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New WLC dean andré douglas pond cummings in dark colored suit

Widener University Commonwealth Law School announces new dean

Widener University is pleased to announce the appointment of andré douglas pond cummings, an accomplished leader, scholar, and award-winning professor, as Commonwealth Law School’s new dean.

cummings will begin his role June 1, 2024, after serving as associate dean for faculty development, and as the Charles C. Baum distinguished professor of law, at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock’s William H. Bowen School of Law.

A decorated faculty member who received the 2023 faculty award for excellence in social justice at the Bowen School of Law, cummings is an inclusive leader with an array of legal expertise. He has taught classes in contracts, business associations, civil procedure, corporate justice, sports law, hip hop and the American Constitution, policing and the use of force, progressive prosecution, and entertainment law. As dean of Commonwealth Law School, he will support and expand the culture of belonging that is inherent across Widener University, while leading all aspects of the law school from academics to operations to community engagement.

cummings uses lower-case letters in the legal spelling of his name.

“We are delighted to welcome andré cummings to Commonwealth Law School,” Widener President Stacey Robertson said. “He is a student-centered leader who stands out as a strong proponent of inclusion and belonging. His legal focus on social justice and economic equality speak to his principles as a leader, and his prolific scholarship stands out in legal academe.”

cummings, the author of three books and more than 40 law review articles, co-founded and co-directs the Center for Racial Justice and Criminal Justice Reform at the Bowen School of Law. He served five years on the university Diversity Council and for the past three years on the chancellor’s race and ethnicity advisory committee. He is currently faculty advisor to students in the Sports & Entertainment Law Society, the Latin American Law Student Association and on The Arkansas Journal of Social Change and Public Service. He has two additional books due out in 2024 on topics involving the war on drugs and victimized communities, and motivating corporate America to repair historical wrongs through corporate reparations.

“I am delighted to be joining Commonwealth Law School as its next dean,” cummings said. “Commonwealth Law has provided outstanding legal education in Pennsylvania’s capital for nearly 35 years and I am eager to join this dynamic community of students, faculty, staff, alumni, donors and friends. Together we will build on the school’s strengths, expand its influence and proudly prepare the next generation of legal advocates who will serve the Harrisburg community, the state of Pennsylvania and beyond. I very much look forward to working with President Robertson, Provost Andy Workman, and the Widener University community in expanding the reach and impact of Commonwealth Law School.”

Before his time at Bowen School of Law, cummings was a professor of law at the West Virginia University College of Law. Prior to entering academia, cummings worked as a judicial law clerk for Associate Chief Justice Christine M. Durham of the Utah Supreme Court and for Chief Judge Joseph W. Hatchett of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit. In addition, he worked at the Chicago-based law firm of Kirkland & Ellis LLP, focusing his practice on complex business transactions including mergers, acquisitions and securities offerings of publicly traded corporations. Further, cummings has represented clients in the sports and entertainment industries, including athletes in the National Football League and Professional Bull Riders, record labels, motion picture production companies, and a variety of authors, including Hollywood screenwriters and novelists.

cummings holds a bachelor’s degree in sociology from Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah. He earned his law degree at Howard University School of Law in Washington, D.C.

Photo: andré douglas pond cummings


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