Law professor takes Interior Department position

Oregon Daily Emerald

A law school professor has taken a position in the Obama administration and will leave the University faculty for the year.

Assistant professor Adell Amos’ reputation as one of the nation’s top scholars on water use led Interior Department officials to name her deputy solicitor for land and water. Amos will perform the department’s legal work related to those issues. The position does not require confirmation before the Senate, and Amos is already preparing for a move to Washington, D.C.

Amos is Director of the Environmental and Natural Resources Law Program at the School of Law. A University news release credited her for the fact that the program is now ranked 10th in the nation among environmental law programs by US News & World Report.

Amos was scheduled to teach two classes in the fall. School of Law Dean Margie Paris said the two classes will now be taught by adjunct professors. Associate Dean Michael Moffitt said in an e-mail that other courses will also be expanded to compensate for the loss of Amos.

“We could never replace all that Professor Amos brings to our law school,” Moffitt wrote. “She is an award-winning teacher, a first-rate scholar, and a gifted program administrator. We have been doing all that we can to assure that our students’ curricular opportunities in the Environmental Law field, in particular, remain fitting for a program of national standing.”

Amos has worked with the Interior Department before, as a solicitor’s assistant in the Division of Parks and Wildlife. Paris said she regrets seeing Amos leave.

“It’s very much a two-sided thing,” Paris said. “On the one hand, she is such a huge talent in this building. We hate to see her gone. But on the other hand, we expect to have her back.”

Paris said Amos would likely return to the University once she has finished working in the Interior Department.

Amos did not return the Emerald’s phone messages or e-mails regarding an interview. University spokesperson Julie Brown said Amos and her family have already begun their move to the nation’s capital, and that she had found Amos difficult to reach when amassing information about the decision.

Interior Department employees also did not return a request for comment before the Emerald went to press.

Amos is scheduled to assume her new position Sept. 8.

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