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University of Houston names new law school dean

Regents will consider final approval for Leonard M. Baynes of St. Johns law school on May 7.

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Leonard M. Baynes
Dean Leonard M. Baynes

April 28, 2014 – Professor Leonard M. Baynes of St. John's University School of Law in Queens, N. Y., has been selected as the new dean of the University of Houston Law Center, Provost Paula Myrick Short announced today. The recommendation will be submitted to the UH System Board of Regents for consideration on May 7.

“I want to thank the search committee, chaired by Dona Cornell, vice president for legal affairs and general counsel, for its diligence in this important search,” Short said in a statement. “The search process included the valuable input of our students, faculty and staff, as well as many alumni and community members.”

In addition to his teaching duties at St. John’s, Baynes is the inaugural director of The Ronald H. Brown Center for Civil Rights and Economic Development.

Baynes was among six finalists chosen by a search committee to replace interim dean Richard M. Alderman. If approved by regents, Baynes will assume his new position on Aug. 15.

Baynes earned his J.D. degree from Columbia Law School in 1982. He also earned a MBA from Columbia in 1983 and his B.S. in Finance and Economics from New York University in 1979.

At St. John’s he teaches Business Organizations, Communications Law, Perspectives on Justice, Race and the Law, and Regulated Industries. Prior to joining the St. John’s faculty in 2002, he taught at Western New England University School of Law in Springfield, Mass., beginning in 1991. He served part-time as a scholar-in-residence for the Federal Communications Commission from 1997-2001; worked as an associate with a Corporate, Real Estate, and Regulatory practice at Gaston & Snow in New York and as in-house counsel for NYNEX Corp. in Boston. After law school, he clerked for the Honorable Clifford Scott Green of the Eastern District of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia.

From 2005 to 2013, Baynes raised approximately $1.6 million from foundations, law firms, corporations, New York State and city, and others to fund academic conferences and other activities of The Ronald H. Brown Center. He also negotiated reallocation of $800,000 in the school’s United Negro College Fund for use by the Center.

For further information on UH Law Center Dean’s Search, please visit

Media Contacts: Carrie Criado, UH Law Center Executive Director of Communications and Marketing, 713-743-2184,; John T. Kling, UH Law Center Communications Manager, 713- 743-8298,; or Stephen B. Jablonski, Media Specialist, 713-743- 1634,

About the University of Houston

The University of Houston is a Carnegie-designated Tier One public research university recognized by The Princeton Review as one of the nation's best colleges for undergraduate education. UH serves the globally competitive Houston and Gulf Coast Region by providing world-class faculty, experiential learning and strategic industry partnerships. Located in the nation's fourth-largest city, UH serves more than 39,500 students in the most ethnically and culturally diverse region in the country.

About the University of Houston Law Center

The University of Houston Law Center is the leading law school in the nation's fourth-largest city. Founded in 1947, it is a top-tier institution awarding Doctor of Jurisprudence (J.D.) and Master of Laws (LL.M.) degrees. The Law Center is fully accredited by the American Bar Association and is a member of the Association of American Law Schools.

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