Essary to step down as Campbell dean

Melissa Essary, the first female dean at the Campbell University Norman Adrian Wiggins School of Law, is stepping down to spend more time with her family.

Her role at the 35-year-old school ends in July 2012, though she will continue to work at the school as a full-time professor of labor and employment law courses.

Some of her notable moves during her six-year stint as dean include uprooting the school from Buies Creek, N.C. and planting it in downtown Raleigh in 2009 — making it the only law school in the state’s capital — as well as being more selective with admissions while growing the student body from 345 students in 2006 to 477 students today.

The school’s teaching arsenal grew by 11 faculty members during her tenure, and she helped establish academic partnerships with N. C. State University through the creation of dual degree programs in law, public administration and business administration.

Provost Dwaine Greene will convene the search committee to conduct a national search for the next dean of the law school.

Essary came from the Baylor University School of Law in Texas, where she had served on the faculty for 16 years.