DeanÂ RichardÂ Huber
Former dean and longtime faculty member Richard Huber passed away in 2011. He was 92 years old. ProfessorÂ Huber began teaching at BC Law in 1957,Â served as dean from 1970-1985, and continuedÂ teaching for the school until retiring in 2005. HeÂ had a tremendous influence on BC Law as dean,Â overseeing the move from More Hall on the BCÂ Chestnut Hill campus to the school’s currentÂ Newton campus in 1975, helping introduce theÂ first joint degree program in collaboration withÂ the business school, and increasing resources forÂ clinical programs and courses, among manyÂ other efforts.
He was also very active in African, Hispanic, AsianÂ and Native American (AHANA) recruitment andÂ hiring. In 1977, Huber hired the Law School’s firstÂ full-time black professor, 1974 graduate Ruth ArleneÂ Howe. Former Dean Daniel Coquillette,Â who succeeded Huber in 1985, said he built onÂ Dean Robert Drinan, S.J.’s legacy, and calledÂ Huber â€œone of the great, monumental figures ofÂ our time,â€ not just at Boston College, but in all ofÂ legal education. Huber’s work as president of bothÂ the Association of American Law Schools and theÂ Council on Legal Education Opportunity changedÂ the course of legal education and the profession.Â â€œHe played a vital role in minority enrollment,Â not just at BC but nationally,â€ Coquillette said.Â â€œBesides promotion of minorities, Dick was aÂ tremendous advocate for women in law schoolâ€¦byÂ the time he was done, female enrollment here wentÂ from essentially nothing to about 40%.â€
The Environmental Affairs Law Review,Â International and Comparative Law Review, andÂ Third World Law Journal at BC Law all beganÂ under Huber’s leadership. The Black American,Â Asian American, and Latin American law studentsÂ associations formed. Faculty size grew by eightÂ between 1970 and 1979 alone, and slots wereÂ created for a director of alumni relations and aÂ director of admissions and financial aid. He alsoÂ helped build the law library from a one-roomÂ operation to a first-class, national powerhouse withÂ over 150,000 volumes.
But Huber may be best remembered and loved forÂ his people skills. â€œDick’s unique contribution wasÂ internal,â€ says Sharon Hamby O’Connor, BC LawÂ librarian from 1979 to 2002. â€œHe had a remarkableÂ ability to find the best in people without beingÂ unaware of their foibles, to bring out the best inÂ a person without being paternalistic.â€Â Huber fostered a culture of collegiality amongÂ faculty and between faculty and students thatÂ became ingrained and remains one of the LawÂ School’s hallmarks.