Jon Mills Named Interim Dean of UF College of Law
GAINESVILLE — University of Florida President John Lombardi today announced the appointment of Jon M. Mills, UF law professor and former speaker of the Florida House of Representatives, as interim dean of the Frederic G. Levin College of Law. The appointment is effective Sept. 1.
Mills, founding director of UF’s internationally recognized Center for Governmental Responsibility, will succeed Dean Richard Matasar, who announced in March that he will step down from the post Sept. 1 to return to teaching and research.
A national search for a permanent replacement is under way.
“Jon Mills has an excellent background that bridges the many constituencies of the Levin College of Law,” Lombardi said. “His academic work has earned him the respect of his colleagues, his practice of law outside the university has given him a strong appreciation of the needs of Florida’s legal community, and his extensive experience in public service has made him sensitive to this state’s public policy issues.”
Mills said today he is honored to serve as interim law dean.
“I am very personally devoted to the future of the law school,” he said. “The law school has some of the best faculty and the best students in the country.” The tradition established by previous deans, Mills said, “has placed us among the top tier of law schools in the nation.”
Mills, 51, founded the Center for Governmental Responsibility, the state’s senior legal and public policy research center, in 1972 shortly after graduating from the UF College of Law. He was a member of the law faculty from 1973 to 1980 and from 1988 to the present.
A member of the House of Representatives from 1978 to 1988, Mills served as house majority leader in 1985-86 and house speaker in 1987-88. Among his principal legislative programs were the Growth Management Act of 1985, the Wetland Protection Act of 1984 and the Child Abuse Prevention Act of 1982.
More recently, Mills, served on the 1997-98 state Constitutional Revision Commission as chairman of its Style & Drafting and Public Education committees. He has been a principal investigator and directed major studies on environmental and constitutional issues, including international projects in Brazil, Poland, Haiti and Central America. Last year, he was a lecturer of a course in constitutional law as part of the Center of American Law Studies at the University of Warsaw in Poland.
He also recently acted as a special state attorney in the Danny Rolling murder case and has represented the Save Our Everglades Committee in the Florida Supreme Court.