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North Carolina dean to lead KU Law

Agrawal served as clerk for Sandra Day O'Connor

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Gail Agrawal

University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill law Professor and Interim Dean Gail B. Agrawal has been named the 13th dean of the KU School of Law, Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor David Shulenburger announced recently.

Agrawal, who served as a law clerk to former Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, will succeed Interim Dean Michael Davis on July 1. Davis served as interim since Stephen McAllister resigned and returned to his teaching post last August after five years as dean.

"Gail Agrawal emerged from a field of very strong candidates as the individual best qualified to take the KU school of Law to new heights. Under her leadership the school will continue to serve the state of Kansas while ensuring that the work of its exceptional faculty make maximum impact on the national and international stages," Shulenburger said. "Her extensive experience in corporate law, as a faculty member and dean prepare her well for this position. Interim Dean Mike Davis did a great job of moving the School forward."

Agrawal has taught courses in health care law and regulation and professional ethics at the North Carolina law school since 1997. She rose to senior associate dean in 2003 and last summer was named interim dean of the North Carolina law school, which enrolls about 700 students and has 41 full-time faculty.

U.S. Rep. Jerry Moran, R-Kan., a KU law school graduate who served on the dean search committee, called Agrawal's selection "superb."

"The Law School has an important mission within the walls of Green Hall as well as the borders of Kansas. The dean search committee was presented with the task of narrowing many high-caliber candidates, and the provost has chosen the best of the best. I am excited about the future of the school under Dean Agrawal's leadership, and I join my fellow alumni in welcoming her."

The KU law school, which enrolls more than 540 students and has 30 faculty, offers 140 courses, five certificate programs, 10 clinics and eight joint degree options.

"When I first visited Mount Oread in December, I was struck by KU's deep and distinctive sense of place. Its law school is one of the nation's great public law schools," Agrawal said. "In my view, the very best place to educate lawyers for leadership, for the practice of a learned art in the public interest, is in a public law school. Green Hall has its public mission of accessibility and affordability in its very bricks and mortar. I am honored to be asked to serve as KU's next law dean.

"The law school at KU has a remarkable history as well as a promising future. Generations of leaders have passed through its doors. As its next dean, I will give my all to be worthy of its noble past, and I look forward to collaborating with my new colleagues at Green Hall to lead it to even greater achievements in the years ahead."

A native of New Orleans, Agrawal earned a bachelor of arts in sociology at the University of New Orleans and a master's degree in health administration and a law degree from Tulane University.

Following law school, she served as a law clerk to Senior Judge John Minor Wisdom on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit before clerking for Justice O'Connor.

She was a member of the New Orleans law firm of Monroe and Lemann, where she limited her practice to health law, and later spent three years in the law department of Aetna Inc. She has taught as an adjunct professor at Tulane Law School and Tulane School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine and as the W. M. Keck Visiting Professor of Law at the University of Michigan Law School.

She is a member of the American Law Institute and has served on the boards of the American Health Lawyers Association and the American Liver Foundation.

She is currently a member of the federal Advisory Committee on Organ Transplantation. Her research interests are health care delivery and financing and medical ethics. Agrawal is KU law school's first female dean.