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Smolla quits as Furman president

The former dean of two Virginia law schools, Rod Smolla has given up his latest post as president of South Carolina’s Furman University, citing family concerns.

Smolla, who served as dean of both Washington & Lee law school and the University of Richmond law school, announced this week he would step down as Furman president.

Family court records show that Smolla, 60, and his wife of 14 years divorced in September after being separated for a year “due to unfortunate circumstances,” reports The Greenville News.

Smolla’s ex-wife, Michele Balderson, became an assistant women’s golf coach after the couple came to Furman. She was listed as an adviser to all Furman student athletes, a certified Golf Psych instructor and as the team’s mental coach.

Furman spokesman Vince Moore told the paper she no longer works for the university.

Balderson could not be reached for comment, and Smolla reportedly declined to talk about his divorce.

“There’s a great line in ‘Forrest Gump’ where he says ‘that’s all I have to say about that.’ And I think I’m going to give that one back to you,” Smolla told the paper.

Smolla said he has accepted a position as a visiting professor at the Duke University law school this fall and a similar role at the University of Georgia next spring.

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