Skip to Content

Joseph F. Rice School of Law

  • Dean Wilcox outside of law school

Dean Wilcox announces return to full-time teaching

In October, Dean Robert M. Wilcox announced that he will step down from his position at the end of the academic year and return to teaching full-time following a sabbatical. Dean Wilcox graduated from South Carolina Law in 1981, and after a stint in private practice, joined the faculty in 1986. He was appointed dean in 2011 after serving as associate dean for academic affairs for five years. He will leave a legacy that includes the completion of a new law school building and tuition cuts for in-state students of over 17 percent. 

On October 22, he sent the following email to alumni:

Dear Alumni and Friends of the School of Law,

When I became dean, I had in mind that eight years would be a good run.  I have stayed a year longer than that.  As much as I have enjoyed serving in the position, however, it is important to know when the time has come to step aside and return to teaching.  I believe now is the time.  Therefore, I delivered a letter Monday afternoon to the Provost notifying him of my decision to resign as dean, effective May 31, 2020. After a sabbatical leave, I plan to return to full-time teaching here. 

In my letter to the Provost, I noted that “I have benefitted from the support of a remarkable team of students, faculty, staff, alumni, and University leaders who share a vision of excellence for our school.”   Thank you for making that statement a reality.  I wish I could share this news with each of you in person, because it is important also to express my gratitude for your support of the School of Law.  With your help, the School of Law is on a strongly positive trajectory, and we will continue to push forward as the dean search process takes place.  Our next dean will need your support as much as I have.

The opportunity to serve as dean of my alma mater law school has been the greatest honor of my career.  As I have told others, it also has been fun! Most especially, however, I will forever value the trust and confidence you have shown me personally.   Thank you a hundred times over. 

Warmest regards,


Challenge the conventional. Create the exceptional. No Limits.