Rutgers Law hires new profs to help 'advance social justice'

Rutgers Law School recently announced the hiring of three “social justice scholars” who will help students “work for social justice throughout their careers.”

According to a university press release on the matter, the new hires will bring an extensive “record of impact” in social justice work to the school, a standard upon which Rutgers Law prides itself.

“With these three new colleagues joining a faculty already historically committed to using the law as an instrument to advance social justice, the Law School will be even better poised to have a positive impact in our communities and on our students,” remarked Co-Dean Ronald K. Chen.

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Indeed, the school touts on its website that the goal “for all Rutgers Law School students” is “to develop the skills and inclination to work for social justice throughout their careers, whether in a public interest setting or through pro bono work,” a task the social justice scholars are eager to help fulfill.

One new hire, Rachel Godsil, expressed her excitement with the new position, noting that her work  “focuses on how institutions and people with egalitarian values—who want to ensure fairness across race, ethnicity, gender, religion, and other identity categories—struggle to translate those values into behaviors and outcomes.”

Godsil, along with her new colleagues, Sahar Aziz and Rose Cuison Villazor, were selected out of a pool of 90 candidates by a committee led by Professor Elise Boddie “funded under an initiative” first started by Chancellor Nancy Cantor, who sought to recruit “law faculty with an expertise in social justice and a demonstrable record of impact in the field.”

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“These are tremendously dynamic people who are engaged in the most pressing social justice issues of our day,” Boddie remarked of the three new hires.

Similarly, Cantor told Campus Reform that “in the midst of such a divisive national landscape,” she found it important to train future leaders “to bring our country together” through social justice activism.

“In the midst of such a divisive national landscape, we cannot forget higher education's responsibility to train and educate a diverse cadre of civic leaders and advocates to bring our country together,” she explained, adding that the new hires would improve Rutgers’ commitment to social justice and “build our capacity to do such legal work.”

Campus Reform reached out to the school for additional comment on funding of the scholars, but did not receive a response.

Follow the authors of this article on Twitter: @Toni_Airaksinen and @nikvofficial