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Prof. Richardson named Tulane Law Vice Dean for Academic Affairs

August 13, 2020 2:45 PM
Alina Hernandez ahernandez4@tulane.edu

Sally Richardson has been named Vice Dean for Academic Affairs at Tulane Law School. (Photo: Paula Burch-Celentano)


Professor Sally Brown Richardson, a respected scholar of property rights known for her engaging demeanor in the classroom and a gift for bringing often-arcane laws to life, will serve as Tulane Law’s Vice Dean for Academic Affairs.  She succeeds Prof. Onnig Dombalagian, an expert in corporate and securities law, who concluded a four-year term as Vice Dean this summer.

“Onnig was extremely generous to agree to extend his service as Vice Dean for an additional year beyond the usual three-year term and I am deeply in his debt,” said Dean David Meyer.

“His term has been packed with both impressive accomplishments and daunting challenges, beginning with our comprehensive ABA accreditation review and ending with managing our sudden transition to fully remote instruction during the spring semester and our complex contingency planning for the fall semester,” Meyer noted.  “Along the way, he designed and launched our highly successful 1L Business Literacy Bootcamp, redesigned and almost single-handedly built our new website, and dedicated himself selflessly to supporting colleagues and students and strengthening our academic community in a million mostly unseen ways.”

Richardson succeeded Dombalagian on July 1.

“In addition to her gifts as a scholar and a teacher, Sally has distinguished herself as a highly capable administrator,” Meyer said.  “In addition to her significant campus and professional leadership roles, she has ably led a host of the Law School’s most important committees and searches, including a comprehensive redesign of our career development office and the hiring of three assistant deans.”

Since starting her new position, Richardson, the A.D. Freeman Professor of Civil Law, has been the point person on the law school’s preparations to return students to the classroom in the new academic year.

This summer, she not only worked to prepare the graduating class to take the Louisiana Bar Exam via video format, but also helped prepare classroom space, reconfigure offices for newly-hired faculty, develop plans for simultaenous offering of in-person and online courses, and taught all six academic preparation sections for the incoming first-year law students, including generating a mock exam and model case brief.

Richardson has been at Tulane eight years and was awarded tenure in 2018 based on her impressive record as a nuanced and thoughtful scholar of comparative property law and an international leader in her field.

In 2019, she received Tulane University’s highest teaching honor – the President’s Award for Excellence in Professional and Graduate Teaching.  Four years earlier, the graduating class had selected her to receive the law school’s top teaching award, the Felix Frankfurter Award for Distinguished Teaching.

“I’m enormously grateful to Onnig for his extraordinary dedication and selfless leadership these past four years and to Sally for taking on this important new responsibility for the school,” Meyer said.