Colin S. Diver


BA, summa cum laude, Amherst College
LLB, magna cum laude, Harvard University


A summa cum laude graduate of Amherst College (BA 1965, Economics) and magna cum laude graduate of Harvard Law School (LLB 1968), Colin Diver devoted his career to public service, legal education, and higher educational administration.

Following graduation from law school, he worked for the City of Boston, as Special Counsel to Mayor Kevin White (1968-1971), and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, as Assistant Secretary of Consumer Affairs (1971-1972) and Undersecretary of Administration and Finance (1972-1974) during the administration of Governor Francis Sargent. This period of the life of Colin Diver, his wife Joan, and their two children Brad and Ned, was chronicled in J. Anthony Lukas’s Pulitzer Prize winning book Common Ground: A Turbulent Decade in the Lives of Three American Families (1985).

After managing the campaign of a candidate for state Attorney General, Diver began his academic career in 1975, as an Associate Professor and then Professor of Law at Boston University’s School of Law, where he served as Associate Dean and Dean. He also held a faculty appointment at the School of Management, where he was a founding member of the school’s Public Management Program. During this period, Diver specialized in administrative law and government regulation, consulting to, and doing research on, numerous federal agencies. From 1983 to 1988, Diver served as Chairman of the Massachusetts State Ethics Commission, appointed by Governor Michael Dukakis.

In 1989, Diver left Boston for Philadelphia to become Dean and Professor of Law at the University of Pennsylvania Law School. He served as Dean for ten years, and remained on the faculty until 2002. During his tenure as Dean he instituted a public service requirement for all students in the JD program, established several interdisciplinary curricular and research programs, enhanced the range of clinical offerings for provision of legal services to underserved populations, expanded the size of the faculty, oversaw building of a new law library and renovation of the school’s historic main building, and raised over $110 million.

Returning to his academic roots in liberal arts education, in 2002 Diver became the 14th president of Reed College, in Portland, Oregon. An active teacher of Reed students, Diver left the academic program measurably strengthened. The faculty was expanded to achieve a 10:1 student-to-faculty ratio, faculty compensation was equitably strengthened, and faculty research received greatly expanded support. Diver also oversaw key changes in Reed’s traditional curriculum, including a significant investment in the performing arts and a new major in environmental studies.

Following his presidency, Diver and his wife returned to their hometown of Boston where he pursues an active and varied retirement. He maintains his co-authored textbook, Administrative Law: Cases and Materials, now in its sixth edition, and will be teaching Administrative Law at Boston University School of Law. He is involved in several charitable enterprises and pursues hobbies of creative writing, cooking, classical music, historic restoration, and squash.


4 credits

This course will examine the nature and functions of federal administrative agencies and the legal controls on agency action. Agency action is situated and examined in its political and legal contexts. Topics include the status of administrative agencies in the constitutional framework of separation of powers including the non-delegation doctrine, the President's appointment and removal powers in light of the unitary executive, the constitutionality of the legislative and line-item vetoes, the constitutionality of agency adjudication, and the constitutional (and political) status of independent agencies; agency rulemaking and adjudication including the choice of procedural model and the procedural requirements of the rulemaking model; and the availability, timing and scope of judicial review of agency action including standing to seek judicial review and exceptions to the availability of judicial review. The course also examines different methods of policy analysis such as regulatory impact analysis and cost-benefit analysis. Additional topics include discriminatory enforcement, regulatory delay, judicial imposition of procedural constraints on agencies, the implication of private rights of action from regulatory statutes and the availability citizens' suits. Some attention may be paid to differences between state and federal separation of powers doctrines. GRADING NOTICE: This course will not offer the CR/NC/H option.

FALL 2016: LAW JD 801 A1 , Sep 7th to Dec 7th 2016
Days Start End Credits Instructors Bldg Room
Mon,Wed 10:40 am 12:40 pm 4 Colin S. Diver LAW 209

3 credits

The Telecommunications Law and Policy course will survey the legal regime in the United States for regulating the provision of telecommunications services via over-the-air broadcast, cable, satellite, telephony, and the Internet. The primary legal framework will be the Communications Act of 1934, as amended from time to time by Congress, administered by the Federal Communications Commission, and interpreted by the federal courts. Starting from the 1934 Act's separate regimes for regulating the broadcast and telephone industries, the course will trace the regulatory evolution responding to the rapid technological changes in the provision of electronic communications that have caused distinctions among industries and services to blur or even disappear. Topics to be explored will include: legal standards and procedures for allocating radio spectrum and licensing of broadcasters, expansion of broadcast regulation to cover cable and satellite technologies; rate and entry regulation of telephone service as a "natural monopoly," followed by gradual deregulation as the industry evolved to a competitive structure; legal efforts to limit undue concentration of the media through both structural (cross-ownership) regulations and antitrust principles; and regulation of structure and service-provision features of the Internet, with special attention to the contemporary "net neutrality" debate. Time permitting, some attention may also be given to topics in direct regulation of telecommunications content, including policies for promoting "public interest" content and for restricting indecent or violent content. The course instruction will assume a background in Administrative Law and a basic understanding of the First Amendment Free Speech Clause. It will not require any background in intellectual property nor cover (except perhaps in passing) any topics in intellectual property law. PREREQUISITE: Administrative Law.

SPRG 2018: LAW JD 995 A1 , Jan 17th to Apr 25th 2018
Days Start End Credits Instructors Bldg Room
Mon,Wed 2:10 pm 3:35 pm 3 Colin S. Diver LAW 204
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