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Head of Tulane law school will be dean of UA law school

Citizen Staff Writer



Lawrence Ponoroff, who helped shepherd a traumatized student body and faculty through the rebuilding of Tulane University in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, has been appointed dean of the University of Arizona James E. Rogers College of Law.

He was selected from a field of five finalists and will receive $315,000 a year in his new position, with 5 percent of that salary provided by private funds, said UA spokesman Johnny Cruz.

UA President Robert N. Shelton and Provost Meredith Hay announced Thursday that Ponoroff will take the reins of the UA law school on July 1, when Dean Toni Massaro returns to the faculty.

Ponoroff is dean and Mitchell Franklin professor of private and commercial law at Tulane University School of Law, a position he has held for eight years.

“We’re extraordinarily lucky to find someone like Dean Ponoroff to succeed Toni Massaro,” said Paul Portney, dean of the Eller College of Management. “He has a distinguished reputation as a scholar, administrator and fundraiser, and we heard nothing but the highest praise from everyone about his performance as dean at Tulane during the Hurricane Katrina.”

Ponoroff served as part of the Tulane President’s Leadership Group, which coordinated the rebuilding and reopening of the university after Katrina hit.

“That wasn’t part of the job description when I became dean here,” Ponoroff said Thursday from New Orleans. “But it was an extraordinary experience that forced us to face challenges that were unprecedented in legal and higher education.”

Ponoroff said one of the attractions of the UA job is that it isn’t in a “turn-around situation.”

“This is a school that has had superb leadership for the past decade,” he said. “It is a school that has made, without a lot of (extra financial) resources, extraordinary progress and has been positioned very well for growth. My hope is to build that up and advance the school both in the quality of programs and in external relations.”

Another attraction, he said, joking, is the fact that Arizona never changes time.

“When we went to daylight savings time and I had to change all my (electronics) to a different time, I decided I really want to live in Arizona,” he said. “It pretty much came down to daylight savings time.”

Ponoroff will visit Tucson a few times before moving permanently in July, he said, adding that he and his wife “were captivated by Tucson” during a visit to the city last summer.

Before his appointment as law dean in 2001, Ponoroff served as vice dean of the Tulane law school and professor of law. He was appointed the Mitchell Franklin professor of private and commercial Law in 2000.

Before joining the Tulane faculty in 1995, Ponoroff was a professor at the University of Toledo College of Law since 1986. He was associate dean for academic affairs at the University of Toledo from 1990 to 1992.

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