Southwestern Law School named Susan Westerberg Prager as the new dean of their school yesterday. Prager has a long history as a legal educator, and from 1982 to 1998, served as the dean of UCLA Law School where she was its longest serving dean. Prager will be the school’s eleventh dean.
Prager will join the Southwestern Law School at the start of fall classes, and is replacing interim dean and chief executive officer Austen Parrish. The school’s previous permanent dean was Bryant Garth, who stepped down after seven years in July 2012.
Prager is currently serving as the executive director of the Association of American Law Schools, which is the largest legal education organization in the United States. While in this position, she helped to organize legal educators. The National Law Journal reports that, as UCLA Law School’s Dean, Prager spearheaded a new wing of the school, a new library, and boosted the international, corporate, environmental and public interest curricula. Prager also served as the provost of Dartmouth College and the president of Occidental College.
“Southwestern is a remarkable place, with a rich tradition of making a difference in the futures of its students,” Prager said. “The law school’s innovative and collaborative spirit is part of its DNA, and the faculty and countless graduates are committed to helping today’s students contribute to the complex and challenging worlds they will occupy as professionals.”
Southwestern selected Prager after a national search for a new dean, and she will be the first woman to hold the position in the school’s more than one hundred years.
Regarding Prager’s new role, Southwestern Law School Board of Trustees chairman Thomas Hoberman said, “The board considered Dean Prager’s stellar credentials and outstanding national reputation in the legal academy and higher education, her pragmatic and inspired vision for our law school, and the extremely enthusiastic support voiced by members of the Southwestern community. We are delighted that Dean Prager will be joining us in the fall.”