Ave Maria law school announces new dean

Czarnetzky John Czarnetzky | University of Mississippi School of Law

The Ave Maria School of Law announced its new dean on Tuesday, who will take over the position on June 1.

Tom Monaghan, chairman of the law school’s board of governors, said that John Czarnetzky, a professor of law at the University of Mississippi, will become the new dean of the law school. 

In addition to teaching courses at the University of Mississippi School of Law, Czarnetzky also works as a legal advisor to the Holy See’s Mission to the United Nations, and has represented the Holy See in various negotiations and in international treaties. Czarnetzky also a lay Dominican and a Third Degree member of the Knights of Columbus. 

He was unanimously selected for the position by the school’s board of governors. Czarnetzky replaces Kevin Cieply, who resigned at the end of February due to personal reasons. 

"I am blessed and humbled by the confidence Ave Maria School of Law is placing in me with my appointment as Chief Executive Officer and Dean," said Czarnetzky in a press release from the school. 

"Ave Maria Law is a unique and important organization, known for both its dedication to the Catholic intellectual tradition as well as its family-like commitment to its students. I am overjoyed to now be part of this important academic institution as it looks toward the brightest of futures," he said. 

Monaghan said he took “great pleasure” in announcing Czarnetzky as the new dean. 

"I am excited about his appointment and what it means for the future of the law school,” said Monaghan. “I look forward to Dean Czarnetzky bringing his vast academic experience as well as his strong faith to Ave Maria School of Law in order to help the school continue to excel both academically and spiritually.”

Monaghan thanked those who “worked so hard” during the national search for a new dean.

Prior to his law career, Czarnetzky served as an officer in the U.S. Army. He was an intelligence analyst who specialized in foreign chemical, biological and nuclear capabilities. He then practiced law with Sidley & Austin in Chicago, and McGuire, Woods, Battle & Boothe in Richmond, Virginia. 

In 2016, Czarnetzky was honored with the Elsie M. Hood Award, the highest honor given to a member of the faculty at the University of Mississippi. 

According to his bio at the University of Mississippi School of Law, Czarnetzky represented the Holy See in negotiations establishing the International Criminal Court and the Convention on Persons with Disabilities. 

According to his curriculum vitae at the school, he was also a member of the Mississippi state advisory committee of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, taught a freshman seminar on Catholic social doctrine, and was faculty advisor and cofounder of the St. Thomas More Society for Catholic law students.

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