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Heidi Hurd named dean of College of Law

Mark Reutter, Business Editor
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Heidi M. Hurd
 Heidi M. Hurd was named the 11th dean of the College of Law July 18.

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — Heidi M. Hurd was named the dean of the College of Law at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign by the board of trustees at its meeting today (July 18) in Springfield.

A scholar of law and philosophy, Hurd will become the college's 11th dean, effective Aug. 21, succeeding Thomas Mengler. She currently teaches at the University of San Diego Law School.

"I am enormously honored to be part of the future of a school that has such a distinguished past," Hurd said. "The Illinois College of Law has long boasted a faculty of highly productive, nationally recognized scholars who work at the cutting edges of their disciplines.

"It is famously dedicated to inspiring its lively and diverse student body to fulfill the highest ideals of the legal profession. It is administered by a team of professionals who are tireless in serving the needs of students, faculty, alumni and the larger community. And its historic dedication to excellence is glowingly reflected in the very successful lives of its distinguished alumni."

Hurd will become the David C. Baum professor of law and a professor of philosophy. She also will co-direct the campus's new program in law and philosophy.

Hurd was selected after a nationwide search involving more than 50 candidates.

"Dr. Hurd has a distinguished legal career, and I’m confident she’ll enhance the role of the College of Law on campus and nationally," said Nancy Cantor, the chancellor of the Urbana campus.

Hurd spent most of her career as a professor at the University of Pennsylvania Law School, where she also served as associate dean for academic affairs and co-founded and directed the Institute for Law and Philosophy.

During her years at Penn, she was a visiting professor at the University of Virginia School of Law and the University of Iowa philosophy department, and she spent several summers teaching law and political theory in Germany, Hungary and the Ukraine.

She was named the Herzog research professor of law at San Diego in 2000. During the spring she was a visiting research fellow at the Australian National University’s Research School of Social Sciences.

"Dr. Hurd is a truly dynamic individual and an accomplished scholar whose vision for the College of Law will bring it to new levels of excellence," said Richard Herman, the provost of the Urbana campus.

Hurd is the author of "Moral Combat" (Cambridge University Press, 1999) and has published articles in the Journal of Contemporary Legal Issues, Law and Philosophy, Legal Theory, the Boston University Law Review, the Michigan Law Review, the Notre Dame Law Review, the Southern California Law Review and the Yale Law Journal.
She is co-editor-in-chief of Law and Philosophy. In 1999, she provided testimony before the U.S. House Judiciary Committee on the Hate Crime Prevention Act of 1999.

Hurd graduated with honors from Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario, Canada, in 1982. She received a master's degree in philosophy in 1984 from Dalhousie University. She completed her law degree in 1988 at the University of Southern California and earned a doctorate in philosophy in 1992, also at USC.

"Dean Mengler's impressive nine-year legacy has well-positioned the Illinois College of Law to make major strides in the years to come, and I look forward to continuing his ambitious work with my new colleagues and with the university administration," Hurd said.