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Iacobucci to Serve as Dean of Toronto Law School
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Ed Iacobucci will begin a five-year term as dean of Toronto Law School on January 1.

Summary: Ed Iacobucci will take over on January 1 as the new dean of Toronto Law School.

The Varsity reports that Ed Iacobucci was recently announced as the new dean of the University of Toronto’s Faculty of Law on October 23. Iacobucci follows in the footsteps of his father, Frank, who served as the dean of the law school from 1979 to 1983.


Iacobucci is currently the associate dean of research and Osler Chair in Business Law. “I’ve been here a long time, and I care a lot about the place,” he stated.

Iacobucci will begin his five-year term on January 1, 2015. Iacobucci emphasized that his first priority will be to consult stakeholders at the law school to determine the school’s business affairs. He commented, “I hope to get a real sense of what the priorities are…I think there are opportunities for outreach on different kinds of dimensions, and I’d like to hear what people think about that.”

However, Iacobucci does already have some ideas in mind for the school. Perhaps the biggest elephant in the room is tuition expenses at the law school. Tuition increased by a whopping 320 percent under former dean Ron Daniels. Understandably, the expensive tuition is a concern for both prospective and current law students. Iacobucci noted, “Accessibility will undoubtedly be a priority.”

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Iacobucci stated that the faculty at the law school must work hard to realize opportunities that globalization has presented to the legal profession, while still offering an academic approach to legal education. According to Iacobucci, this is vital to keep the law school’s spot as the top common law school in Canada. The school ranked first in the 2013 Maclean’s Canadian Law School Rankings.

Iacobucci added that he would like to facilitate involvement with other University of Toronto departments as well. “I think it’s worth exploring a greater outreach within the university, with the Munk School, for example. With the building ready to go [in 2016], we’re in a good position to start thinking about what we’re going to do programmatically to make this place even stronger. It’s a really exciting time and I’m just delighted to be a part of it,” he remarked.

Here is an article about a Canadian law school struggling  to keep its accreditation.

Unfortunately, not all are optimistic about Iacobucci’s new position at the law school. Ella Henry and Riaz Sayani-Mulji of the University of Toronto Law Union feel that the appointment may hurt students financially. “The university’s decision to appoint Prof. Iacobucci as Dean suggests to many that the school is more interested in maintaining its old boys club, than addressing issues of affordability, accessibility and diversity,” they explained.

In addition, the law school paper Ultra Vires implied that students felt their input into the selection process of the new dean was not taken seriously. “It’s no secret that students have been distrustful of this process since the beginning. That said, the process is what it is, and it isn’t set by the Faculty of Law,” Padraigin Murphy, the vice president of Student Affairs and Governance at the Students’ Law Society commented. However, Murphy was optimistic about the new dean, stating, “I, for one, am very excited about this appointment, and optimistic for the changes on the horizon for our community.”

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Mayo Moran, Trinity College provost and former law school dean, also praised Iacobucci. Moran said, “He is an absolutely first-rate academic, an outstanding teacher and an engaged administrator and university citizen. Any institution would be fortunate to have Ed as a leader and there could not be a more fitting choice to lead one of the world’s great law schools.”

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