Terence J. Lau L’98 named dean of the College of Law – Syracuse University News

head shot

Terence J. Lau

Syracuse University announced today that Terence J. Lau L’98 has been named the 13th dean of Syracuse University’s College of Law. The appointment, effective August 5, was approved by the Executive Committee of the Board of Trustees.

“We are pleased to welcome Terence Lau back to Syracuse University,” said Vice Chancellor, Provost and Chief Academic Officer Gretchen Ritter. “His outstanding record and depth of experience as a lawyer and leader in higher education make him an excellent choice to become the next dean to lead the College of Law.”

An alumnus of the College of Law, Lau brings extensive legal and higher education experience to the position. He comes to Syracuse from California State University, Chico, where he is a professor of management. He has held numerous leadership positions at the University, including as Dean of the College of Business (2018-2023), where he oversaw nearly 70 faculty and 3,000 undergraduate and graduate students. In that role, Lau led the launch of new online MBA and BSBA programs, delivered successful reaccreditation and led fundraising for a new building. Lau also served as interim dean of the College of Engineering, Computer Science and Construction Management (January 2023-July 2023) and interim provost and vice president for academic affairs (July 2023-February 2024).

Previously, Lau served as associate dean for undergraduate programs and professor of business law at the University of Dayton’s School of Business Administration.

“I am thrilled to return to Syracuse, where I received a legal education that changed my professional life,” said Lau. “Syracuse Law has taken me to a level of success I never even dreamed was possible. The college’s unique programs, including its hands-on clinics and first-in-the-nation JDi program, as well as high-ranking trial advocacy programs, are already distinctive and impactful programs. I look forward to working with the faculty, staff, students, alumni and benefactors, and members of the legal community, to advance the University’s reputation and provide our students with an exceptional legal education.”

Prior to his time in higher education, Lau held leadership positions in government affairs and law. From 2000 to 2002, he served as Director of ASEAN Governmental Affairs for Ford Asia Pacific Operations in Bangkok, where he represented Ford’s government affairs before member companies, industry associations and the governments of ten member countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations. Previously, he was an attorney in the International Practice Group for the Ford Motor Company. Lau served as a Judicial Fellow at the U.S. Supreme Court from 2006 to 2007 and worked for the Counsel to the Chief Justice of the United States.

Lau has published numerous articles on the legal environment of business and is the former editor-in-chief of the American Business Law Journal. He is co-author of ‘The Legal and Ethical Environment of Business’, published by Flat World Knowledge and now in its fifth edition.

The dean search committee, which Ritter convened in December, was co-chaired by Todd Berger, professor of law and director of advocacy programs, and Nina Kohn, David M. Levy L’48 professor of law.

“I greatly appreciate the hard work Nina, Todd and the committee members put into recruiting such a talented leader to the College of Law,” said Provost Ritter.

Lau succeeds Craig Boise, who ends his term as dean this month after eight years. Under his leadership, the College of Law has seen the launch of innovative new programs, the establishment of professional partnerships and a growth in research.

“Craig has been a transformative leader for the College of Law and has created a strong foundation on which future success will be built. I thank him for his service to the college and the university,” said Provost Ritter.