Eric J. Gouvin has been named Dean of the Western New England University School of Law, effective July 1, 2013.
University President Anthony S. Caprio announced the appointment, praising Dean Gouvin for having excelled as a faculty member and administrator at the law school since 1991. “He has proven himself consistently over the years as an outstanding legal educator and leader within the School of Law and the broader University,” said Caprio. “Dean Gouvin brings a wealth of experience to the position – not only in the classroom, but also in the Springfield-area community having worked in partnership with area entrepreneurs and small businesses as Director of the University’s Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship.”
“This appointment from within helps assure a smooth transition from the very able leadership of Arthur Gaudio who has returned to the faculty after 12 years of outstanding service as Dean of the School of Law,” added Caprio.
During his more than two decades at the law school, Gouvin has served as Associate Dean for External Affairs and as Associate Dean for Academic Affairs. Most recently, he served as Professor of Law and Director of the Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship. The Center serves as a catalyst for small business development in the region, drawing on resources from across the University to provide assistance to entrepreneurs.
“The Center for Innovation & Entrepreneurship has been a model for how I think the School of Law can work,” said Gouvin. “In the Center we forged ties to many community groups across the Pioneer Valley, involved expertise across the University campus, found opportunities for meaningful involvement by the bar and other professionals and delivered a quality experience for the students, which is always the first priority. I’d like to take that approach in the School of Law generally,” he added.
Gouvin’s scholarly writings cover a range of financial topics including entrepreneurial policy, corporate law, banking and international issues. He has taught internationally at the Universite Paris La Defense, Vytautas Magnus University in Lithuania, and at the Southwest University of Political Science and Law in Chongquing, China as a Fulbright Specialist.
“Law practice today is evolving rapidly and law schools need to change, too,” Gouvin notes. “Western New England University School of Law has always had a student focus, and I want to redouble that. I want us to be always reminding ourselves that what we’re offering, what we’re teaching, and how we’re teaching it is geared toward the students, and geared toward the students becoming not just scholars but legal professionals.”
Gouvin earned a bachelor’s degree from Cornell University, a master’s degree from Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, and J.D. and LL.M. degrees from the Boston University School of Law.
The Western New England University School of Law offers full- and part-time programs of study leading to the Juris Doctor (J.D.) degree, including combined degree programs allowing students to earn a JD at the same time as a Master’s of Business Administration, a Master’s of Science in Accounting, a Master’s of Regional Planning, and a Master’s of Social Work. The School of Law also offers online Master of Laws (LL.M.) degrees in Estate Planning and Elder Law and in Closely-held Businesses.