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Eminent Environmental Scholar joins School of Law

Loyola press release - September 28, 2004

Loyola University New Orleans School of Law announced the selection of Robert R.M. Verchick as the Wendell H. Gauthier-Michael X. St. Martin Eminent Scholar Chair in Environmental Law. Verchick joined Loyola at the beginning of the 2004 academic year.

The Gauthier-St. Martin chair is the first $2,000,000 chair in the state of Louisiana and was established with private and public funds. As the Gauthier-St. Martin Chair, Verchick will provide an essential resource to Louisiana as an eminent scholar focused on environmental issues of concern to the state’s business and environmental interests. He will address legal issues of importance to private industry, government, and the public that are instrumental in the decision-making process relative to economic development, protection of the environment, and the public’s role in environmental policy questions.

Prior to joining Loyola, Verchick served as the Ruby M. Hulen Professor of Law at the University of Missouri in Kansas City (UMKC). In Verchick, Loyola has gained an inspiring teacher, a venerated intellectual, and an academic leader, one who understands fully the relationship between environmental law and public policy. Verchick is a scholar with the Center for Progressive Regulation, and he serves on the executive committee of the Environmental and Property Sections of the Association of American Law Schools and Harvard’s Environmental Law Society advisory committee. In 2002, he represented the University of Missouri’s Center for the City at the World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg, South Africa. The Center for the City is a portal that connects UMKC and the larger Kansas City community through research, scholarship, and creativity.

Verchick’s scholarship, which has attracted international acclaim, concerns environmental law and environmental justice, a discipline that explores the connections between environmental policy, race, and poverty. His work has appeared in some of the most-respected academic journals in the country including the California Law Review, the Southern California Law Review, the Harvard Environmental Law Review, and the Stanford Environmental Law Journal. He is editor of the American Bar Association’s Urban Lawyer law journal.

A colleague, who wrote in a support of Verchick being named the Gauthier-St. Martin chair, said “Professor Verchick has significantly contributed to, and indeed has helped shaped, the discussion of environmental justice as a topic of concern among American legal scholars.”

Verchick has been with the University of Missouri since 1993 and received the Ruby M. Hulen Professorship in February 2003. He has been a visiting professor and presented professional papers at the Beijing University School of Law (China), Aarhus University Faculty of Law (Denmark), and Seattle University School of Law. He has been an active member of the UMKC faculty, serving on the dean’s search committee and as an associate in the Center for Applied Environmental Research and the Center for Women’s and Gender Studies.

In making the announcement, Loyola School of Law Dean Brian Bromberger said, “I am honored to welcome Dr. Verchick to Loyola. He encompasses the very best in teaching, scholarship and service, and the strength of his scholarship lies in his ability to assimilate concepts from various disciplines and argue for the most logical and moral course that environmentalism should take. Dr. Verchick will also broaden students’ understanding of Louisiana’s environment and its role in the economy through the study of environmental issues from legal and diverse perspectives.”

In accepting the eminent chair, Verchick said, “Louisiana’s diverse communities and its natural environment are both American treasures. Loyola University is well-known for its longstanding commitment to social justice and for its expanding programs in environmental policy. I’m honored to be part of these efforts and delighted to be joining the Loyola community.”

Verchick received a juris doctor from Harvard School of Law and a bachelor’s of arts degree in English from Stanford University.