New Dean of the School of Law

Colleagues,

It is my pleasure to announce that Marcilynn Burke will join the University of Oregon as dean of the School of Law. She will begin on July 1.

An outstanding scholar and leader, Burke currently serves as associate dean and associate professor of law at the University of Houston, where she joined the faculty in 2002. Her experience and legal expertise are a tremendous complement to the excellent work of our faculty. As our top candidate, Burke, I believe, will have an instant rapport with her colleagues that will inspire even greater achievements in environmental and natural resources law, dispute resolution, and other areas of emphasis across the school. 

Burke received her bachelor’s degree in international studies from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and her law degree from Yale Law School. At Yale, she was an editor for both the Yale Journal of Law and Feminism and the Yale Journal of International Law.

After receiving tenure at UH in 2009, Burke took a leave of absence to serve at the US Department of the Interior as deputy director for programs and policy at the Bureau of Land Management. 

In 2011, President Barack Obama asked Burke to serve as acting assistant secretary for land and minerals management, where she helped develop the land use, resource management, and regulatory oversight policies that are administered by the BLM, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement, and the Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement. Collectively, these four agencies work to ensure appropriate management and use of federal lands and related resources.

Currently, Burke teaches courses in property law, land-use law, and federal natural resources law. Her research articles have been published in noted journals, such as the Notre Dame Law Review and the Duke Environmental Law and Policy Forum. Her teaching has earned accolades from students, who awarded her with Professor of the Year honors in 2013 from the University of Houston Law Center’s Black Law Students Association.

Previously, Burke clerked for the Honorable Raymond A. Jackson of the Eastern District of Virginia and spent nearly five years at the Washington, DC, office of the law firm of Cleary, Gottlieb, Steen & Hamilton, where her practice focused on environmental law, antitrust, and civil and criminal litigation.

Our School of Law is a great asset to this university’s incredible academic offerings, thanks in large part to the steady leadership of Michael Moffitt. We will miss Michael as dean, but we are pleased to welcome him back to the faculty resuming his role as a scholar and teacher. 

Please join me in welcoming Marcilynn Burke to the University of Oregon.

Sincerely,

Scott Coltrane
Provost and Senior Vice President