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New Law Dean

Written by Marcom
January 4, 2010

Mark Niles, associate dean for academic affairs and professor at American University, Washington College of Law, has been appointed dean of the School of Law, President Stephen Sundborg, S.J., announced to students, faculty and staff on Dec. 22. “Dean Niles stood out among an exceptional pool of finalists as the right person to lead the law school into its next era of excellence,” Sundborg wrote. Below is the president's full message.

Dear Faculty, Staff and Students:

I am delighted to announce that Mark Niles, Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and Professor at American University, Washington College of Law, has been appointed Dean of the School of Law, effective July 1, 2010. Dean Niles stood out among an exceptional pool of finalists as the right person to lead the law school into its next era of excellence.

Dean Niles is an outstanding scholar and administrator who will enthusiastically propel the law school forward. He shares a commitment to academic excellence, social justice and diversity that are hallmarks of the education provided by Seattle University. He teaches and specializes in civil procedure, administrative law, constitutional law, governmental liability and law and literature. 

Dean Niles has published numerous articles and essays on subjects including the Ninth Amendment, federal tort liability, airline security regulation, the first decade of the tenure of Justice Clarence Thomas, and the depiction of law and justice in American popular culture. At American University, he has spearheaded significant developments in the law school’s first-year curriculum and in academic skills instruction.

Earlier in his career, Dean Niles served as a clerk for the Honorable Francis Murnaghan, Jr., of the U.S. Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals, as an associate at the D.C. firm of Hogan and Hartson, and as a staff attorney in the civil appellate division of the U.S. Department of Justice, where he argued cases in several federal circuit courts. He serves as the Reporter for the Maryland Civil Pattern Jury Instructions Committee of the Maryland State Bar Association. He is a graduate of Stanford Law School and Wesleyan University.

He and Interim Dean Annette Clark will work to ensure a smooth transition for the School of Law. I thank Dean Clark for her leadership and service during this important year.

I also want to take this opportunity to recognize the hard work of the Dean Search Committee, chaired by Professors Janet Ainsworth and David Skover. The committee reviewed dozens of applications and nominations and worked incredibly hard to ensure the School of Law has the right leader to continue its upward trajectory as one of the nation’s premier independent law schools.

Sincerely,

Stephen V. Sundborg, S.J.
President