University of North Texas System Chancellor Lee F. Jackson announced the appointment of Ellen S. Pryor, Homer R. Mitchell Endowed Professor of Law at SMU Dedman School of Law, as the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs of the UNT Dallas College of Law. Her appointment will be effective January 2013, in anticipation of the law school’s opening in August 2014. [Professor Michael Schwartz, Washburn University, will not be joining the UNT Dallas College of Law as previously announced due to personal reasons.]
As the Dallas College of Law Associate Dean, Professor Pryor will be responsible for administering all aspects of academic life. As part of the law school’s launch, she will help develop new curriculum and assist in the hiring of faculty, working with U.S. District Judge Royal Furgeson, whose appointment as founding dean was announced in January 2012.
Professor Pryor brings more than 25 years of experience in legal education to the position. After serving as Editor-in-Chief of the Texas Law Review and as a judicial clerk for Judge Carl McGowan on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, Pryor practiced law in Dallas for four years before entering law teaching. During her time in law practice, Pryor received the Dallas Bar Association’s Pro Bono Award of the Year, and the State Bar of Texas’s Frank Scurlock Award for the Delivery of Legal Services to the Poor.
Pryor currently serves as Coordinating Reporter for the American Law Institute’s Restatement (Third) of Torts, and has participated as Adviser and Associate Reporter on portions of the Restatement (Third) of Torts.
From 2006 to 2011, Professor Pryor served as an Associate Provost at SMU. In Fall 2010, she was the D & L Straus Distinguished Visiting Professor at Pepperdine University School of Law.
Professor Pryor’s résumé reflects years of accomplishment and recognition. In 2000, she received SMU’s United Methodist Church Scholar-Teacher of the Year Award for Southern Methodist University. In 2001 she was named one of four inaugural members of SMU’s Academy of Distinguished Teachers. In 2002 she received SMU Law School’s Don Smart Teaching Award. In 2005, she was named as a Piper Professor by the Minnie Piper Foundation and received SMU’s Rotunda Outstanding Professor Award. In 2006, Professor Pryor was named the 20th annual recipient of the Robert B. McKay Law Professor Award from the Tort Trial and Insurance Practice Section of the American Bar Association.
Professor Pryor has been a co-author on several torts casebooks published by West Publishing Company. Her writings have appeared in, among other journals, the Harvard Law Review, Journal of Legal Studies, Virginia Law Review, Georgetown Law Journal, George Washington Law Review, Maryland Law Review, Texas Law Review, Tulane Law Review, and the University of Chicago Press.
Commenting on Professor Pryor’s appointment, UNT System Chancellor Lee Jackson said, “Ellen Pryor is committed to excellence in teaching and recognized for her scholarship. She has an impressive career and brings a great passion for innovation in legal education. Ellen has just the right experience for a new law school that will begin in 2014 with a strong focus on the practice of law in addition to its theory.”
“These are exciting times for us,” Vice Chancellor Rosemary Haggett said. “With key administrators in place and the extensive renovation of our downtown home underway, our promise to the people of Texas to develop a one-of-a-kind public law school is becoming a reality.”