After an unsuccessful external search, UND has named a professor as the new dean for the law school, the university announced via its UND Today blog Tuesday.

Michael McGinniss, associate professor of law at UND, has been named dean of the School of Law by Provost Tom DiLorenzo.

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"It was clear from the beginning of our renewed search for the next dean of the UND Law School that there was strong support for Professor McGinniss, and after careful review and after conducting the interview process, I can see why," DiLorenzo said in a statement. "I very much look forward to working with Mike on cementing the school's strength and exploring innovative ideas to keep magnifying its impact across North Dakota and beyond."

McGinniss was named to the position following an internal search headed by DiLorenzo. The internal search, which included feedback and nominations from law school students, faculty and staff, came after a search to find an external candidate for the position failed.

In November, four external finalists for the dean's position visited campus and the search committee forwarded two of the individuals to the provost's office for his selection. Both candidates declined the job.

McGinniss said he is "honored by this opportunity to serve and lead" the UND law school.

"I am strongly committed to our culture of caring about students and their success, and I am very excited about our future and the great things we can do here together, with the help of our alums and our bench and bar, for the good of our students and our state," he told UND Today.

McGinniss has been a part of the UND faculty since 2010. He teaches courses on professional responsibility, evidence, conflict of laws, remedies and legal ethics. He has received the J. Philip Johnson Faculty Fellow Award, which is given out at the school annually, and has received faculty achievement and other awards.

UND President Mark Kennedy said McGinniss' "devotion" to the law school "stands out as well."

"He has the capability, the will and the passion to continue to make this school a pillar of excellence and move it into an exciting future," Kennedy said.

UND spokesman David Dodds said the UND administration is still working with McGinniss on determining a start date and salary but added that nothing has been settled officially.