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June 25, 2020

By Capital Communications Team

New Dean Looks Forward to Servant-Leader Role at Capital Law School

Following a nationwide search, Capital University is pleased to announce the appointment of Reynaldo Anaya Valencia as dean of the Law School. Since June 2015, he has served as associate dean for Finance and Administration, and as professor of Law at University of North Texas at Dallas College of Law.

“I am thrilled that Rey Valencia is joining the Capital University community as our new dean of the Law School,” said Provost Jody Fournier. “Rey brings incredible experience and energy to the position and is poised to lead the Law School into the next phase of legal education. He has a keen sense of our mission and values, and at the same time, a fresh perspective for preparing students for the legal profession.”

Valencia has practiced, taught, written, and lectured nationally and internationally on corporate law, corporate bankruptcy, and race and gender issues, and also has served as an expert witness in complex corporate and bankruptcy multimillion dollar litigation.

“As a Mexican-American from a migrant farmworker background, who was in the first cohort of family members to graduate high school and the first to attend college, my own life is a true testament to the incalculable power and effect of a formal education, particularly a legal education,” Valencia said.

“Capital University Law School has a strong and commendable history of experiential learning and service to the community,” he said. “I understand the challenges and opportunities of preparing students for the practice of law in the 21st century. With a background working at mission-driven institutions similar to Capital, it is with great honor that I look forward to collaborating with Capital’s students, faculty and staff as a servant-leader.”

Valencia earned an undergraduate degree in psychology (with honors) and a graduate degree in sociology from Stanford University, then went on to receive a juris doctor degree from Harvard Law School. He practiced corporate bankruptcy and general corporate law at the Dallas office of the international law firm of Jones Day for five years, while serving as an adjunct professor of Law at Texas Tech School of Law, where at age 25 he became the youngest faculty member in the law school’s history.

In 1995, Valencia joined the faculty at St. Mary’s University School of Law in San Antonio as an associate professor, earning tenure in 1999 and promotion to the rank of full professor. In 2008, he was appointed associate dean of Administration and Finance at St. Mary’s and held the Ernest W. Clemmons Professor of Corporate and Securities Law endowed professorship.

President Bill Clinton appointed Valencia as a White House Fellow for 1999-2000, where he served in the Office of the Chief of Staff. He also has served on the Board of Directors of the American Board of Certification (which produces the national bankruptcy certification examination); the Board of Governors of the Council on Legal Education Opportunity (CLEO); the Board of Trustees of the Law School Admission Council; and as an elected director on the Harvard Alumni Association Board of Directors.

Valencia received the St. Mary’s University Distinguished Faculty Award (Law School) in 2008. In 2003 and again in 2006, he received the Outstanding Legal Achievement award by the Mexican American Bar Association of San Antonio, and in 2012, was awarded the Becky Cross Anchor Award from Equality Texas in recognition of his work with, and support of, LBGTQ students.

He has published several articles in traditional law reviews, and was the lead co-author of “Mexican Americans and The Law: ¡El Pueblo Unido Jamas Sera Vencido!,” the first undergraduate textbook to focus on Latinos/as and the law.

Valencia and his sons, Elias, Leo and Robert, look forward to becoming part of the Capital University community.