When Andy Coats began his tenure as dean of the University of Oklahoma College of Law in 1996, there was a lot of room for improvement: The building was old and in desperate need of a renovation and students’ test results weren’t impressive ” about 70 percent passed the bar exam. Morale was low and the college was about to lose its accreditation.
A DECADE LATER
In a little more than 10 years leading the college, Coats has managed to turn the school into a prestigious institution, breaking state records with nearly 100 percent of students passing the bar exam and increasing endowed chairs and professorships to 19. He led the way by decreasing class sizes, setting tougher admissions requirements and putting programs in place to support students’ success every step of the way.
Although Coats left behind an immensely successful and profitable legal career to fill the role of dean for the OU College of Law, faculty say he has left a legacy that will follow him for years after his tenure comes to an end. – Lauren Hopkins