Indian American scholar appointed as the dean of CUNY’s School of Law


The City University of New York (CUNY) has appointed an Indian American woman as the dean of the School of Law, on Wednesday, February 23.

Sudha Setty, who is an exceptional scholar, and experienced and collaborative legal leader, will be the first person of South Asian descent to lead a CUNY school. Her tenure officially begins July 1.

“I am thrilled and honored to serve as the next dean of CUNY School of Law,” Setty said. “This law school was founded with the mission of public service, social justice lawyering, inclusiveness and accessibility.”

Firsts are not unfamiliar to Setty, who most recently served as dean of the Western New England University School of Law and became the first woman of South Asian descent in the U.S. to serve as dean of an American Bar Association-accredited law school.

“In this moment, the nation and the world have recognized what CUNY has known all along: that our society needs more lawyers who are educated with these fundamental values to take on the challenges of today and the future,” she added.

“I look forward to working with all members of the CUNY community as the law school seeks to make the world a fairer, more just, and better place.”

Setty brings with her decades of academic leadership experience and social justice legal expertise.

In her previous role, she helped create the school’s Center for Social Justice to provide an organizing framework by engaging in economic and racial justice and social issues. She also led the charge for including a racial justice course requirement.

She received her J.D. from Columbia University School of Law, where she was a Harlan Fiske Stone Scholar, and her bachelor’s degree from Stanford University.

“Dean Setty boasts a sustained record of accomplishment as an antitrust litigator, pro bono civil rights counsel, scholar of constitutional law and legal education leader, as well as a pioneering administrator and leader,” said Chairperson William C. Thompson Jr. “We are thrilled to welcome her to CUNY Law.”

Chancellor Félix V. Matos Rodríguez said Setty has “a demonstrated ability to combine visionary goal-setting with deft governance, and to construct, fund and sustain the programs that realize those goals.”

“Her breadth of experience and commitment to use legal education for the advancement of social justice will build upon the Law School’s progress as the top public-interest law school in the nation,” Rodríguez said. “CUNY is fortunate to have her.”