The next leader of LSU’s Paul M. Hebert Law Center will be Thomas Galligan Jr., who serves as president of Colby-Sawyer College in New Hampshire and will be returning to Baton Rouge after having taught at the campus 18 years ago.

Galligan was named dean of the LSU Law Center on Thursday and will start July 1.

He was one of two finalists who visited Baton Rouge to meet with faculty, students, alumni and members of a search committee last week to interview for the job.

“We are pleased to bring Thomas Galligan back to LSU as the dean of the LSU Law Center,” LSU President F. King Alexander said in a statement. “We are seeing more opportunities for our law students than ever before with collaborations across campus, and we feel Tom is the right leader to continue to grow and further these opportunities.”

Galligan is the eighth president of the Northeastern private school and has served there since 2006. He previously was dean and professor of law at the University of Tennessee College of Law in Knoxville, according to his biography on the Colby-Sawyer College website. Before that, he was a law professor from 1986 to 1998 at the LSU Law Center, where he was named the Dr. Dale E. Bennett Professor of Law.

He holds degrees from Stanford University, the University of Puget Sound (now Seattle University) and Columbia University Law School.

The other finalist who interviewed for the position was Cynthia Fountaine, dean of the Southern Illinois University School of Law.

A third finalist, Matthew Parlow, an associate dean and law professor at Marquette University, accepted another job ahead of his scheduled interview with LSU.

There were 29 candidates who applied for the job, Cassidy said. No one from the LSU Law Center applied.

“I could not be more thrilled about becoming the next dean of the LSU Law Center. It’s an exciting opportunity, and I am very much looking forward to working with the extremely talented law school faculty, President Alexander, Provost Koubek and the many other deans, faculty, staff and students on campus,” Galligan said in a statement. “I began my teaching career at LSU and this feels like coming home. My family and I can’t wait to get to Baton Rouge.”

His salary and contract information were not available Thursday afternoon.

Galligan will be the 110-year-old LSU Law Center’s 11th leader, but unlike his predecessor, he will be a dean, not a chancellor. He’ll be the first new leader of the Law Center since the school officially was reorganized to be included under the LSU flagship.

Former Chancellor Jack Weiss stepped down in July amid a bout of conflicts with faculty, some of whom were calling for his ouster.

William Corbett and Cheney Joseph Jr. were named interim co-deans of the law center. Joseph died in December at the age of 73.

Follow Rebekah Allen on Twitter, @rebekahallen.