By Maria Iacobo
Robert K. Rasmussen, dean of the USC Gould School of Law, has accepted a second five-year term in his post offered by USC President C. L. Max Nikias.
Elizabeth Garrett, Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs, made the announcement following a fourth-year review that included a faculty survey and meetings with staff and the law school’s Board of Councilors.
“This is a tremendously exciting time to lead USC Law and I am eager to continue as dean,” Rasmussen said. “As we prepare to join with the university and launch our capital campaign, I am mindful of USC Law’s distinguished place in history.
“If you look at legal education over the last 100 years, the two most important developments have been the rise of experiential learning and the borrowing from other disciplines to better understand law’s application and a client’s needs. USC Law was at the forefront of both of these developments and our plans include ventures to provide the inter-professional education for lawyers for the 21st century. We will draw on the strength of USC, the strength of Los Angeles, the strength of the Pacific Rim and the strength of the Trojan Network to offer the best teaching and scholarship to our students and our society. There is no place in legal education today with a brighter future than the Gould School of Law.”
Garrett’s announcement lauded Rasmussen for establishing certificate programs in Entertainment Law and Business Law. The two programs allow law students to collaborate and take classes with students at USC’s School of Cinematic Arts and Marshall School of Business. This inter-disciplinary study provides law students with a keen understanding of and appreciation for the perspectives of these professionals.
“The lawyer for the 21st century needs to be comfortable moving between law and other professions such as accounting, engineering, business, government and cinematic arts,” said Rasmussen. “USC offers these opportunities to law students and the resources to hit the ground running when they graduate.”
Garrett’s announcement also cited that many faculty “applauded Dean Rasmussen’s academic values and commitment to excellence, observing his productivity in scholarship, inspired teaching and collegiality.”
Rasmussen, who also holds the Carl Mason Franklin Chair in Law, was credited for several outstanding faculty additions, including three Provost Professors.
Rasmussen was appointed dean in 2007 following an 18-year career at Vanderbilt University Law School. A noted legal scholar in the fields of bankruptcy and corporate reorganizations, Rasmussen also was a popular professor, having received Vanderbilt Law School’s outstanding teaching award six times.
Rasmussen earned his J.D. cum laude in 1985 from the University of Chicago Law School.