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Theodore Ruger, Penn Law School’s deputy dean since 2013, has been named the school’s new dean, effective July 1.

Credit: Courtesy of the President's Office

Theodore Ruger, Penn Law School’s deputy dean since 2013, has been named the school’s new dean, effective July 1. He will replace Interim Dean Wendell Pritchett, who has lead the school since Dean Michael A. Fitts left to take the presidency at Tulane University last year.

Ruger, who has been on the Penn Law faculty since 2004, is known for his work in health law and regulation, food and drug law and constitutional law. At Penn, he has held numerous leadership positions, including serving as the advisor of the University of Pennsylvania Law Review.

“It’s an incredible honor,” Ruger told The Daily Pennsylvanian regarding his appointment as dean. “I’m very excited to have this opportunity to lead Penn Law, which has been my professional home for a dozen years now.”

“Ted is a superb scholar and teacher of constitutional law and health law,” Penn President Amy Gutmann said in a press release announcing the appointment. “He has a passion for helping students succeed and is someone who will work collaboratively with the faculty to ensure that Penn Law continues to stand as one of America’s preeminent law schools.”

Prior to joining the faculty at Penn Law, Ruger was an associate professor at Washington University’s School of Law for three years. Ruger clerked for United States Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer and United States Court of Appeals Judge Michael Boudin. He also worked at Washington, DC law firm Williams & Connolly, as well as Ropes & Gray in Boston.

“He also has a clear sense of Penn Law’s distinctive culture and strengths,” Penn Provost Vincent Price said in the press release. “We are looking forward to working with him as he collaborates with faculty, staff, students and alumni to build on this incredibly strong foundation and leads Penn Law to the pinnacle of American law schools.”

Ruger received his BA from Williams College and his JD from Harvard Law School, where he held the prestigious position of president of the Harvard Law Review. He praised the school’s faculty and students, as well as Pritchett and Fitts for their leadership of the school. Ruger said he is excited to lead Penn Law, and he is confident the school is well-suited to face the biggest challenges of legal education today.

“I think we’re at a time when the legal profession is changing in important ways, when it becomes ever more important for students to be trained... in the methodology of other disciplines and also to have a truly global perspective on the rule of law.” Ruger said. “Our program and our goals here at Penn Law are to train students for the legal world that exists today, but also for the legal world that will exist ten, twenty, years from now.”

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