Transcending Diversity, Trailblazing History

HOUSTON (July 16, 2019) – Following a lengthy nationwide search and an all-inclusive hiring process, Joan R.M. Bullock, professor emerita and former president and dean of Thomas Jefferson School of Law (TJSL) in San Diego, CA, has been named the new dean of Texas Southern University Thurgood Marshall School of Law (TMSL). At its June 13 meeting, the Texas Southern University Board of Regents approved the appointment of Bullock as the 10th – and the first female – dean in the law school’s leadership history. Bullock’s appointment follows the recent, two-year chief administrative officer stint by acting dean, Gary L. Bledsoe. In her role as dean, Bullock will serve as the chief academic, fiscal, and administrative officer of one of the nation’s top law schools for diversity. Her responsibilities will include leading and managing law school operations, advancing a vision for the school’s future, fundraising, and building and sustaining partnerships and strong relationships with alumni of the law school and University. Bullock officially assumed her role on Monday, July 15.

Bullock, a Michigan-licensed attorney, certified public accountant, and strategic planning and business development expert, has more than 30 years of law school experience as an educator and administrator. She was a senior founding faculty member of the reestablished Florida A&M University College of Law where she held several academic and administrative positions, including professor, interim director of admissions and recruitment, associate dean for teaching and faculty development, and associate dean for academic affairs. Additional diversified, professional credits include: professor at The University of Toledo College of Law; assistant professor at Georgia State University School of Law; tax associate with Coopers & Lybrand, Detroit, Michigan; and solo practitioner providing legal and accounting services. She also held leadership roles in various sections and divisions of the American Bar Association (ABA). Bullock holds a B.A. from Michigan State University, an M.B.A. from the University of Michigan Stephen M. Ross School of Business, and a J.D. from the University of Toledo College of Law.

Bullock is no stranger to overcoming institutional adversity and challenges, having represented Thomas Jefferson School of Law before the ABA regarding issues of compliance related to admissions, finances, academic support and instructional rigor. Her leadership efforts were instrumental in moving the law school toward compliance while improving the law school’s financial stability. Continuing TMSL’s progress toward full compliance with the ABA will be a top priority for Bullock.

“I am privileged to lead TMSL in demonstrating full compliance with ABA Standards and advancing the law school’s mission as a school of inclusion and opportunity. Thurgood Marshall School of Law must continue its impressive and inspiring legacy of producing leaders in law, business, and public service. For instance, we are living in an era where the everyday use of technology is impacting the rights of individuals. Now more than ever, we need the inclusive perspectives of those in law, business, and public service in determining how and to what extent these rights should be modified. The continued relevance of the law school and the opportunity to work with those who believe in and support the inclusive mission are reasons why I am excited about coming to Texas Southern University.”

Dr. Kendall Harris, Texas Southern University provost and vice president for academic affairs, along with Thurgood Marshall School of Law, will host a welcome reception for Dean Joan R.M. Bullock, in the Law School’s lobby on Thursday, July 18, at 5 p.m. All media are encouraged to attend.