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January 23, 2006

Press Contact:
Kirston Fortune, Assistant Dean for Communications, 512-471-7330.

Assistant Dean for Student Affairs to Leave UT Law after 21 Years

Photo of Assistant Dean Susana Aleman
Assistant Dean for Student Affairs
Susana Alemán
Photo Credit: Wyatt McSpadden

AUSTIN, Texas—After 21 years as assistant dean for student affairs at The University of Texas at Austin School of Law, Susana Alemán, will be leaving the Law School on Feb. 28.

Dean Alemán became the first woman and first Hispanic to serve as assistant dean for student affairs in the Law School’s history. She accepted the job the month after she graduated from UT Law in 1984.

“Shortly after I became interim dean, Susana informed me about her plans to leave,” said Steven Goode, who in December was appointed interim dean at the School of Law. “Needless to say, I was disappointed. But Susana has served the Law School loyally and well for a long time, and I certainly respect her need to move on. She will be hard to replace,” Goode said.

“I learned last fall that I would qualify for retirement as of January 17 and always thought that I would leave this position when I qualified for retirement,” said Dean Alemán. “I do believe that it’s too early for me to stop working so I’m looking for either full- or part-time employment. This is a difficult move, because this has been a dream job for me. I am so very lucky that I was able to combine my two fields of education and law,” she said.

Over the past two decades, Alemán has both supervised the Law School’s Student Affairs Office and counseled thousands of law students on both academic and personal matters. She also helped organize various events at the Law School including Parents’ Day and The Sunflower Ceremony. (Alemán is well known by the law school community for her enthusiasm and expertise at locating and picking hundreds of sunflowers each spring to pin on graduating law students.) “Getting to know and work with our talented, intelligent, and caring students has been extremely fulfilling. That’s what I’ll miss the most,” Alemán said. “Maybe the students will allow me to continue participating in Assault and Flattery. I quickly learned that if I performed in the show, it was less likely that I’d be a target of their assault.”

Alemán was born in South Texas and grew up in Falfurrias. In addition to her law degree, she received both a bachelor’s degree magna cum laude in secondary education and a master’s in curriculum and instruction from UT, and a master’s in school administration from Texas A&I. Prior to attending the Law School, she was a high school government teacher and the University Interscholastic League Academic Director in Brooks County in South Texas, advisor to the Falfurrias High School Student Council, and process evaluator for the Austin School District bilingual and multi-cultural program.

She recently was honored by the Travis County Women Lawyers' Association as a 2006 Pathfinder, an award recognizing local woman with law degrees for being role models and trailblazers. She has received numerous awards over the years including The Eyes of Texas Excellence Award for Fall 1993 for her outstanding contributions to student life at UT and was the Student Bar Association’s Law Week Dedicatee in 1992, 1998, and 2002.

Related Links:
Student Affairs Office: http://www.utexas.edu/law/depts/sao/
Assistant Dean for Student Affairs Susana Alemán Honored as Pathfinder: http://www.utexas.edu/law/news/2006/011806_aleman.html