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Douglas KysarDouglas Kysar | Photo by Kyla Cox Deckard

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Kyla Cox Deckard
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Ken Turchi
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Renowned Wells Scholars Program alumnus returning to Bloomington as guest lecturer

April 4, 2016


BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Douglas Kysar, the Joseph M. Field '55 Professor of Law at Yale Law School, returns to the IU Bloomington campus this week as Class of 1941 Wells Scholars Program Professor in the Wells Scholars Program. He is the first professor in the program’s 25-year history who was also a Wells Scholar.

Kysar is teaching a two-week segment of an interdisciplinary course on environmental law and policy. While on campus, he will also deliver the Addison C. Harris Lecture at the Maurer School of Law on April 6.

Kysar is one of the most distinguished experts on environmental law in the nation. In addition to his faculty appointment at Yale, he has held a number of other positions, including deputy dean and acting director for the Yale Center for Environmental Law and Policy. He also holds an appointment with the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies.

At Yale, Kysar teaches and writes about environmental law, tort law and products liability. Before joining Yale, he taught at Cornell Law School. Kysar has been a visiting faculty member at the Harvard, New York University and UCLA law schools; a visiting scholar at the Universitat Pompeu Fabra in Barcelona, the London School of Economics and the National University of Singapore Faculty of Law; and a distinguished environmental law lecturer at the Florida State University College of Law. Prior to entering academia, he served as a judicial clerk for Judge William G. Young of the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts and practiced corporate law with Foley Hoag LLP. A native of Indiana, Kysar received his B.A. summa cum laude in 1995 from Indiana University and his J.D. magna cum laude in 1998 from Harvard Law School, where he received the Sears Prize and served on the student board of advisors.

The Wells Scholars Program Professorship is supported by donations made by alumni during the endowment campaign for the Wells Scholarship. Its purpose is to bring outstanding researchers and artists to campus. Previous Wells Scholars Program professors include South African civil rights activist Helen Suzman, playwright Athol Fugard, novelist and critic Sir Malcolm Bradbury, anthropologist Clifford Geertz, security expert Sir Timothy Garden, and geologist Walter Alvarez.

Kysar will deliver the Addison C. Harris Lecture at the IU Maurer School of Law at noon on April 6, in the Moot Court Room in Baier Hall. The lecture, titled "Living with Owning," explores the theoretical underpinnings of property rights, stewardship of animal life and social organization in regulated societies. It is free and open to the public, and one hour of Indiana continuing legal education credit is pending.

Established in 1946 by a trust from the bequest of India Crago Harris in the name of her husband, the Harris Lecture Series brings prominent scholars to the Maurer School of Law. Harris was an Indiana lawyer and president of the old Indiana Law School. He was appointed minister to Austria-Hungary by President William McKinley. Past Harris lecturers have included Derrick Bell, Robert Bork, Guido Calabresi, Jules Coleman, Owen Fiss, Laurence Tribe and Elizabeth Warren.

From 1956, the Harris Lectures have been published in the Indiana Law Journal. The first lecture to be published was given by Chief Justice Earl Warren, who delivered the keynote address at the dedication ceremonies for the new law school building.