UConn Law Bids Farewell to Four Faculty Members

by Thomas Dargon

When UConn Law opens its doors for the fall 2014 semester, it will find itself without four faculty members from the previous year. This academic year will be the last for Professors Gustafson, McCoy, Thaw, and Strasser.

Kaaryn Gustafson will be leaving Hartford and taking up a teaching position at the University of California, Irvine School of Law.  Gustafson has been on the faculty of UConn Law since 2004 and specializes in America’s welfare system and the intersection of the law and inequality.  A leader in her field, Gustafson authored a 2012 book, Cheating Welfare: Public Assistance and the Criminalization of Poverty, which was co-winner of the Law and Society Association’s Herbert Jacob Book Prize for outstanding new book.

Patricia McCoy will be leaving UConn Law and starting her new chapter on the faculty of the Boston College Law School.  In 2010 and 2011, McCoy worked for the U.S. Department of Treasury, where she helped form the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.  She has most recently served the Law School as Director of the Insurance Law Center, which, under her guidance, has brought great prestige to the UConn community since its inception in 1998.

David Thaw has been a Visiting Assistant Professor at the Law School since July 2012.  He will be moving to the University of Pittsburgh School of Law, where he will serve a joint appointment as an Assistant Professor of Law and Information Sciences.  Thaw is a second-generation UConn faculty member, a lifelong Husky fan, and while he is “excited about Pitt, it will be a bittersweet transition” for him.  He extends special thanks to Professors Lindseth and Fischl, who supported and helped make possible his transition to Pitt Law.  As for students, he advises them to “take charge and be entrepreneurial with your career paths.  You learned how to think in law school, and that is a valuable asset in many professional roles,” says Thaw.

Kurt Strasser, a founder of the Center on Energy and Environmental Law, retired in December 2013 after more than 30 years at UConn Law.  Strasser, who first began teaching at the Law School in 1981, served UConn in numerous capacities, including associate dean for academic affairs and interim dean.  A renowned expert in environmental and business law, Strasser was recently honored during an April 10, 2014 dinner hosted by Law School Dean Timothy Fisher, which helped establish the Kurt A. Strasser Fund for Environmental Programs.  The Fund will be used to promote the practice and study of environmental law and policy at the Law School.

The UConn community joins the editors and staff of Pro Se in congratulating these four professors on their incredible achievements and thanking them for their many contributions to the Law School.