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Law school hires former attorney general Gonzales

Belmont has hired former U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales as a distinguished chair and professor in the Belmont College of Law, making the former Bush administration official the only attorney general to be teaching full time at an American law school.

The position, announced at a press conference Monday morning, will fill the newly formed Doyle Rogers Distinguished Chair of Law. Gonzales will start in January, and he will teach constitutional law in addition to several upper level classes.

“I’m delighted to be here, to be part of the Belmont family as we undertake the tremendous challenge at the law school,” he said.

His interest in the school came through a variety of reasons, including his son’s attendance at Belmont and the potential to teach at a developing law school, he said in an exclusive to the Vision.

“Getting on the ground floor of a law school endeavor had a great appeal to me,” Gonzales said. “I’m very excited of the commitment of this school to the law school.” Gonzalez is currently teaching at Texas Tech University.

Gonzales, 56,  said he also believes his “breadth of experiences,” including serving as attorney general and White House counsel in the Bush administration, serving on the Texas Supreme Court and in private law practice, will help him bring a unique set of perspectives to the school and its students.

“Part of my goal is to help develop the next generation,” he said.

College of Law Dean Dr. Jeff Kinsler sees the addition of Gonzalez as a major stepping point at the law school, which accepted its first class this fall.

“That legacy, in fact, begins today,” he said.

Gonzales resigned from his position as attorney general in 2007 after “growing criticism from lawmakers over his role in the NSA wiretapping program and in the dismissals of nine United States attorneys,” according to the New York Times.

The new Doyle Rogers Distinguished Chair of Law is named for the well-known South Florida attorney who is a partner in Alley, Maass, Rogers & Lindsay. His wife is Barbara Massey Rogers, whose family name is well-known on the Belmont campus. She is a longtime member of the board of trustees and the daughter of Jack C. Massey, for whom the Jack C. Massey Graduate School of Business is named.

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