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Villanova University announces new University Professorship, The Charles Widger Endowed University Professor in Law, Business and Economics

Villanova, Pa.—Villanova University Provost Patrick G. Maggitti, PhD, today announced The Charles Widger Endowed University Professor in Law, Business and Economics. This interdisciplinary position, based in the Law School, was conceived and endowed as part of a $25 million leadership gift from Charles Widger ’73 CWSL. The realization of this role as well as other opportunities within the school is accelerated by a $3.25 million grant from the Charles Koch Foundation.

“The new Charles Widger Endowed University Professor will serve as a vital resource for Villanova’s academic community, connecting important legal and economic research initiatives across Villanova’s colleges,” said Provost Maggitti. “The addition of such a notable faculty position reaffirms Villanova’s stature as a national research institution and as the professional home to some of the nation’s leading teacher-scholars.”

The Charles Widger Endowed University Professor is designed to lead and foster cross-campus research, academic programming and collaboration among Villanova’s colleges at the intersection of law, business and economics. In addition to fulfilling the University’s strategic goal of cultivating interdisciplinary academic programming, the new University Professor position advances the institutional vision of the Charles Widger School of Law. The addition of a noted legal scholar in these areas further supports the Law School’s position as a thought leader in law, business and economics and as a center for innovative legal education.

The Charles Widger Endowed University Professor will have the ability to teach in any of the University’s six colleges. In selecting the Charles Widger Endowed University Professor, Villanova is seeking a renowned scholar in the areas of law, business and economics. The University Professor will also foster high-visibility academic pursuits at Villanova and will be an active presence at the national and international levels. This includes collaboration with the School’s John F. Scarpa Center for Law and Entrepreneurship as well as the David F. and Constance B. Girard-diCarlo Center for Ethics, Integrity and Compliance.

“As part of his transformative gift to Villanova Law, Chuck Widger endowed a world-class faculty position that further connects our legal education program to the real-world practices of law and business,” remarked Mark C. Alexander, Arthur J. Kania Dean of the Villanova University Charles Widger School of Law. “Now, thanks to the generous support of the Charles Koch Foundation, we can realize our dream even sooner. I’m so grateful to both Chuck Widger and the Foundation for their remarkable support.”

The Law School introduced as part of its strategic plan a newly-enhanced curriculum that provides graduates with the academic, practical and professional skills necessary for success in 21st-century legal practice. Central to this outcomes-focused approach is an academic program that infuses business coursework, professional development skills and real-world learning opportunities into Villanova’s rigorous legal education. Along with the new University Professor, the Charles Koch Foundation’s grant also includes support for a Professor of Business Ethics; a Fellowship in Law, Business and Economics; and an Inspector General Program.

“We are proud to partner with Chuck Widger to support Villanova’s vision of an innovative legal education that integrates the study of economics into the understanding of law,” said Charles Koch Foundation President Brian Hooks.

The rank of University Professor represents Villanova’s highest academic honor, bestowed upon select faculty members of extraordinary scholarly achievement and accomplishment. These noted teacher-scholars work across multiple disciplines and have earned substantial recognition for their scholarship at the highest academic levels.

Recruitment for the inaugural Charles Widger University Professor in Law, Business and Economics will commence immediately. The University Professor will be appointed by Villanova University President Peter M. Donohue, PhD, OSA, upon the recommendation of Provost Maggitti and Dean Alexander. The Law School’s standing faculty appointment committee will also be integrally involved in the recruitment process.

About Villanova University Charles Widger School of Law: Founded in 1953, Villanova University Charles Widger 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 seven 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 Centers of Excellence—the Center for Law and Religion; the David F. and Constance B. Girard-diCarlo Center for Ethics, Integrity and Compliance; the John F. Scarpa Center for Law and Entrepreneurship; and the Jeffrey S. Moorad Center for the Study of Sports Law—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 collegesthe 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 Charles Widger School of Law. Ranked among the nation’s top universities, Villanova supports its students’ intellectual growth and prepares them to become ethical leaders who create positive change everywhere life takes them. For more, visit