Maureen O’Rourke Appointed BU Law School Dean

Contact: Colin Riley, 617-353-2240 |

(Boston) – Maureen O’Rourke, dean ad interim of the Boston University Law School (BUSL) since July 2004, and an intellectual property and commercial law expert, will permanently head the school effective immediately, BU President Robert A. Brown and Provost David Campbell announced today.

“Maureen has already demonstrated her leadership abilities during her exemplary service as dean ad interim,” said Brown. “She brings to Boston University the intellectual strength, inclusiveness, and energy needed to lead the school forward into the first rank of American law schools.”

O’Rourke, a Yale Law School graduate, joined the faculty in 1993 after serving on IBM’s in-house counsel team where she handled a variety of issues associated with software licensing. She became a full professor in 1998, associate dean of administration in 2001, and associate dean for academic affairs in 2003. She is BUSL’s sixth recipient of the Metcalf Award for Excellence in Teaching (2000), the university’s highest teaching honor. O’Rourke is a summa cum laude graduate of Marist College where she earned a B.S. in computer science and accounting.

O’Rourke’s articles have appeared in the law reviews of Columbia, Duke, Iowa and Minnesota; the technology journals of Berkeley, Harvard and Boston University; and other publications including the “Journal of the Copyright Society.” She also co-authored the casebook Copyright in a Global Information Economy. O’Rourke has been invited to lecture and teach at other law schools in this country and abroad, including Columbia University School of Law and LaTrobe University in Australia. She is a nationally recognized scholar in her field and is currently the Associate Reporter on the American Law Institute’s Principles of the Law of Software Contracting project. O’Rourke assists in the supervision of the student-run “Journal of Science and Technology Law.”

The BUSL Dean Search Advisory Committee, chaired by BU’s College of Arts & Sciences Dean Jeffrey Henderson and convened in January, was appointed by President Brown and charged with defining an ideal dean, and identifying and recommending appropriate candidates. In February, Boston-based executive search firm Auerbach Associates was retained to assist the committee in its search. Members of the committee included BUSL faculty Robert Bone, Gerald Leonard, Tracey Maclin and Frances Miller; BUSL students Amy Martell and Kevin Prussia (alternate); BUSL alumni representative Richard Karelitz; and professors Leonard Glantz (School of Public Health), Shulamit Kahn (School of Management) and Christine Rossell (College of Arts & Sciences/Political Science). O’Rourke was selected from a pool of five finalists.

“Maureen will give our fine law school what it most needs from a dean at this stage in its development: a clear strategic plan, effective fundraising, improved alumni relations, competent administration, solid leadership both inside and outside the school, and good esprit de corps,” said Henderson. “Boston University is fortunate to have someone of Maureen O’Rourke’s stature and ability in this important deanship.”

Founded in 1872, BUSL enrolled over 1,100 full- and part-time students taught by more than 125 full- and part-time faculty during the 2005-06 academic year. The recently released Leiter Law School Rankings, which measure a law school’s faculty research productivity and prominence, ranks Boston University School of Law first in teaching quality. BUSL was named in the top 20 of the National Law Journal’s ranking of law schools from which the 50 largest U.S. law firms hire.