David L. Faigman Named 21st Chancellor & Dean at University of California Hastings College of the Law

SAN FRANCISCO – The University of California Hastings College of Law Board of Directors has, by unanimous vote, appointed David L. Faigman to the position of Chancellor & Dean.

“The selection of David Faigman as the College’s twenty-first Chancellor & Dean begets bold, decisive leadership for the advancement of UC Hastings,” said Tom Gede, Chairman of the UC Hastings Board of Directors. “David possesses the vision and mindset UC Hastings needs today for the implementation of changes that will radically benefit students and the institution as a whole.”

The appointment concludes an extensive national process led by a Dean Search Committee (see below) consisting of four members of the UC Hastings Board of Directors and three members of the UC Hastings Faculty, assisted by the University of California Office of the President (UCOP), including Dwaine B. Duckett, Vice President of Human Resources, and Elaine Peters, Director for Systemwide Talent Acquisition & Executive Recruitment.

Faigman, who has served as the Acting Chancellor & Dean for UC Hastings since January 2016, shared his gratitude for the opportunity in a short statement:

I am honored and humbled to be selected to lead an institution with the storied history and national reputation of UC Hastings. I have been on the UC Hastings faculty since 1987. It is my home. The students, staff, faculty and alumni are my family. It was never my aspiration to just be a dean somewhere; I aspired only to be dean at UC Hastings.

As a distinguished law school in the greatest city in the world, UC Hastings has enormous potential to excel. We have an extraordinary group of students, a staff second to none, a faculty of national and international repute, and alumni that are the envy of any school. Also, this past year, we received generous support from the State of California to replace our aging academic building at 198 McAllister Street with a state-of-the-art facility to be located at 333 Golden Gate Avenue. Once the new building is completed, we will then partner with the preeminent University of California San Francisco to build subsidized student housing on the 198 McAllister site, housing to be shared by graduate students and faculty of both schools. These improvements will help form an academic village in the heart of San Francisco.

Legal education, without question, faces considerable challenges today. But UC Hastings is as well situated as any school in the nation to face these challenges, and better situated than most. The difficulties we confront today are the seeds that will blossom into the opportunities of tomorrow. I look forward to working with the UC Hastings community to bring these opportunities to fruition.

Students, scholars, and practitioners agree that David L. Faigman is the perfect fit to guide UC Hastings to continued growth and success.

“David will be an extraordinarily effective and successful Chancellor and Dean,” said Judge Andre Davis, a Senior Judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit. “My confidence is based on a personal working relationship with him of more than two decades duration, during which I have admired his skills in teaching, collaborative decision-making, and legal scholarship, including high-level interdisciplinary work at the intersection of law and science. He brings to his new role a leadership style and ethos that is inclusive, insightful, deliberative, and always focused on enhancing communities of learning. UC Hastings is fortunate to have him at the helm.”

“I have known Professor Faigman as a colleague, a scholar and as a dear friend,” said Judge Nancy Gertner (Ret.), a former judge for the United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts. “He is an inspired choice to be UC Hastings Chancellor & Dean because of his substantial intellect in cutting edge fields (like neuroscience and the law), his extraordinary commitment to his students and the law school, and his leadership in the legal profession. I cannot think of a better choice to lead UC Hastings in the challenging environment of the 21st century.”

“In a school-wide survey, students indicated that they most wanted Professor Faigman as the next Chancellor and Dean,” said 2L Samuel M. Chang, President of the Associated Students, UC Hastings (ASUCH). “After meeting and interacting with all the final candidates, students believed that Professor Faigman stood out as being the most dedicated and engaged,” Chang explained. “Overall, his work ethic at UC Hastings, his connections with the Bay Area legal community, and his innovative partnership with UCSF demonstrated his lasting commitment to UC Hastings’ success. Students congratulate Professor Faigman on his appointment and look forward to his continual leadership and support for all students at UC Hastings. Under his vision, UC Hastings shall continue to produce a high quality and diverse community of lawyers.”

About David Faigman

Chancellor & Dean David Faigman is the John F. Digardi Distinguished Professor of Law at the University of California Hastings College of the Law and holds an appointment as Professor in the School of Medicine (Dept. of Psychiatry) at the University of California, San Francisco. He received both his M.A. (Psychology) and J.D. from the University of Virginia. Professor Faigman clerked for the Honorable Thomas M. Reavley, Senior Judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit.
“It was my good fortune to have had David Faigman as a law clerk, demonstrating the judgment and scholarship that has proved to be his excellence of today,” said Judge Reavley of Faigman’s appointment today.

Faigman is the author of over 50 articles and essays, and has published in a variety of outlets, including the Chicago, Virginia, Pennsylvania and Northwestern law reviews, Science, Sociological Methods & Research and Nature Reviews Neuroscience. He is also the author of three books, Constitutional Fictions: A Unified Theory of Constitutional Facts (Oxford, 2008), Laboratory of Justice: The Supreme Court’s 200-Year Struggle to Integrate Science and the Law (Henry Holt & Co. 2004) and Legal Alchemy: The Use and Misuse of Science in the Law (W.H. Freeman,1999). In addition, Professor Faigman is a co-author/co-editor of the five-volume treatise Modern Scientific Evidence: The Law and Science of Expert Testimony (with Cheng, Mnookin, Murphy Sanders & Slobogin). The treatise has been cited widely by courts, including several times by the U.S. Supreme Court. Professor Faigman was a member of the National Academies of Science panel that investigated the scientific validity of polygraphs, is a member of the MacArthur Law and Neuroscience Network and served as a Senior Advisor to the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology’s Report, “Forensic Science in Criminal Courts: Ensuring Scientific Validity of Feature-Comparison Methods.”

About the Dean Search Committee & Process

On June 3, 2016, pursuant to the Board’s Standing Orders, Section 100.2(a)(1) Employment Status, Decanal Appointments, the University of California Hastings College of Law Board of Directors appointed a Dean Search Committee comprised of four Board members (Chairman of the Board Tom Gede and Directors: Marci Dragun, Mary Noel Pepys and Chip Robertson) and three faculty members (Professors Ben Depoorter, Joan Williams, and Yvonne Troya) to recruit a new Chancellor & Dean.

Assisted by UCOP staff who worked tirelessly to recruit and screen candidates for the highest caliber talent for the position, the committee thoroughly, objectively, and rigorously evaluated nearly 100 nominations and expressions of interest.

“We were successful in attracting a high number of immensely qualified applicants, including a strong and diverse group of finalists who visited the campus and met with students, alumni, faculty, and staff,” noted Board Chair Gede, who served as Chair of the Dean Search Committee. Professor Ben Depoorter served as Vice-Chair.

Media Contact
For more information or to schedule an interview with Chancellor & Dean Faigman, please contact:
Alex A.G. Shapiro
Director of External Relations
UC Hastings College of the Law
Office: (415) 581-8842
Cell: (415) 813-9214
Email: shapiroa@uchastings.edu