Phoebe A. Haddon, dean of the University of Maryland Carey School of Law, will step down at the end of the coming school year to return to teaching, the school announced Friday.
She expects to take a year sabbatical to research "contemporary challenges in legal education" then join the Maryland law faculty.
"I truly believe that many opportunities lie ahead of us and that this institution is full of talented, committed people to take advantage of them," Haddon said in announcing her departure, according to school representatives.
University of Maryland, Baltimore President Jay A. Perman in a statement called Haddon "a deeply thoughtful leader and a staunch advocate for legal education."
Haddon, a fourth-generation lawyer and teacher, came to the law school in 2009 from the Temple University Beasley School of Law, where she was a faculty member. She was the first African-American dean in the Maryland law school's 185-year history.
"I have consistently been impressed with Phoebe's leadership and vision for the law school," Christine Edwards, Chair of the Law School Board of Visitors, said in a statement. "She has worked tirelessly on behalf of the entire community raising the national and international profile of the University of Maryland Carey School of Law. Her myriad contributions will affect generations of students and we were fortunate to have her as our Dean."
Haddon increased scholarships for students while fighting tuition increases, advocated for global perspectives in legal education and highlighted the difficulty of undertaking a public service career when buried by student debt during her tenure, the school said.
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