The University of La Verne College of Law and the surrounding community were profoundly saddened by the death of Donald J. Dunn, dean and professor of law.
Mr. Dunn died Jan. 5 in his Orange County home of health complications related to cancer. He was 62.
Mr. Dunn is survived by his wife, Cheryl; son, Kevin, daughter-in-law and two grandchildren.
He will be missed by the La Verne community, which knew him as an accomplished legal scholar, as well as a compassionate leader.
Colleagues described Mr. Dunn as a powerful asset to the University of LaVerne College of Law.
He was committed to academic quality, community involvement, and student assistance, they said.
“He practiced an open door policy,” said Associate Dean H. Randall Rubin.”He was always there to be of assistance.”
He made himself accessible to students, faculty, and alumni, showing his true colors as a community leader.
Mr. Dunn began his professional career by studying library science, earning his master’s at the University of Texas at Austin.
He continued as a law librarian and assistant professor of law at the Western New England College School of Law in Springfield, Mass., where he also served as interim dean.
Mr. Dunn was one of only two law librarians to ever perform the additional role of dean.
Mr. Dunn began his career at the University of La Verne College of Law in June 2003.
Accompanied by his wife, Cheryl, Mr. Dunn relocated to Southern California to serve as dean and professor of law at ULV.
In May 2007, he was inducted to the “ULV Academy,” an honor to those who provide research and commitment to advancement of the University of La Verne.
Contributing to this honor were the more than 60 books and other publications he has produced.
With his prior membership in the American Bar Association and his experience as a site evaluator for law schools seeking ABA accreditation, Mr. Dunn paved the way for the ULV College of Law’s receipt of ABA accreditation.
On Feb. 13, 2006, the extent of Mr. Dunn’s efforts were recognized when the law school was provisionally approved by the American Bar Association, following three unsuccessful bids in previous years.
“(Mr.) Dunn was someone who restored trust and faith in the ABA process,” Rubin said.
Thanks to his work, the ULV College of Law continues to progress toward full ABA accreditation, with another evaluation phase scheduled for later this month.
Since Mr. Dunn’s medical leave in August 2007, Rubin has served as interim dean.
This role is not an unfamiliar one to Rubin, since he did the same from 2002 to 2003, during the University search that resulted in the hiring of Mr. Dunn.
Additionally, Juanita L. Daniel, associate professor of law, has been named interim associate dean of the law school.
Daniel will supervise the school’s academic program, as well as directing student concerns.
Both interim deans, assisted by additional law faculty, are currently working toward the recruitment of a new dean for the College of Law.
“The committee has been formed,” said Rubin, the chair of the recruitment committee.
Established in Mr. Dunn’s memory, the College of Law is announcing the Dean Donald J. Dunn Memorial Scholarship Fund.
“We are encouraging people to preserve Mr. Dunn’s memory,” says President Morgan. “He would be very pleased to know of the establishment of the scholarship fund.”
Contributions can be sent to the attention of Doug Frost of University Relations, at 1950 3rd Street, La Verne, Calif., 91750-9984.
A memorial event for Donald Dunn will be held at 2 p.m., March 8 at the College of Law campus in Ontario.
All are welcome to come celebrate Mr. Dunn’s life of achievement and warmth.
“Don Dunn was a good friend and a great colleague,” ULV President Stephen Morgan said.
“Progress with the Law School will be made, we are happy about where we stand, but he will be missed.”
Lesley Michaels can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.