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USC Gould celebrates installation of three endowed professorships, chairs
USC Gould School of Law

Tuesday, June 14, 2022

Camille Gear Rich, Robin Craig, Diana Jaque honored as leaders, experts in their fields

By Melissa Masatani

Dean Andrew Guzman (second from left) presided over the installation of three professorships for faculty including (from left) Robin Kundis Craig, Diana C. Jaque and Camille Gear Rich.

The USC Gould School of Law celebrated the installation of three professorships recently, honoring Camille Gear Rich, Robin Kundis Craig and Diana C. Jaque on April 14. Rich was installed as the Dorothy W. Nelson Professor of Law and Sociology, Craig was installed as the Robert C. Packard Trustee Chair in Law, and Jaque was installed as the John Stauffer Law Library Director.

"They are educators and leaders, experts in their fields, and they couldn’t be more deserving of the honor that we’re celebrating today,” Dean Andrew Guzman said. “The installation of a faculty member in an endowed chair or professorship is a huge honor ... This is one of the ways in which we mark the success of our mission as a university.”

The celebration, which had been delayed by the pandemic, was held at Town and Gown. Participants included the honorees’ family, friends and colleagues, as well as USC Provost Charles F. Zukoski, who emphasized that in addition to recognizing the trio’s achievements, the endowed positions also offer practical support to fund new accomplishments and signal a level of prestige in academia.

“These chairs and directorships carry a great deal of visibility in the academic world outside of USC,” Zukoski explained. “So, it’s really good for USC that we have such talent here and that we have placed them in these named positions, indicating to the outside world how seriously we take our role in attracting, retaining and recognizing exceptional scholars.”

Honoring a trailblazer

Camille Gear Rich
Camille Gear Rich

Rich, who previously served as the Associate Provost of Diversity and Inclusion, as well as the Associate Provost of Student and Faculty Initiatives in the Social Sciences at USC, encouraged attendees to stand up for their beliefs. She also shared an inspirational message about remaining committed to  achieving one’s vision of what the world can be.

“Camille has contributed significantly to USC’s ongoing journey to being a stronger, more inclusive institution, most notably in her role as Associate Provost of Diversity and Inclusion, which served as a precursor to our first ever Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer position. She is a leader in the DEI field, with an extensive record of teaching educators about diversity — myself included,” said Provost Zukoski.

Particularly, Rich created the USC-wide Diversity Equity and Inclusion Week event; was honored for her widely cited research on racial identity development and diversity; and has worked with law schools nationwide on inclusive pedagogy.

The Dorothy W. Nelson Professorship is one of three endowed professorships named after a former law school dean at USC Gould, and is named after Nelson, who was the first woman dean of a major U.S. law school on her appointment in 1969. She held the post until her appointment as Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in 1980.

Emphasis on the environment

Robin Craig
Robin Kundis Craig

A prolific interdisciplinary scholar, Craig specializes in water and environmental law. She has served on six National Academy of Sciences committees; consulted on water quality issues with governments across the globe; and recently has been working on the Environmental Law Institute’s Climate Judiciary Project.

Craig said the professorship was a special way for her to return home to California after having taught in several states across the country.

“If you’re not aware, this is the first year ever there’s been a shortage declared in the Colorado River and the State Water Project for the second or third time ever is not delivering any water,” Craig said. “There’s a lot of work on climate change adaptation to be done and I’m very delighted to be back here to be able to do it in my home state.”

The Robert C. Packard Trustee Professorship is one of three professorships endowed by the late Robert C. Packard, two of which reside at the law school. Packard was a widely respected trial attorney and steadfast supporter of the university, having graduated from both the accounting program and the law school by 1947.

Not a traditional library

Diana Jaque
Diana C. Jaque

Jaque, an associate dean and adjunct professor of law, started with USC Gould in 1997 and became a law librarian in 1999. She has contributed to improving the quality and service of the Asa V. Call Law Library with each role held — from the head of collection development and acquisitions to senior law librarian. Jaque has served as the law library director since 2020.

The John Stauffer Professorship honors the position of the law library director at USC Gould and is named in honor of John Stauffer, a native Californian who was born in 1898 and had a high regard for education and learning. On his death in 1972, Stauffer was a member of the USC Board of Trustees and held an honorary Doctor of Laws degree from USC.

“Without a doubt, a law school library plays an indispensable role within the law school community,” Jaque said. “Law libraries are different from traditional libraries. … Our function is different from what one might think of as a traditional library. We’re here to support the mission of the law school, including providing services to students and supporting faculty research.”

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