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Smolla to be Furman president

Washington and Lee University Law School Dean Rodney A. Smolla has been a man on the move in recent years, and he doesn’t appear to be slowing down.

He will be introduced tomorrow as the 11th president of Furman University in Greenville, S.C. He will succeed David Shi, who will retire June 30.

Smolla was dean of the law school at the University of Richmond for four years before moving to Washington and Lee University as dean of its law school in 2007. There, he championed an innovative third-year program that focuses on the real world of law practice rather than a continuation of courses in legal specialties.

An expert on First Amendment law, Smolla was director of the Institute of Bill of Rights Law at the College of William and Mary before joining the UR faculty in 1998.

Smolla was a candidate for the presidency of UR and moved to W&L shortly after Edward L. Ayers was named to the post in 2006. He said then that he had been looking forward to working with Ayers and moved only because W&L President Kenneth P. Ruscio, who had been dean at the Jepson School of Leadership Studies at UR, recruited him.

The chairman of the search committee to replace Shi is Richard Cullen, chairman of the Richmond-based legal giant McGuireWoods LLP, a 1971 graduate of Furman and a 1977 graduate of the UR law school.
By Alan Cooper

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