Dean McConnaughay named dean of Peking University's School of Transnation

January 24, 2013

Philip J. McConnaughayPhilip J. McConnaughay, dean of Penn State Law and founding dean of Penn State's School of International Affairs, has taken a position as dean of Peking University's School of Transnational Law in Shenzhen, China. His new appointment is effective Aug. 1.

McConnaughay, who has been dean of the law school since 2002 and also serves as dean of the School of International Affairs, said that the opportunity to help Peking University continue to grow and develop its American-style J.D. program is an exciting venture that will shape future global legal services and increase international cooperation.

"Dean McConnaughay has been a leader in transnational legal practice and international arbitration. This rare opportunity for him to influence legal education on a global scale certainly speaks volumes about his expertise and skills," said Penn State President Rodney Erickson. "It is definitely our loss and Peking University's gain in hiring such a distinguished legal educator to lead their law school."

Penn State Law, with locations at both University Park and Carlisle, Pa., serves a total of about 600 students, who participate in a wealth of joint degree and other interdisciplinary opportunities with many of Penn State's top-ranked graduate programs.

During McConnaughay's tenure, the law school created a two-campus model in 2006 which included building a law school on Penn State's Univeristy Park campus and renovating its Carlisle campus. The appointment of more than 40 internationally renowned scholars and advocates also occurred under McConnaughay's leadership, as well as dramatic improvements in student body diversity and academic credentials. In addition to the $130 million investment in new LEED certified facilities, significant expansion occurred in the law school's international programs and curriculum. During his 11 years at the helm, McConnaughay oversaw the development of a nationally acclaimed distance education program, made possible by specially designed classrooms equipped with advanced audiovisual technology, as well as private gifts to the the law school that are the largest in its history. The launch of Penn State's School of International Affairs six years ago also was part of McConnaughay's portfolio, as was the creation of numerous legal clinics and collaborative international research opportunities, such as the Dubai Judicial Institute.

McConnaughay said of his departure, “The University's unwavering support of the law school and the dedication and hard work of my colleagues have been instrumental in transforming the Dickinson School of Law into one of the most innovative and outstanding programs of legal education in the United States today. I look forward to the continued success of the law school and School of International Affiars.”

“Penn State's Dickinson School of Law and our School of International Affairs have been innovative and successful ventures, of which we are extraordinarily proud,” Erickson said, “and Dean McConnaughay can take great pride in all that has been accomplished under his watch.”