Law Center Dean and Executive Vice President for Law Center Affairs Judith Areen will step down from her leadership position and resume her faculty position at the end of her term in June 2004.

Dean Areen announced her decision to step down after three consecutive five-year terms on Jan. 10.

“[Fifteen years] is a very long time. I never expected to serve this long and it seems like the right time to give someone else the privilege,” Areen said.

Areen has been instrumental in numerous improvements to the Georgetown University Law Center since 1989. She expanded the size of the faculty to 101 full-time members, increasing the number of faculty by forty-five, and making it the nation’s largest law school faculty.

The increase in the number of faculty led to smaller class sizes and more faculty-student interaction. “Education is better when it’s more personal and you’re not just a part of a large classroom,” Areen said in the Jan. 21 issue of Blue & Gray.

Under Areen’s leadership, the curriculum for the Law Center expanded to more than 350 courses and seminars, making it one of the largest in the nation. Four law clinics were also created during her time.

Two new buildings, the Eric Hotung International Law Center and a sports and fitness center, will be completed in 2004 adding to the facilities on the campus located near Capitol Hill. G Street, a road that crosses the campus, was closed and turned into a quadrangle in 1990. In 1993, the Gewirz Center opened, providing housing and a child care center. And in 1997, an east wing was added to McDonough Hall, allowing additional space for faculty offices, student organizations and classrooms.

Areen said that the curriculum and facilities increases, as well as the additional financial aid made possible by alumni donations, helped improve student experiences at the Law Center. “It’s all about making sure that their experiences inside and outside the classroom are good ones,” Areen said in the Blue & Gray.

After taking a one-year sabbatical, Areen will return to teach classes at the Law Center in family law and bioethics, as well as a new course on judgment and decision-making.

University President John J. DeGioia will appoint a search committee chair this semester to begin the selection for a new dean. DeGioia wrote in a letter to the Law Center community that with nearly 18-months notice, the university would have ample time to conduct a thorough search that will involve faculty, students and staff.

Areen will not be participating in the search committee and feels “it’s important that the President and the faculty should make the decision.”

After 15 years of leadership, Areen, along with former Law Center Dean Paul Dean, will rank as the longest serving deans in the Law Center’s modern history. Areen, however, is not ready to leave just yet.

“I’ve got 18 months to go, and I`m looking forward to getting a lot of things done,” she said. “I love my job because I so enjoy working with President DeGioia.”

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