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WVU reappoints Dean McConnell

MORGANTOWN, W.Va.—West Virginia University has reappointed Joyce E. McConnell as Dean of the College of Law for another five years. 

“Joyce McConnell is commended for an excellent first term as dean,” said  Michele G. Wheatly, WVU Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs. “Under her leadership, the future of the College of Law is very bright.”

Since being named Dean in 2008, McConnell has spearheaded a  $25 million fundraising campaign to invest in the future of legal education at WVU. This includes the construction of a 20,000-square-foot addition to the law school as well as improvements to teaching facilities, resources, and technology.

In 2011, McConnell established the  Center for Energy and Sustainable Development, which is playing a prominent role in shaping the energy and environmental policies of the future. She also oversaw the creation of the  Land Use and Sustainable Development Law Clinic, which is working in a dozen West Virginia communities.

Richardson: SCOTUS Koontz Decision Affirms Sound Land Use Planning

Amidst DOMA, Fisher, and Shelby this summer, the U.S. Supreme Court decided an important land use case that did not quite get the same national attention: Coy A. Koontz v. St. Johns River Water Management District.

In a 5-4 decision, the Court ruled in favor of Koontz, a Florida property developer, in what some legal scholars see as blow to sustainable development. 

WVU Law land use attorney Jesse Richardson, however, sees Koontz as an affirmation of sound land use planning practices.

In the case, Koontz sought a permit to develop a portion of land and place a conversation easement on several additional acres. Much of the Koontz property includes wet lands. St. Johns countered with two alternative options conditional to granting a permit. Koontz did not agree to either option.

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