Baylor Law Professor Named Dean Of Campbell University School of Law

March 2, 2006
News Photo 3393Professor Melissa A. Essary

Baylor Law Professor Melissa A. Essary has been named the new dean of the School of Law at Campbell University, a leading Baptist university in North Carolina, effective July 1, 2006. Her selection, following a national search by Campbell University administrators, was formally announced today (March 2) on the university's website.

A 1985 Baylor Law School graduate and a valued member of the law school faculty since 1990, Essary admits that she is going to miss Baylor "terribly." She is married to Larry Essary, a 15-year Baylor employee and director of the Casey Computer Center in the Hankamer School of Business. "We have so many friends here at Baylor and it's going to be hard for us to leave," she said. "But Larry and I feel that this is such a wonderful opportunity for us all." They have two daughters, Amber, 14, and Rachel, 8.

Baylor Law Dean Brad Toben said, "Melissa has been such a dear friend, treasured colleague and remarkably effective part of the team at Baylor Law School and she will be so very deeply missed. This decision, which Melissa makes with much sadness because of her love for Baylor Law School and her many friendships and relationships at Baylor and in our community, also is made with a happy anticipation of an opportunity to take on a new and exciting challenge at Campbell. I am indeed very happy for Melissa in this new vista, while sad that we will not have her as a valued and trusted colleague."

Founded in 1887, Campbell University is a private, coeducational institution of the liberal arts, sciences, and professions offering undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral degrees, located in Buies Creek, N.C. The University is comprised of the College of Arts and Sciences, the Norman Adrian Wiggins School of Law, the Lundy-Fetterman School of Business, the School of Education, the School of Pharmacy and the Divinity School. Campbell University is affiliated with the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina.

In 2001, Baylor honored Essary with the Outstanding Tenured Teacher Award. Prior to joining the law faculty, she was a trial lawyer with the international law firm of Vinson and Elkins, where she litigated complex commercial cases. Essary is actively involved in the profession through her service as a mediator in a variety of employment cases. These include claims of sexual harassment, age discrimination, Family and Medical Leave Act violations, and whistleblower violations. She also has served as consulting counsel in various employment-related lawsuits.

She has authored numerous articles, and in 1997, the Texas Bar Foundation awarded her the Outstanding Law Journal Article Award for a series of articles entitled "Privacy In the Workplace." Essary teaches Employment Discrimination Law and Torts Law. She is in demand as a speaker on employment issues to a variety of groups, including attorneys, human resources professionals and business executives. She has presented numerous papers on employment law issues to hundreds of employment law attorneys.

Essary was the architect of the Baylor in Guadalajara program, a summer study program for law students, and she has served the university in a variety of leadership roles, including service as chair of the Law School Admissions and Scholarship Committee, chair of the Law School Advocacy Committee, chair of the University Tenure Committee, chair of the University Civil Rights Issues Resolution Committee, and chair of the University Media Relations Committee.

Receiving her undergraduate degree with highest honors from the University of Texas in 1982, Essary later graduated magna cum laude from Baylor Law School, where she served as executive editor of the Baylor Law Review.

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