John Charles “Jack” Boger ’74 announced that he will conclude his role as dean of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Law in July 2015 to return to the law school faculty. He will have served as dean for nine years, and as a member of the UNC faculty for 25 years.
Boger was named the law school’s 13th dean in 2006 after serving as deputy director of the UNC Center for Civil Rights. He holds the Wade Edwards Distinguished Chair.
“I have opened my every speech during the past eight years by noting what a privilege it is to be the dean of the UNC School of Law,” says Boger. “My words have been heartfelt. Working with our splendid staff, taking pride in our brilliant and accomplished faculty, helping to mold the careers of the next generation of Carolina lawyers, and spending time with our wonderful alumni have been priceless experiences.”
With Boger’s direction, UNC School of Law has overseen major curricular reform, including the creation of a new first-year research and writing program and an expanded experiential learning program. A new selection of 25 transition-to-practice courses offers students hands-on learning in a broad range of practice areas, from bankruptcy to biotechnology. The externship program now offers more than 155 students each year the opportunity to practice their legal skills through work with companies, law firms and government agencies.
Under Boger's leadership, Carolina Law’s full-time faculty has grown from 43 in 2006 to 63 in 2014. Boger inaugurated four new annual awards for faculty scholarship, teaching and service; elevated support for faculty summer research and professional development activities; and created funds to support faculty empirical research and scholarly travel. Virtually every major staff department was reorganized during his tenure. A new assistant dean for public service was created, and all offices serving students were substantially enlarged.
Plans for a search committee to identify Boger’s successor will be announced by the UNC Provost in the coming months. Boger will continue to lead the law school until his successor is named and assumes the leadership role in the summer of 2015.
Boger’s career in law spans more than 35 years. After completing law school at UNC, he clerked with the Honorable Samuel Silverman of the N.Y. Supreme Court Appellate Division and practiced for three years in the litigation department of Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison in New York City. In 1978, Boger joined the staff of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund (LDF), where he litigated capital punishment cases for a decade, becoming in 1983 the director of the fund's Capital Punishment Project. In 1987, he became director of a poverty and justice program at LDF established to enlarge the legal rights of the minority poor.
Boger joined the UNC School of Law faculty in 1990. In 2002, he became deputy director of the UNC Center for Civil Rights, working with the late Julius L. Chambers '62 to encourage innovative civil rights research, train a new generation of civil rights attorneys and address pressing civil rights issues in N.C. and throughout the southeast.
Boger is also chair of the Poverty and Race Research Action Council, a Washington, D.C.,-based federation of civil rights, civil liberties and legal services groups that encourages national coordination of social scientific research and legal advocacy on behalf of the poor. He has taught as a lecturer or adjunct professor at Harvard, New York Law School and Florida State University. He teaches constitutional law, education law, racial discrimination and poverty law.
-May 16, 2014