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New Northwestern Center to Study Effects of Regulation on Business

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September 12, 2006 | by Pat Vaughan Tremmel

CHICAGO --- A new center that will research how government regulation and interpretation of laws and regulations by the courts affect business and economic growth will be established at Northwestern University School of Law, University officials announced today.

Funded by a gift from Daniel C. Searle, long-time philanthropist and Northwestern trustee, the Searle Center will draw upon the expertise of faculty from law, business and economics to offer rigorous interdisciplinary research on often hot-button issues, such as environmental protection, eminent domain and corporate governance.

“The Searle Center will support research by faculty from Northwestern and elsewhere that will examine the economic effects of government regulation in a number of domains,” said Henry S. Bienen, president, Northwestern University. “The center will support scholars with significant expertise in providing thoughtful analyses of often controversial issues.” 

Potential areas of focus also might include telecommunications, class action lawsuits and intellectual property rights.

“Through work of the Searle Center, we look forward to further integrating and fostering the talents of Northwestern and other scholars who are doing relevant research that applies to

U. S. domestic policy,” Searle said.

The School of Law is nationally recognized for its interdisciplinary and empirical research.

“Searle Center scholars, for example, could focus on such issues as tort reform, with scholarship that ultimately will affect policymaking on how government regulation is actually working,” said David E. Van Zandt, dean, Northwestern University School of Law.

A national search is under way to find a director of the Searle Center. The director will manage the center with the advice of an advisory board, which will include individuals with significant standing in the academic and policy worlds.

The center will encourage interdisciplinary research and support senior, visiting and graduate fellows and offer faculty research grants, research symposia, working papers and continuing education programs.

“Northwestern's law school is widely recognized for its preparation of lawyers to succeed in the increasingly integrated worlds of law and business,” said Fred McChesney, the Class of 1967 James B. Haddad Professor of Law at Northwestern and interim director of the Searle Center.

“The law school in partnership with the Kellogg School of Management now has the largest and best integrated law and business program in the country,” he said. “And the Searle Center will play a key role in the law and business program and its efforts to advance the understanding of the roles of law and legal institutions in business and economic growth.”

Topics: University