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  • Writer's picturePatricia Salkin

Law Dean Garry Jenkins Named 9th President of Bates College and First Black President



Minnesota Law Dean Garry W. Jenkins has been appointed as the 9th President of Bates College effective July 1, 2023. Jenkins will be the College’s first Black president since its founding in 1855.


In announcing the appointment of Bates, Board Chair John Gillespie said, “Garry is a brilliant and accomplished institutional leader who is steeped in the power and promise of the liberal arts. A 1992 graduate of Haverford College, he has served on the Board of Managers of his alma mater since 2009, including serving as vice chair since 2015.”


Bates is credited with leading the University of Minnesota Law School to a successful conclusion of a record-setting $106 million fundraising campaign (exceeding its initial goal of $80M), and nearly doubled the Law School’s endowment. He was described by Joan T.A. Gabel, the former lawyer president of the University of Minnesota as innovative, creative and collaborative.

Before joining the University of Minnesota as Dean, Garry Jenkins was a professor of law at the Ohio State University Moritz College of Law for 12 years and served as associate dean for academic affairs for 8 of those years. The announcement of his appointment also noted that, “Jenkins co-founded and directed the innovative Program on Law and Leadership at Moritz, considered one of the first such programs at a U.S. law school, to teach law students skills and aspects of leadership, such as group dynamics and how to move issues forward, that had not been part of the traditional law school curriculum.”


Bates earned his JD from Harvard Law School and an MS in public policy from the Harvard Kennedy School at the same time. He clerked for the Hon. Timothy K Lewis on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit and he worked at Simpson Thacher & Bartlett, and he served as COO and General Counsel of the Goldman Sachs Foundation.


In addition to a trend of law deans being appointed to campus presidencies, Bates’s experience as a trustee for his alma mater is another experience shared by a growing number of lawyers appointed to lead campuses. The inside information and birds eye view of higher education that board members acquire as volunteers can be very helpful in preparing them to lead a campus.

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