New Deans for Law, Campus Life

Helping students reach their fullest potential
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Ajay Nair

Jessica Kripp Photography

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Robert Schapiro

Courtesy Emory School of Law

Becoming the university’s chief advocate for nearly thirteen thousand undergraduate and graduate students, Ajay Nair has been named the new senior vice president and dean of Campus Life. Nair, a student affairs leader and scholar whose interests include immigration, race, and ethnicity, is the former senior associate vice provost for student affairs at the University of Pennsylvania.

Nair will shoulder a broad portfolio of responsibilities, from intercollegiate athletics and the Greek experience to student health services and residence life.

He succeeds John Ford, a former Cornell administrator who served at Emory for eleven years. Ford oversaw the dramatic expansion of on-campus residence capacity and support programs; marked improvements in career services; and ongoing successes in men’s and women’s intercollegiate athletics.

“Emory’s strong commitment to campus life and academic excellence presents a tremendous opportunity for me to help students reach their fullest potential,” Nair says.

Nair has served as senior associate vice provost for student affairs at Penn since 2008 and taught in the Graduate School of Education and the Asian American Studies Program.

His research interests include quality assurance in educational systems, service learning and civic engagement, and Asian American identity. His coedited book, Desi Rap: Hip-Hop in South Asian America, focuses on the complexities of second-generation South Asian American identity.

Law schools central to promoting human rights

Constitutional law expert Robert A. Schapiro, Asa Griggs Candler Professor of Law and and former clerk to US Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens, has been appointed dean of the School of Law.

A member of the faculty since 1995, Schapiro previously served as associate vice provost for academic affairs and codirector of the School of Law’s Center on Federalism and Intersystemic Governance.

Schapiro teaches courses in constitutional law, federal courts, civil procedure, and legislation and regulation. He has received teaching and scholarship awards including the Emory Williams Teaching Award and the Ben F. Johnson Faculty Excellence Award.

“I have never been as excited about the future of Emory School of Law as I am right now, with the potential for years of distinguished leadership from Robert Schapiro,” says Ben F. Johnson III 65C, chair of the Board of Trustees.

Schapiro received a bachelor’s degree from Yale University in 1984 and a master’s degree in history from Stanford University in 1986. He earned a JD in 1990 from Yale Law School, where he was editor-in-chief of the Yale Law Journal. He says the ability of the law to transform people’s lives is what drew him to the field.

“Lawyers and law schools are central to promoting the rule of law and human rights around the world,” he says. “In the years ahead, their role will only grow, as we engage some of the most complex social, political, and economic challenges we have ever faced.”

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