Searle Center Director and Programs Move from Northwestern to George Mason

Great new for George Mason Law School (but unrelated to Eugene’s Searle post below)! From Dean Dan Polsby:

It is my sincere pleasure to share with you some exciting news. We’re welcoming Henry Butler home. Henry will join us, beginning in the fall, as Foundation Professor of Law and leader of the law school’s program in law and economics.

Henry Butler currently serves as executive director of the Searle Center on Law, Regulation, and Economic Growth at Northwestern University School of Law. He has dedicated much of his career to improving our civil justice system through the education of judges. Henry’s Judicial Education Program had an exceptionally successful 6-year run at The Brookings Institution between 2002 and 2008 and at Northwestern for the past two years. Henry’s Judicial Education Program will now be merged under Henry’s leadership with our own Law & Economics Center, the country’s oldest institution of judicial education.

Indeed, the entire executive leadership team of the Searle Center has elected to join Henry at George Mason to continue under his leadership the broad array of groundbreaking activities they have perfected over the years:

The Judicial Education Program – Henry launched this program at the University of Kansas in 1995 and over 3,000 judges have attended Henry’s programs;

The Attorneys General Education Program – an innovative policy
institute for state attorneys general;

The Civil Justice Institute – an academic think tank which devises and sponsors major collaborative, interdisciplinary empirical public policy research and then disseminates that research to academics, judges, AGs, and other policy makers; and

Public Policy Research Roundtables – A series of meetings for academics, practicing attorneys, and policy makers to discuss and critique original research papers commissioned by the center on timely public policy issues.

George Mason School of Law anchors the Arlington Campus of Virginia’s largest university. With 750 students in full- and part-time study drawn from 41 states, the District of Columbia, and 11 foreign countries and representing 254 undergraduate institutions, the School of Law has, over the past generation, become a national powerhouse of Law & Economics education. The school has close ties with the Mercatus Center and the university’s deservedly famous Department of Economics. It boasts one of the country’s strongest group of Law & Economics and property rights scholars, including Todd Zywicki, Ilya Somin, Bruce Kobayashi, Josh Wright, J.W. Verret, Adam Mossoff, Eric Claeys, Tom Hazlett, Bruce Johnsen, and Tim Muris.

Henry Butler’s activities will serve to intensify our fundamental institutional commitment to clarifying the role of markets and incentives in promoting the welfare of individuals and communities, and putting this teaching to work on the ground, both in the learning of law students and the decision making of public officials.

Henry Butler is a prolific scholar and widely recognized as a pioneer in the development of law and economics. He began his academic career at Texas A&M University School of Business Administration and then the University of Chicago Law School. He has strong ties with George Mason, having served as a member of our law faculty from 1986 to 1993 and as director of the Law & Economics Center from 1989 to 1991. He then joined the University of Kansas as the Koch Distinguished Professor of Law and Economics. In 2001, he moved to Chapman University in Orange, California as the Farley Professor of Economics and dean of the George L. Argyros School of Business and Economics.

Henry holds a B.A. in Economics from the University of Richmond, a J.D. from the University of Miami (where he first became associated with his mentor, Henry G. Manne, dean emeritus of George Mason University School of Law), and a Ph.D. in Economics from Virginia Tech (where he was a student of George Mason’s Nobel Laureate James M. Buchanan). Henry is a native Virginian – and what is more important, he is a natural for the George Mason University School of Law.

UPDATE: Originally, the post was entitled “Searle Center Moves from Northwestern to George Mason.” Apparently, this is inaccurate; according to a commenter at Northwestern, the Searle Center is officially staying on Northwestern, so just its director, “executive leadership team” and some of the existing programs are moving to George Mason. Looking closely at the email from Dean Polsby, I don’t see anything to the contrary. Sorry for the error.