campus news

Abramovsky to step down as law school dean

Aviva Abramovsky.

Aviva Abramovsky will return to her faculty role as professor of law after six years as dean. Photo: Nancy J. Parisi


Published May 25, 2023


Aviva Abramovsky will step down as dean of the School of Law effective July 1, and return to her faculty role as professor of law.

Appointed dean in 2017, Abramovsky has focused on enhancing academic programs, academic support programs and improving important student success metrics. For example, the school expanded its clinical programs, adding clinics in criminal justice advocacy and community engagement. It also revitalized its innocence and justice project.

Additionally, the school introduced program enhancements, expanded experiential learning opportunities, improved the student experience, expanded student support and wellness resources, introduced support programs for students taking the bar exam, and expanded its alumni mentoring program. As a result of these efforts, the school improved bar passage rates and employment rates among recent graduates.

“I am grateful to Dean Abramovsky for her leadership to the university and to the School of Law. Please join me in thanking Dean Abramovsky for her service and in wishing her well as she returns to the faculty,” A. Scott Weber, provost and executive vice president for academic affairs, said in a memo Thursday to the university community.

During Abramovsky’s tenure, the school has also developed innovative new academic programs that have attracted excellent students and built on the school’s and university’s strengths.

The school launched a bachelor’s in law program — at the time, the second of its kind in the nation — which prepares students for future legal study or related professions. The school also created a new Doctor of Juridical Science degree to prepare students for careers as law professors, judicial and other public offices, and prominent international policy positions.

Additionally, the school has introduced several new joint and dual degree programs with campus partners. It also created two new interdisciplinary centers — the UB Center for the Advancement of Sport and the Entrepreneurship Law Center Clinic — which provide students with unique experiential learning opportunities.

Abramovsky has served in a variety of leadership and service roles at UB. She led a comprehensive campaign to support the school’s research, education and engagement activities. Philanthropic gifts to the school have increased, resulting in the creation of new endowed chairs; funding for academic support and experiential learning programs; support for diversity, equity and inclusion programs; enhanced endowment funding; and expanded student scholarships.

In the coming weeks, an interim dean will be named, Weber said, and a national search will commence in the fall.