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Monday, June 22, 2009

A Message from Yale University President Richard C. Levin—Robert C. Post ’77 Named YLS Dean

To the Yale Law School Community:


It gives me great pleasure to announce the appointment of Robert C. Post ’77JD as the Dean and Sol and Lillian Goldman Professor of Law, effective July 1, 2009.  Professor Post, who returned to Yale in 2003 as the David Boies Professor of Law, is a distinguished scholar of constitutional law, in particular the First Amendment, equal protection, and legal history.  As a leading scholar and a respected citizen of the legal profession, he is ideally positioned to move the Yale Law School forward.  He is greatly admired by his colleagues for his wisdom and judgment, and his commitment to sustaining the excellence of the Law School is unwavering.


Professor Post earned both a B.A. (summa cum laude) and a Ph.D. (History of American Civilization) from Harvard, but between the two he received his law degree at Yale, where he was Note Editor of The Yale Law Journal and won the Michael Egger Prize.  Immediately after graduating, he served as a Law Clerk to Chief Judge David L. Bazelon, United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, following that year with a clerkship for Justice William J. Brennan, Jr. of the United States Supreme Court.  He worked for nearly three years as an Associate at Williams & Connolly, and, in January 1983 moved to California to become Acting Professor of Law at Boalt Hall, University of California, Berkeley.  He remained at Boalt Hall for twenty years, serving for the last nine years as the Alexander F. and May T. Morrison Professor of Law.


Robert has written and edited numerous books, including the most recent with Matthew M. Finkin, For the Common Good: Principles of American Academic Freedom (Yale University Press, 2009).  Two others are Prejudicial Appearances: The Logic of American Antidiscrimination Law (with K. Anthony Appiah, Judith Butler, Thomas C. Grey, and Reva Siegel, 2001), and Constitutional Domains: Democracy, Community, Management (1995).  He also has authored dozens of articles that have appeared in legal journals and other publications, including “Roe Rage: Democratic Constitutionalism and Backlash,” with Reva Siegel (Harvard Civil-Rights Civil-Liberties Law Review, 2007), “Federalism, Positive Law, and the Emergence of the American Administrative State: Prohibition in the Taft Court Era” (William & Mary Law Review, 2006), “Foreword: Fashioning the Legal Constitution: Culture, Courts, and Law” (Harvard Law Review, 2003), and “Subsidized Speech” (The Yale Law Journal, 1996).  Professor Post received the 1998 Hughes-Gossett Award for best article in the Journal of Supreme Court History.


Professor Post is currently a Trustee of the National Humanities Center and Librarian of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and a consultant to the committee of the Association of American University Professors charged with investigating claims concerning academic freedom.  Prior to becoming Librarian, he was Councilor of the AAA&S.  For four years Robert served on the Executive Council of the American Association of Law Schools, and he has been a member of or the chair of numerous other boards and committees.  While at Boalt Hall, he received a John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship and a fellowship from the American Council of Learned Societies.


I want to thank the Law School Dean’s Search Committee for their insights and reflection on the condition of the School and for their thoughtful consideration of possible candidates.  The committee, ably chaired by Paul Kahn, Robert W. Winner Professor of Law and the Humanities, also included Robert Ellickson, Douglas Kysar, John Langbein, Daniel Markovits, Tracey Meares, Susan Rose-Ackerman, James Whitman, and Michael Wishnie.


I want to express my deep gratitude for the devoted and indefatigable service of Harold Hongju Koh, who became dean of the Yale Law School in 2004 and who currently awaits Senate confirmation as Legal Adviser to the U.S. State Department.  I have greatly enjoyed working with Dean Koh these past five years, and I look forward to the contributions he will make to the nation in his important new role.  I also want to thank Kate Stith, Lafayette S. Foster Professor of Law, who has served with wisdom and discernment as the Law School’s Acting Dean since March.


I know the entire Law School community will join me in welcoming Professor Post to his new position.


Sincerely yours,


Richard C. Levin