Mutua Named Interim Dean of UB Law School

By Sue Wuetcher

Release Date: December 10, 2007 This content is archived.


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UB professor Makau W. Mutua has been named interim dean of the Law School, effective Dec. 17.

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- Makau W. Mutua, SUNY Distinguished Professor in the University at Buffalo Law School, has been named interim dean of the Law School, effective Dec. 17.

Mutua replaces Nils Olsen, who announced last spring that he would step down in December as dean to attend to personal and family health issues. Olsen will remain a member of the law school faculty, returning to the school after taking a six-month leave to resume teaching a course in civil procedure, a subject he has taught for 26 years at the school, and to continue his research in the areas of federal post-conviction remedies and environmental policy.

A national search for a permanent replacement for Olsen is under way, with on-campus interviews scheduled for this month with the four finalists for the position.

Mutua, who also is Floyd H. and Hilda L. Hurst Faculty Scholar in the UB Law School, directs the Human Rights Center in the Law School. He joined the UB faculty in 1996 after serving as associate director of the Human Rights Program at Harvard Law School. In addition, he was director of the Africa Project at the Lawyers Committee for Human Rights.

One of the world's foremost authorities in the area of human rights law, he has conducted numerous human rights, diplomatic and rule-of-law missions to countries in Africa, Latin America and Europe, and has spoken at public forums in many parts of the world, including Japan, Brazil, France and Ethiopia.

He is a member of the Executive Council and the Executive Committee of the American Society of International Law (ASIL), the most prestigious and largest organization of international lawyers in the world.

Mutua is the author of "Human Rights: A Political and Cultural Critique" (2002), and his most recent books, "Kenya's Quest for Democracy: Taming Leviathan" and "Human Rights NGOs in East Africa: Political and Normative Tensions," will be published next spring. He has written numerous scholarly articles on topics that include international law, human rights and religion. He also has written human rights reports for the United Nations and leading nongovernmental organizations, as well as dozens of articles for such popular publications as The New York Times and The Washington Post.

Mutua has been a visiting professor at Harvard Law School, the University of Iowa College of Law, the University of Puerto Rico School of Law and the United Nations University for Peace in Costa Rica.

In addition, he served as chair of the Task Force for the Establishment of a Truth, Justice and Reconciliation Commission appointed under the authority of President Mwai Kibaki of Kenya in 2003.

He was educated at the University of Nairobi, Kenya; the University of Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzania; and at Harvard Law School, where he obtained a doctor of juridical science degree in 1987.