Gene NicholProfessor of Law
University of North Carolina School of Law, Chapel Hill
Gene Nichol teaches courses in constitutional law, federal courts, civil rights and election law. From 2005-2008, he was the 26th president of the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia -- the second oldest university in the United States. According to U.S. News and World Report, William & Mary is the leading small public university in the nation.
Prof. Nichol was Burton Craige professor and dean of the law school at the University of North Carolina from 1999-2005. He served as law dean at the University of Colorado from 1988-1995; and as James Gould Cutler Professor and Director of the Institute of Bill of Rights Law at William & Mary from 1985-1988. Prof. Nichol has also been a faculty member at the University of Florida and West Virginia University. He founded the Byron White Center of Constitutional Law at the University of Colorado (1990) and the Center for Civil Rights at the University of North Carolina (2001).
Prof. Nichol is co-author of FEDERAL COURTS: Cases and Comments (West, 2000)(with Redish) and contributing author of WHERE WE STAND: Voices of Southern Dissent (NewSouth Books, 2004. He has published articles and essays in the Harvard Law Review, the Yale Law Journal, the University of Chicago Law Review, the Michigan Law Review, the University of Pennsylvania Law Review, the California Law Review, the Duke Law Journal, the Virginia Law Review and an array of leading legal journals. From 1998-1999, he was a political columnist for the Denver-Rocky Mountain News and the Colorado Daily. From 1999-2005, he was a regular op-ed writer for the Raleigh News & Observer. He has also written for the Washington Post, The Nation, and various periodicals. From 1994-1995, he was host of a public affairs television show, Culture Wars, for KBDI, Channel 12 in Denver, Colorado.
Prof. Nichol has been significantly involved in public affairs. He has testified before an array of committees of the United States Congress and various state legislatures. In 1991, he was appointed special master by a three-judge federal court in Colorado to mediate a redistricting dispute between the governor and the legislature. The accord was ratified by statute. A year later he helped head the Colorado Reapportionment Commission. In 2004, Prof. Nichol led the North Carolina Bi-Partisan Commission on Lobbying Reform. Legislation was passed enacting commission recommendations. He ran unsuccessfully for national political office while in Colorado. He has been elected to membership in the American Law Institute and the American Bar Foundation Fellows.
In 2003, Prof. Nichol won the American Bar Association's Edward R. Finch Award for delivering the nation's best Law Day Address. Two years later, Governor Michael Easley inducted Nichol into the Order of the Long Leaf Pine – North Carolina’s highest civilian honor; and Equal Justice Works named him pro bono law school dean of the year. In 2007, he received Oklahoma State University’s Distinguished Alumnus Award. This year he received the Thomas Jefferson Award -- for courage in the defense of religious liberty -- from the Military Religious Freedom Foundation.
Prof. Nichol attended Oklahoma State University, where he received a degree in philosophy (1973) and played varsity football. He obtained his J.D. from the University of Texas, graduating Order of the Coif, in 1976. He is married to Glenn George. They have three daughters: Jesse (20), Jennifer (19), and Soren (14).
He then became the dean of the University of Colorado Law School from 1988-1995. He previously worked at William and Mary as Cutler Professor of Constitutional Law and director of the Institute of Bill of Rights Law from 1985 to 1988. His other positions have included teaching law in the undergraduate and law schools of the University of Colorado, the University of Exeter, the University of Oxford, and West Virginia University. He teaches Constitutional Law, Federal Jurisdiction, Civil Rights and Election Law.