Jennifer Rosato Perea will depart at the conclusion of the academic year, Northern Illinois University announced today. The dean of the NIU College of Law has accepted a position at Chicago’s DePaul University.
When she was appointed to NIU Law in July 2009, Dean Rosato Perea became only the second Latina law school dean in the nation.
“I am thankful for Jennifer’s years of service to NIU and congratulate her on this wonderful opportunity,” NIU President Doug Baker said, noting Rosato Perea’s many accomplishments and recognition for the NIU College of Law. “We’re proud of her work to extend the college into the community with Hessed House as well as expansion of Zeke Giorgi Law Clinic services to provide for the needs of the state’s most vulnerable residents.”
An expert on family law, bioethics, civil procedure and legal ethics, Rosato Perea is a long-time advocate of engaged learning, professionalism and scholarship. She was named to the 2015 Lawyers of Color ‘Power List’ in February. In 2014, she was named ‘Woman of Distinction’ by Suburban Life magazine, and she was recognized by Secretary of State Jesse White with the Distinguished Leadership Award in 2013. She was honored as a 2012 Impresa Award recipient by the Women’s Division of the Joint Civic Committee of Italian Americans.
“Dean Rosato Perea has created a culture of innovation and inclusion in the College of Law. She has been an incredible role model for the NIU campus and a committed mentor of early career faculty and students,” Executive Vice President and Provost Lisa Freeman said. “Jennifer will be missed by the members of NIU’s academic leadership and by the faculty, students and staff in the law school.”
During her years at NIU, Rosato Perea oversaw the opening of the NIU-Hesed House Community Law Center—an Aurora medical-legal partnership—in 2014, the 1L Mentoring Program in 2010 and a foreclosure mediation clinic in Kane County.
NIU has received its share of national attention over the past six years; preLaw magazine named NIU among the nation’s top 50 most diverse law schools in 2015, and the College of Law was named a 2012 ‘Tuition Winner’ in addition to being among the magazine’s top 20 best value law schools in 2010. NIU was also selected among the top 20 public interest law programs in the nation in 2012, a top 50 most diverse law school in 2012 and a Best Value Law School in 2013 by National Jurist.
Dean Rosato Perea will remain active at NIU until the end of the current academic year. An internal search will be conducted as soon as possible to identify an interim dean to lead the college during the 2015-16 academic year. Details of the search plan will be forthcoming.