VERMILLION, S.D. – Thomas Geu announced he will step down as dean of the University of South Dakota School of Law and return to the faculty as soon as a new dean is named.
“It’s been a good year for USD Law,” Geu said Monday. “We’ve moved up 14 places in the rankings by U.S. News & World Report even as most small schools had lower ranks than last year. There’s a lot of work to be done, but we’ve turned the corner.”
USD President James W. Abbott said a nationwide search will be conducted for a new dean. Last year Abbott appointed a task force to study whether the School of Law should move to Sioux Falls. The panel recommended against the move, but it did request additional funding for law programs. An extra $300,000 per year was approved by the South Dakota Legislature, to be matched by USD.
“The funding will help us establish new programs and expand clinical experience,” Geu said. In addition, donors provided money to increase scholarships at the School of Law, and the Board of Regents reduced tuition for highly-qualified out-of-state students.
“Tom has faced a challenging period of time at the law school, with law enrollments falling nationwide,” Abbott said. “We are grateful for his leadership as we have worked to put the law school on a firm foundation for the future.”
Geu has been at the law school for 29 years, teaching mostly business law courses. He became interim dean in 2011 and was named dean in 2013. He has been active in state and national bar associations and currently serves as a South Dakota commissioner for the Uniform Law Conference where he serves on the Model Tribal Probate Code Drafting Committee. He is active in the Dean’s Committee of the American Association of Law Schools.