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BU Law Selects UC-Berkeley Professor Angela Onwuachi-Willig as Dean
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Angela Onwuachi-Willig

Summary: Boston University announced their selection of Angela Onwuachi-Willig, a UC Berkeley Law professor, as the new dean.

Boston University School of Law names Angela Onwuachi-Willig as the new dean, according to an announcement by officials Thursday. The University of California Berkeley professor brings her experience with racial and gender inequality matters to the East Coast school. She will be replacing Maureen O’Rourke, who has served as dean since 2004.

  
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Onwuachi-Willig is the chancellor’s professor of law at UC Berkeley. According to the Boston Herald, she was drawn to Boston’s “history of access and diversity.” She told the newspaper, “It’s an excellent institution with a really rich history of access and inclusion. The faculty are first-rate scholars and first-rate teachers.”

Some of BU Law’s alumni that Onwuachi-Willig, who was born and raised in Houston, is impressed by include Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Barbara Jordan, the first black woman elected to the Texas Senate. She added, “The law school has had its doors open to everyone since the day it opened.”

Onwuachi-Willig has been named by the National Law Journal as one of the “Minority 40 under 40” lawyers. She earned her law degree from the University of Michigan and an undergraduate degree from Grinnell College. She was a finalist for the Iowa Supreme Court and was the Charles and Marion J. Kierscht Professor of Law the University of Iowa College of Law.

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As dean, she hopes to use the law community to continue developing a vision that will enable their programs to grow. Some top priorities will be fundraising and ensuring the school is financially accessible.

O’Rourke announced she was stepping down this summer in order to resume a teaching position. The switch in leadership will be effective August 15.



An eight-person committee selected Onwuachi-Willig for her “excellence, personal integrity and humanity.” BU Law professor Katharine Silbaugh said, “Her work on diversity and inclusion across multiple institutions makes her the ideal leader for the 21st-century legal landscape.”

BU provost and chief academic officer Jean Morrison added, “We are delighted to have recruited Angela Onwuachi-Willig to Boston University as the next dean of the BU School of Law. She has an excellent record of accomplishment as a scholar and teacher, and as dean, Dr. Onwuachi-Willig will continue the advancement of the quality and stature of the BU School of Law.”

Are there any law schools that you think need a change in leadership? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below.

To learn more about dean announcements at other law schools, read these articles:

Photo: law.berkeley.edu



 

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