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Editor: Paul L. Caron, Dean
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Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Dan Rodriguez Named Dean at Northwestern

Dan Daniel B. Rodriguez, Minerva House Drysdale Regents Chair in Law at Texas and the former Dean at San Diego, has been named Dean at Northwestern, effective January 1, 2012. Last week, Brian Leiter called Dan one of the nine tranformative law school deans of the last decade:

During his seven years as Dean, he broke the deadlock on faculty appointments that had for a long time prevented USD from fully capitalizing on its attractive location and institutional resources.  USD went head-to-head with top law schools, like Northwestern, and won battles for faculty talent during his tenure, and USD solidified its status as one of the regional law schools from which top law schools regularly look for faculty hires.

Update #1: From Northwestern's Provost:

It is with great pleasure that President Schapiro and I announce that Daniel Rodriguez, currently the Minerva House Drysdale Regents Chair in Law at the University of Texas School of Law, has accepted our invitation to serve as Dean of Northwestern University School of Law and Harold Washington Professor, effective January 1, 2012. He succeeds David Van Zandt, who had served as the Dean of the school from 1995 to 2010, and Kim Yuracko, who has been serving as interim dean of the School and will continue to do so until the end of the calendar year.

Professor Rodriguez, a graduate of the Harvard Law School, is a nationally prominent scholar in administrative law, local government law, and state constitutional law. He is a leader in the application of political economy to the study of public law, and he has authored and co-authored a series of influential articles and book chapters in this vein.

Before joining the University of Texas law faculty in 2007, Rodriguez served for seven years as Dean and the Warren Distinguished Professor of Law at the University of San Diego School of Law. While serving as Dean, he expanded the size and stature of the faculty, created interdisciplinary programs and new academic centers, and undertook the first major capital campaign for the law school.

Before becoming Dean at the USD School of Law, he was a tenured professor of law at the University of California, Berkeley (Boalt Hall School of Law). He has been a visiting professor at the University of Southern California, Illinois, and Virginia law schools, as well as at the University of California, San Diego and the Free University of Amsterdam. During the Spring 2011 semester, he was the Stephen & Barbara Friedman Visiting Professor of Law at Columbia Law School.

In addition to his scholarly work, Professor Rodriguez has consulted with federal, state and local agencies, has served as an expert witness, has testified before Congressional committees and legislative working groups, and has served in various professional leadership roles, including as a member of the Executive Committee of the Association of American Law Schools and the Council for the ABA Section on Administrative Law and Regulatory Practice. He is an elected member of both the American Law Institute and the American Bar Foundation.

We are very excited about the appointment of Professor Rodriguez as Dean of the Law School. Please join me in congratulating him and welcoming him to Northwestern University. Please also join me in thanking Interim Dean Kim Yuracko for her outstanding service, and the search committee, and particularly chair Shari Seidman Diamond, for the committee’s excellent work.

Update #2:

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I've heard how wonderful he was at San Diego, but the latter went pretty much nowhere in the rankings during the last few years. Then again, Northwestern itself was pretty flat under DVZ, but Leiter calls him "transformative" also. I guess it depends what you're looking for?

Posted by: mike livingston | Jul 27, 2011 3:09:37 AM

He's the original Chemerinsky: he convinced a lot of high-profiled scholars to come to San Diego to build a "top 20 law school/utopia" on a whim and a prayer. We all know how that worked out...

It is a good pick up for Northwestern though. Perhaps he can undo the recruiting difficulties/damage that have characterized the last few years there.

Posted by: Anon | Jul 28, 2011 11:35:27 AM