Attanasio_john_b_128x175Southern Methodist University Dedman School of Law is not renewing its employment contract with John B. Attanasio (pictured) as dean. As a tenured faculty member, he has the option to continue teaching at the law school.

“He will complete his terms as dean on May 31,” says University spokesperson Kent Best. Attanasio is currently serving the third of three, five-year contracts, Best says.

The university administration is not commenting on the change. “It’s a personnel matter,” Best says.

Best shared a memo that SMU Provost Paul W. Ludden sent on Jan. 3 to law school faculty and staff. In the memo, Provost says the university will begin the search for the next law school dean during the spring semester.

“Dean John Attanasio has served with distinction. . . . The school has continued its development under his leadership, including the establishment of the evening law program and the rule of law forum,” the Ludden memo reads. “He has greatly strengthened the relationship between the school and its alumni resulting in a significant growth in scholarship and endowment funds. We are grateful to Dean Attanasio, and he will continue as the Atwell Chair of Constitutional Law, with the opportunity to begin a well-deserved one-year leave beginning June 1, 2013.”

Attanasio declines comment.

Jeanne Graham