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UNM Law Professor Leo Romero will serve as interim dean of the University of New Mexico School of Law, effective May 18. He will serve in that capacity for the 2008-2009 academic year while UNM conducts a national search for a new permanent dean.
Dean Suellyn Scarnecchia has accepted a position as vice president and general counsel at the University of Michigan after serving five years as dean of the UNM law school.
Romero previously served as associate dean for academic affairs before spending six years as dean of the School of Law. He drafted the “Rules of Procedure Governing Judicial Nominating Commissions” and oversaw the development of this process for selecting judges as chair of the New Mexico Judicial Selection Commission.
During his time as dean, Romero focused his efforts on expanding the Indian Law Program and the school's International Law course offerings. His efforts led to the establishment of an Indian Law Certificate program and the Southwest Indian Law Clinic. He also helped develop the “U.S.-Mexico Law Journal,” and fostered exchange programs with the University of Granada in Spain, and with law schools in Mexico and Canada under NAFTA.
Scarnecchia will be returning to her hometown and alma mater when she assumes her new position. She was a clinical professor of law and associate dean of the University of Michigan Law School from 1987 to 2002.