In one fell swoop, the Yale Law School demonstrated last week its commitment to both international development and diversifying its faculty by appointing Amy Chua to a tenured position.
Chua, whose work focuses on international development in Asia, will be the first woman of color to become a tenured non-clinical faculty member at the law school. Currently a visiting professor at Yale, she will join junior faculty appointment Daniel Markovits ’91 LAW ’00 as the second new professor coming to Yale Law School next year.
“Amy Chua is a fantastic appointment,” said Bruce Ackerman, head of the Law School’s faculty appointments committee. “She’s been raising fundamentally new questions about globalization and legal development.”
Chua’s main areas of focus include development, markets, and democracy in developing countries, particularly in Asia.
She announced her acceptance of Yale’s offer in surprising fashion. The Law School held a reception for her last Tuesday for the intent of persuading her away from New York University, the other school Chua was seriously considering. It was at the reception that Chua said she would join Yale’s faculty.
She said it was difficult to turn down NYU’s particularly strong international program and prime location, but the Yale Law School’s excellent student body and the University’s renewed commitment to international issues won her over in the end.
“I’m looking forward to working both with people at the Law School, but also outside the Law School with the excellent history and political science and sociology departments,” Chua said.
She said she is particularly looking forward to working with Yale’s new Center for the Study of Globalization, to be headed by former Deputy Secretary of State Strobe Talbott ’68.
Liz Kramer LAW ’02, a student coordinator with Yale Law Women, said she is very pleased that Chua will be the Law School’s first female minority tenure. But Kramer said she has not observed enough effort among the Law School administration to diversify the faculty.
“In general, the line of the faculty appointments committee has been to refuse to use that as a criteria,” she said.
But Law School Dean Anthony Kronman said almost half of the senior faculty appointments during his deanship have been female. He primarily attributed this trend to a changing candidate pool.
“The increasing diversity of our faculty is a function of the increasing diversity of the pool from which we draw our appointments,” he said. “The world of teaching in recent years has become more diverse.”
Markovits, who graduated from the Yale Law School last year, has spent the past year working in the court of Judge Guido Calabresi, who was the dean of the Law School from 1985 to 1994. He will be teaching a fall course on contracts and two spring courses on advanced contracts and legal ethics.
Prior to graduating from the Yale Law School, Markovits received a master’s degree in econometrics and mathematical economics from the London School of Economics and a bachelor of philosophy and doctorate of philosophy from Oxford.
“He’s really got a fascinating background,” Yale Law School Deputy Dean Kate Stith said. “Actually, the person he reminds me most of is our own dean, Anthony Kronman.”