Dr. Larry A. Robinson, Seton Hall's Provost and Executive Vice President, released a statement today that Patrick E. Hobbs, the Dean of Seton Hall's Law School for 15-plus years, will be stepping down at the end of the current academic school year.
Hobbs served as Seton Hall's interim Athletic Director from 2009-11, overseeing the hiring of both Kevin Willard and the former head coach of the women's basketball team, Anne Donovan. Hobbs role as interim AD was during a time of true transition following the move from Continental Airlines Arena to Prudential Center. Hobbs was also directly in the middle of the changing of the guard from former AD Joe Quinlan to current director of athletics Pat Lyons, who was hired in early 2011.
For a very insightful article on Hobbs' role in hiring Kevin Willard, check out former Newark Star-Ledger reporter Brendan Prunty's piece: How Seton Hall landed its man: The Kevin Willard timeline
Seton Hall's statement can be read in full below:
"Patrick E. Hobbs, who has led our Law School for over fifteen years, recently informed my Office that he will be stepping down from the deanship effective at the end of the current academic year. Following a well-deserved sabbatical, he plans to return to the Law School as a Professor.
"Dean Hobbs leaves behind a legacy characterized by increasing academic excellence and career success for Seton Hall Law graduates. He heightened the academic profile of the student body and successfully recruited and retained faculty who have built national and international reputations. As a result, the Law School has risen in national prominence, reflected in its climb from the third tier of U.S News and World Report rankings to #68 among all law schools nationwide. The school has achieved top fifty rankings in The National Law Journal and Above the Law.
"Dean Hobbs led the Law School’s successful Seton Hall Law Rising Campaign, which raised over $25 million dollars. He led the effort to develop an innovative skills-based curriculum to provide students with critical legal skills beginning in their first year. This program will increase employment outcomes for the school’s graduates, already among the highest in the nation.
"Dean Hobbs has strengthened the School’s uncommonly robust alumni network and forged programs to build and sustain diversity within the legal profession. From 2009-11, he provided oversight for the Department of Athletics, hiring new coaches for both the men’s and women’s basketball teams, restructuring the department, and negotiating the move of Men’s Basketball to the Prudential Center.
"Dean Hobbs has been and will continue to be a presence in the community and statewide. He served for nine years as a Commissioner on the New Jersey State Commission of Investigation and as Chair in his last three years. This past May he was appointed Ombudsman to the Office of the Governor by Governor Christie.
"We acknowledge and thank Dean Hobbs for his leadership and commitment to faculty and students at the Law School, for his outreach to alumni, and his service to the University. The University will begin immediately a national search for a new dean who will be committed to advancing both Seton Hall’s Catholic Mission and the goals of our strategic plan, Strength to Strength."