UC Davis Names New School of Law Dean

Jessica Berg – courtesy UC Davis

Special to the Vanguard

University of California, Davis, Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor Mary Croughan announced today that Jessica Berg will be the next dean of the UC Davis School of Law. Berg, who has served as one of two co-deans of the School of Law at Case Western Reserve University, or CWRU, for nearly 11 years, will start on Sept.  1.

“Jessica is a warm and engaging leader with a breadth of experience that will add new facets of distinction to our outstanding School of Law,” Croughan said. “Her transdisciplinary, open approach to teaching and scholarship beautifully fits our campus culture. I look forward to seeing all that she and our dedicated and talented faculty and staff will accomplish together.”

During Berg’s tenure as dean, the CWRU School of Law in Cleveland, Ohio, launched a summer jumpstart program, a spring enrollment for juris doctorate, and three master’s degree programs. She implemented hiring and recruitment practices that increased diverse representation among students, staff and faculty. The school’s innovative programming boosted CWRU graduates’ bar pass rates, placing it among the top law schools in Ohio.

“While I initially hadn’t planned to consider another deanship right away, the opportunity at UC Davis was too exciting to ignore,” Berg said. “The School of Law and overall university’s commitment to serving first-generation students, to social justice, and to academic and scholarly excellence all attracted me to this position. I’m excited to work with the provost and other deans, the world-class faculty and talented staff, and to meet the students and alumni when I get there this fall.”

While Berg was dean, CWRU School of Law set several fundraising records, bringing in the two largest charitable gifts in its history ($10 million and $4.5 million), and doubling the size of its endowment, placing it among the top 15% of law school endowments nationwide. At the same time, she played a key role in reducing the school’s deficit by more than $7 million through income growth and expense reduction and has great depth of knowledge and understanding of budget, finance, administration and human resources.

Over 25 years at CWRU, Berg held several roles, including associate director for the Institute for Global Security Law and Policy, associate director for the Law-Medicine Center, and health policy track coordinator for the Public Health Department. Prior to CWRU, Berg was the director of Academic Affairs for the Institute for Ethics, and the secretary for the Council on Ethical and Judicial Affairs at the American Medical Association in Chicago. She also served as an adjunct professor at the University of Chicago Law School, Northwestern University Law School, and was a visiting professor at Michigan State University Medical School. Berg has a Bachelor of Arts and a Juris Doctorate from Cornell University and a master’s in public health from CWRU’s School of Medicine.

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