UNM Today

Contact Us
Current Issue
Editorial Policies
Previous Issues
Publication Dates

Subscribe to
email edition



Campus News
Your faculty and staff news since 1965
Current Issue:  April 8, 2002
Volume 37, Number 18

Law dean named
Scarnecchia takes helm early next year

Suellyn ScarnecchiaSuellyn Scarnecchia, associate dean for clinical affairs and clinical professor of law at the University of Michigan Law School, has been named dean of the UNM School of Law, effective Jan. 1. 2003, UNM Provost Brian Foster has announced. She is the first woman to hold the post.

“Suellyn’s visit to UNM generated a great deal of excitement. There is broad support for her candidacy and we look forward to working with her,” Foster said.

“This opportunity to build on the fine tradition of legal education at the University of New Mexico is a true privilege and I am honored to receive it,” Scarnecchia said. “I look forward to working closely with the faculty of the School of Law to provide students an excellent legal education and to serve the legal community of New Mexico.”

Scarnecchia began teaching at U. of Mich. Law School in 1987 as a clinical assistant professor. She has been associate dean for clinical affairs since 1996. She also served as associate dean for administration and clinical coordinator. Under her leadership, the clinics gained national recognition for faculty and program excellence.

Currently, she is on special assignment to the Provost’s Office.
Scarnecchia practiced for six years with McCroskey, Feldman, Cochrane & Brock in western Michigan, where she specialized in employment discrimination litigation on behalf of plaintiffs. She left the firm as a partner and joined the U. of Mich. Child Advocacy Law Clinic in 1987. In 1993, she represented the prospective adoptive parents in the high profile custody dispute over Baby Jessica.

Her research interests include bias in the courts, children’s rights and corporal punishment of children.

Scarnecchia has been a member of the University of Michigan’s Interdisciplinary Research Program on Violence Across the Lifespan and Campus Safety and Security Committee since 1998, which she now chairs.

She has published numerous articles on children’s rights and race bias.

Scarnecchia received a bachelor’s degree in history from Northwestern University, 1978, and law degree from the University of Michigan in 1981.

Current dean Robert Desiderio announced his resignation effective June 30, 2002, but will remain in the position until Scarnecchia takes the helm.