UA Little Rock selects first female dean of Bowen Law School

Theresa Beiner

Theresa Beiner, a nationally recognized law professor for innovative teaching and scholarship, has been selected after a national search as the first permanent female dean of the William H. Bowen School of Law at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock.

UA Little Rock Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost Velmer Burton today announced the appointment of Beiner, who is currently serving as associate dean for academic affairs at Bowen. She will assume the deanship July 1, 2018, succeeding John DiPippa, who will step down as interim dean on June 30.

“The central Arkansas community is fortunate to have an accomplished teacher-scholar agree to lead our Bowen Law School,” said Provost Burton. “She brings a wealth of insight and experience to her new role at UA Little Rock that will prove valuable to Bowen’s students, faculty, alumni, and the legal community.”

Beiner has worked in numerous capacities at the law school since 1994, including associate dean for faculty development and as the Nadine H. Baum Distinguished Professor of Law. She received a Juris Doctor in 1989 from Northwestern University School of Law, graduating cum laude, and earned a B.A. with highest distinction from the University of Virginia in 1986.

“Terri Beiner is the epitome of a scholar, teacher, servant, and colleague,” said DiPippa. “Her research garners national attention, and her teaching is innovative. She is devoted to her students and spends hours meeting with them outside of class. She is also a wonderful colleague.”

Beiner, who became the school’s first associate dean for faculty development in 2010, worked with her colleagues to help each of them become the best teachers, scholars, and public servants they could be, DiPippa said.

“I’m very excited to have the opportunity to help Bowen build on its strengths as a law school that is committed to creating a cutting edge curriculum that incorporates our core values of professionalism, public service, and access to justice,” Beiner said.

Before becoming a professor, Beiner practiced civil litigation as an associate attorney for a San Francisco law firm after passing the bar in 1991. She is the author of numerous publications of subjects including diversity, gender equality and justice, employment discrimination, and civil procedure. She has presented at Continuing Legal Education seminars for the Arkansas Bar Association, the Wisconsin Law Review Symposium, and the Southeastern Association of Law Schools Conferences, among many other venues.

She was awarded the university’s William H. Bowen School of Law’s Faculty Excellence Award for Scholarship in 1998, 2005, 2009 and 2016. She has served on the Arkansas Bar Association Task Force on Maintaining a Fair and Impartial Judiciary and is a past board president of Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families. She was an Arkansas delegate to the Infinity Project, an organization working to appoint more women to the bench in the Eighth Circuit.

DiPippa, who joined the Bowen faculty in 1983, began serving as interim dean on July 1, 2017. He was Bowen dean from 2008 to 2012 before returning to the classroom as Dean Emeritus and Distinguished Professor of Law and Public Policy.

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