Two Beloved Deans Step Down

March 1, 2023

This spring semester, two deans announced the end of their tenures in their current roles. 

Gary Mortenson, D.M.A., will retire at the end of the 2023-24 school year, and Bradley J. B. Toben, J.D. ’77, will transition from dean of Baylor Law School to faculty this summer. 

Bradley J. B. Toben

Bradley J. B. Toben, J.D. ’77

Dean of the Baylor Law School since 1991, Toben is the longest serving leader among the deans of the 200 American Bar Association (ABA) accredited law schools. Although stepping down from his role as dean, Toben will continue to serve on faculty as the M.C. and Mattie Caston Professor of Law.

Under Toben’s leadership, Baylor Law enjoys a reputation as a top teaching law school. His tenure has seen significant faculty and staff expansion, a marked reduction in the faculty-student ratio and the development of a vibrant pro bono and public service program that has won multiple awards from the ABA and state bar entities, including the ABA’s Pro Bono Publico award, which previously had been awarded to only three law schools over a three-decade period. 

Baylor Law undertook an impressive building and endowment campaign during Toben’s time as dean, and in 2001, the Sheila and Walter Umphrey Law Center opened on the banks of the Brazos River. In addition, Toben has raised the Law School’s endowment from less than $1 million to more than $180 million and recently celebrated Baylor Law substantially exceeding its $50 million Give Light fundraising goal.

Gary Mortenson

Gary Mortenson, D.M.A.

Mortenson has been the dean of Baylor’s School of Music since 2015. As dean, Mortenson oversees the activities of 65 full-time School of Music faculty and 17 staff who serve the needs of 350 music majors and approximately 500 non-major students. He places health and wellness issues as a top priority for the School of Music by resourcing seminars, master classes and coaching sessions from experts in the field of musicians’ health.

During his inaugural year as dean, Mortenson visioned and created the Semper Pro Musica Solo and Chamber Music Competition to identify the top solo and chamber music talent within the School of Music. The winners, selected by a panel of external judges, are presented in Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall in New York City.

Dean Mortenson’s service to Baylor has included work as Interim Provost for Administration from April 2018 through May 2019. In 2020, he served as co-chair of the Commission on Historic Campus Representations.