[CUA Office of Public Affairs]   

                                    May 6, 2005


CUA President Announces New Dean for Law School

Veryl Miles Will be School’s First African American and First Female Dean


Veryl Miles

Very Rev. David M. O’Connell, C.M., president of The Catholic University of America, has announced the appointment of Veryl V. Miles as dean of the university’s Columbus School of Law, effective Aug. 1, 2005.


Miles is a professor at Catholic University’s law school, where she obtained her J.D. in 1980 and has taught since 1988. Her teaching and scholarship interests include consumer bankruptcy and commercial law; she has also applied concepts of social justice and Catholic social teachings in her scholarly considerations of law and law practice.


Father O’Connell issued a statement about the appointment of Miles: “I am delighted to announce the appointment of Professor Veryl Miles as dean of the Columbus School of Law of The Catholic University of America. Her academic credentials are of the highest caliber and her professional background singles her out among peers as incredibly well-suited for this leadership position at CUA. It is a special joy for me to be able to promote a distinguished member of our own law school faculty and an alumna of the school to the deanship. This appointment will ensure stability and continuity with the school’s historic past while creating the promise of an even greater future. I congratulate and thank her for generously accepting my offer and I pledge my support for her administration.”


In addition to two decades of teaching law, Miles has served in administrative leadership positions at Catholic University and elsewhere. From 1997 to 1999 she was the law school’s associate dean for academic affairs. She took a leave of absence from the school to serve for two years (2001-2003) as deputy director of the Association of American Law Schools, an organization that comprises 166 schools. There she was steeped in issues of common concern to American law schools, from developing curricula and research opportunities for faculty and students to implementing new technologies for law libraries.


I am honored to be selected as the next dean of The Catholic University of America school of law,” said Miles. “This is a unique and wonderful opportunity to serve the law school and to continue to strengthen its traditions of excellence and innovation in legal education, as well as its institutional identity as a Catholic law school where its mission to prepare its graduates to serve others for the common good has always been a guiding principle,” she added.


Professor Miles received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Wells College (Aurora, N.Y.) in 1977. After earning her law degree, she worked as an attorney for the Office of General Counsel of the Federal Reserve System’s Board of Governors (1980-1983). This was followed by her appointment as assistant professor at the George Mason University School of Law (1983-1988).


She is the first African American and the first woman to be appointed dean of Catholic University’s law school.   


Miles has been an active alumna of the two institutions where she received degrees. She served two terms on the Board of Trustees of Wells College (1987-1993; 1999-2001) and was a member of the Law School Alumni Society Board of Catholic University’s Columbus School of Law (1990-1994).


Miles is a native Washingtonian. She is a lifelong member of St. Anthony’s Catholic Church, located in the historic Brookland neighborhood of the District of Columbia, where she serves as a lector.


In his statement on the Miles appointment, Father O’Connell also thanked the current dean of the law school for his service: “I am deeply grateful to Dean William Fox for his generous stewardship in leading our law school during the past two years. Bill has been a loyal member of the university community and he has worked with enthusiasm and energy to keep our law school moving forward.  We owe him our thanks and continued support as he returns to the faculty.”  

Founded in 1897, Catholic University’s law school is accredited by the American Bar Association and is a member of the Association of American Law Schools. The Columbus School of Law is distinguished as a pioneer in clinical legal education, offering one of the nation’s broadest ranges of clinical experiences to students. In addition, the law school is widely recognized for special programs in communications law, law and public policy, law and religion, and comparative and international law.

MEDIA: A digital photo of Veryl Miles is available on request. For more information, contact Victor
             Nakas in the Office of Public Affairs, 202-319-5600.



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Revised: 5/11/2005

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The Catholic University of America,
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