Click here to bypass page layout and jump directly to story.=

UC Berkeley >

University of California

News - Media Relations






  Press Releases

  Image Downloads



Law professor John P. Dwyer appointed new dean of UC Berkeley's Boalt Hall
15 Feb 2000

By Janet Gilmore, Public Affairs

BERKELEY-- John P. Dwyer, the John H. Boalt Professor of Law at the University of California, Berkeley, School of Law (Boalt Hall), has been named to succeed Herma Hill Kay as dean of the law school.

John DwyerThe appointment requires approval by the UC Board of Regents. It is expected that Dwyer, one of the most prominent environmental law scholars in the country, will assume the deanship on July 1, 2000.

In making the announcement today (Tuesday, Feb. 15), Chancellor Robert M. Berdahl said, "John Dwyer's scholarly record shows that he is superbly qualified to lead Boalt Hall. 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. 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 JD from Boalt Hall in 1980 and will become the second Boalt Hall graduate to serve as dean in the school's 106-year history. He will share that distinction with Frank Newman, who was dean from 1961-1966. Dwyer also holds a PhD 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 that Boalt Hall 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 Boalt Hall faculty in 1984 and in 1997 received the law school's Rutter Award for Excellence in Teaching. He served as associate dean of Boalt Hall from 1992 to 1994 and currently is chair of the Berkeley Campus Budget Committee.

Herma Hill Kay, a leading scholar in family law and sex-based discrimination, who has served as Boalt Hall's 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."

Dwyer has published a number of articles on the role of risk assessment in environmental policy, the environmental regulation of the mining industry, federalism and environmental law, the implementation of toxics policy, and federal court jurisdiction.

He is the co-author of two books, "Our Town: Race, Housing and the Soul of Suburbia," with David Kirp and Larry Rosenthal; and "Property Law and Policy: A Comparative Institutional Perspective," with Boalt colleague Peter Menell.

Early in his career, Dwyer clerked for Judge Harry T. Edwards of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit and for Justice Sandra Day O'Connor of the U.S. Supreme Court. He also practiced with the Public Defender Service in Washington, D.C.


UC Berkeley | News | Archives | Extras | Media Relations

Comments? E-mail

Copyright 2000 UC Regents. All rights reserved.