60 full-time professors. The school was ranked the fifth most diverse in the nation by U.S. News & World Report this year. Overall, it is unranked by the magazine.