Indiana Tech names new law school dean

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Indiana Tech Law School has tapped Charles Cercone to serve as dean, concluding a search that began in May.

Cercone, currently dean of faculty at Western Michigan University’s Thomas M. Cooley Law School, will begin his duties as dean at Indiana Tech Law School on Jan. 5, 2015.

“Dean Cercone brings a long and successful track record in strategic planning, curriculum development and support for student success to his role here at Indiana Tech Law School,” said Arthur Snyder, Indiana Tech president. “His experience and skills will enable us to continue building on the strong foundation we’ve established for our law school.”

Cercone’s current employer is feeling the crunch of a tight legal job market and dwindling enrollment. This summer, Western Michigan announced it would be closing the law school at its Ann Arbor campus on Dec. 31, 2014. Ann Arbor students are being allowed to take classes at the school’s other campuses including those in Lansing and Auburn Hills.

The new dean will be taking over Indiana Tech Law School just as it is in the middle of seeking provisional accreditation. In addition to securing accreditation, Cercone will likely have to look for ways to boost enrollment which is far below the anticipated class size of 100 students and build the school’s reputation.  

Indiana Tech opened its law school in August of 2013 and welcomed an inaugural class of roughly 30 students. Founding Dean Peter Alexander left abruptly in May 2014. Since then, andré douglas pond cummings has been serving as interim dean.

“Dean cummings and the law faculty and staff achieved much in welcoming our second strong class of law students, in preparing an effective and exhaustive self-study for (American Bar Association) accreditation, and in hosting ABA’s site team on their accreditations visit in September,” Snyder said, praising cummings’ leadership. He will remain part of the law school faculty as vice dean and professor of law.

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