News Release
From the Office of State Senator Royce West - District 23

January 11, 2012
For Immediate Release
CONTACT:  Kelvin Bass, 214-467-0123

UNT Dallas College of Law names Founding Dean of Downtown Law School

DALLAS — Today, University of North Texas System Chancellor Lee Jackson, announced sitting Dallas U.S. District Judge Royal Furgeson as the Founding Dean of the UNT Dallas College of Law; on schedule for the opening of the Downtown Dallas location to begin accepting students in Fall 2014. Judge Furgeson's appointment brings to conclusion, an exhaustive search process that began late in 2009. The appointment also marks another milestone in the creation of a public law school as a cornerstone of the overall University of North Texas at Dallas vision. Judge Furgeson will assume his duties as dean of the law school in April 2013.

"I'm encouraged by the appointment of Judge Royal Furgeson as the Founding Dean of the UNT Dallas College of Law," said Senator West. "His academic and legal career as a practitioner and most recently as a noted United States jurist, (or jurist in the United States) brings a wealth of experience that will enable him to lead the development of the law school program.

"I'm excited and Dallas should be excited about his appointment," said Senator West. "I look forward to working with him."

In 2009, Senator West authored SB956, creating the city's first and only public law school. It will be located in Downtown Dallas, at the Old Municipal Building, once Dallas' City Hall, at Harwood and Main Streets. Efforts to secure the UNT Dallas College of Law came to be through a partnership between the City of Dallas and the UNT System. The building was donated by the City of Dallas which will provide part of the funding for its renovation, along with the state. Overall funding for the law school will be appropriated by the state.

The creation of a law school is one of two "centers of excellence" as coined by Senator West in his vision for UNT Dallas. This year, the second of those, a School of Pharmacy, began its eventual journey to brick and mortar with the Texas Legislature's agreement for its creation as a joint venture by UNT System schools, including UNT Dallas. Making higher education opportunities accessible and affordable to all who aspire to earn a college degree remains a fundamental goal of Senator West.

For more information, please contact Kelvin Bass or LaJuana Barton at 214-467-0123.