Villanova University School of Law Announces New Leadership Appointments

Villanova, Pa. – John Y. Gotanda, Arthur J. Kania Dean of Villanova University School of Law, has announced new appointments to the leadership team of Villanova University School of Law. These appointments include Todd Aagaard as Vice Dean and April Barton as Associate Dean for Academic Affairs. Additional information about each appointee is listed below.

Todd Aagaard, Vice Dean and Professor of Law


Professor Todd Aagaard has been appointed Vice Dean of Villanova University School of Law effective August 1. In his new role, Dean Aagaard will oversee academic affairs, career strategy, admissions, financial aid, administration (including communications, human resources and facilities management) and faculty support.

Dean Aagaard’s teaching and scholarship focus on environmental and energy law, property, and administrative agencies.  He joined the Villanova Law faculty in 2008 after serving as an Appellate Attorney in the Environment and Natural Resources Division of the U.S. Department of Justice. In this role, he briefed and argued civil and criminal cases in federal courts of appeals in the areas of environmental law, natural resources law, Indian law and administrative law. A graduate of the University of Michigan Law School, Dean Aagaard previously clerked for the Honorable Guido Calabresi of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.


April Barton, Associate Dean for Academic Affairs


April Barton assumed the role of Associate Dean for Academic Affairs of Villanova University School of Law on May 15. She manages all areas of academic affairs, including the registrar, academic success programs, student affairs, clinical programs, international programs, and trial advocacy and externships. Dean Barton also serves as Director of the Reza Taleghani JD/MBA Program and Director of the JD/MPA Program.

A graduate of Villanova Law, Dean Barton formerly served as the Law School’s Director of Academic Compliance and Distance Learning and the Assistant Dean for Academic Computing. She has taught in the area of administrative agency rulemaking for thirteen years.

Formerly, Dean Barton served as an attorney with the Federal Trade Commission's Bureau of Consumer Protection in the Division of Marketing Practices. In this capacity, she worked on policy and law enforcement issues related to Internet fraud and deception.


About Villanova University School of Law: Founded in 1953, Villanova University School of Law provides broad-based legal education that is grounded in academic rigor, practical hands-on training and a foundation in business that prepares graduates for diverse and rewarding legal careers. The Law School, which is accredited by the American Bar Association, offers six in-house clinics and more than 150 externship opportunities that immerse students in the real-world application of their legal skills. Villanova is home to three Centers of Excellence—the Jeffrey S. Moorad Center for the Study of Sports Law; the David F. and Constance B. Girard-diCarlo Center for Ethics, Integrity and Compliance; and the John F. Scarpa Center for Law and Entrepreneurship—which provide students the opportunity to pursue innovative, interdisciplinary legal fields through study, practical experience and mentorship.


About Villanova University: Since 1842, Villanova University’s Augustinian Catholic intellectual tradition has been the cornerstone of an academic community in which students learn to think critically, act compassionately and succeed while serving others. There are more than 10,000 undergraduate, graduate and law students in the University's six colleges—the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, the Villanova School of Business, the College of Engineering, the College of Nursing, the College of Professional Studies and the Villanova University School of Law. As students grow intellectually, Villanova prepares them to become ethical leaders who create positive change everywhere life takes them.