Boalt Professor John Dwyer Appointed New Dean of Law School
By Janet Gilmore, Public Affairs
John Dwyer, the John H. Boalt professor of law, has been named to succeed Herma Hill Kay as dean of the law school.
The appointment requires approval by the board of regents. It is expected that Dwyer, a prominent environmental law scholar, will become dean on July 1.
"John Dwyer's scholarly record shows that he is superbly qualified to lead Boalt Hall," said Chancellor Berdahl. "I was impressed by his distinguished service at the law school over the past 16 years and his plans to lead the school to new levels of excellence.
"Berkeley has long been committed to achieving both excellence and diversity," Berdahl noted. "Nowhere is a diverse student body and faculty more important than in law, where we are training the future lawyers and judges who will be serving in an increasingly diverse society. Professor Dwyer fully embraces the importance of that objective."
Dwyer, 48, received his J.D. from the law school in 1980 and will become the second graduate to serve as dean in the school's 106-year history. He will share that distinction with Frank Newman, who was dean from 1961 to 1966. Dwyer also holds a Ph.D. in chemical physics from the California Institute of Technology, where he was a National Science Foundation Fellow.
"The law school is not bricks and mortar," said Dwyer, "but a community of faculty, students, staff and alumni. Although each of us is pursuing individual intellectual interests, we share a common goal to build a thriving intellectual community that embraces a diverse range of scholarly views and educates the finest students in the nation. It will continue to be a place where faculty and students flourish in their research, teaching and studies."
Dwyer said the school must continue its efforts to ensure a diverse student body. "Aggressive outreach and recruiting are critically important; we also need to build existing and new curricular programs that will bring a broad cross section of students to Boalt," he said.
Dwyer joined the faculty in 1984, and in 1997, received the law school's Rutter Award for Excellence in Teaching. He served as associate dean from 1992 to 1994 and currently is chairman of the Berkeley Campus Budget Committee.
Kay, who has served as dean for the past eight years, said Dwyer "will be an excellent dean. John knows the school from the perspectives of a student, a faculty member and -- because he spent two years as my associate dean -- as an administrator. He is committed to maintaining and improving the excellence of the law school."