Faculty Spotlight

Penelope Andrews to be 17th President & Dean

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Penelope Andrews standing in front of a building


Penelope (Penny) Andrews will become the School’s 17th President & Dean, effective July 1, 2012. Andrews will be the first female President for the school since it opened in 1851. Albany Law is the fourth oldest law school in the country and the nation’s oldest independent law school.

Andrews is currently the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and Professor of Law, City University of New York School of Law.  She will step down in June to take the Albany Law position.

“Penny Andrews will lead Albany Law School into the next era,” said Mary Ann Cody, Chair of the Albany Law School Board of Trustees. “Legal education is facing unprecedented challenges, and we feel Dean Andrews has the vision and skills to capitalize on our School’s unique strengths to meet those challenges. After spending significant time with Dean Andrews, the Board, faculty, staff and students all feel excited about our next leader.”

Prior to joining CUNY, Andrews was a Professor of Law and Director of International Studies at Valparaiso Law School, where she taught courses such as International Human Rights Law and International Criminal Law.

Dean Andrews, who was born and raised in South Africa, has extensive international experience, including teaching at law schools in Germany, Australia, Holland, Scotland, Canada and South Africa.

An annual award in her name—The Penelope E. Andrews Human Rights Award—was inaugurated in 2005 at the South African law school of University of KwaZulu-Natal. Along with numerous other awards, she holds a “Women of South Africa Achievement Award,” as well as Albany Law’s Kate Stoneman Award, which she received in 2002.

In 2005 she was a finalist for a vacancy on the Constitutional Court of South Africa, the highest court in South Africa on constitutional matters. She has consulted for the United Nations Development Fund for Women, and for the Ford Foundation in Johannesburg, where she evaluated labor law programs. She earned her B.A. and LL.B from the University of Natal, Durban, South Africa, and her LL.M from Columbia University School of Law, New York.

She has published extensively on topics centered on gender and racial equality, South African legal issues, Australian legal issues, and international justice.

Andrews was named after a nationwide search led by the firm Isaacson, Miller.  Andrews and four other candidates spent several days on the campus speaking with the law school community.

She will replace Interim President & Dean Connie Mayer, who will return to her former position as Associate Dean of Academic Affairs.