Law professor to serve as acting dean during fall semester

University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa
Beverly Creamer, (808) 389-5736
Media Consultant, William S. Richardson School of Law
Posted: Jun 14, 2017

Melody MacKenzie ‘76
Melody MacKenzie ‘76

Professor Melody Kapilialoha MacKenzie ‘76 will serve as acting dean of the William S. Richardson School of Law at the University of Hawai‘i during the fall semester, when Dean Avi Soifer is on professional development leave. Soifer will be associated with the NYU School of Law before he returns in December.

MacKenzie has been the director of Ka Huli Ao Center for Excellence in Native Hawaiian Law since it was created in 2005, originally through a Native Hawaiian Education Act grant. This academic center at the Richardson Law School focuses on education, scholarship, community outreach and collaboration on issues of law, culture and justice for Native Hawaiians and other Pacific and Indigenous peoples.

MacKenzie is also editor-in-chief and author of four chapters of Native Hawaiian Law: A Treatise (2015), considered the definitive resource for understanding critical legal issues affecting the Native Hawaiian community. This 1,400-page volume was 15 years in the making and touches on everything from traditional and customary rights, to self-determination, to securing land titles. It provides detailed explanations of how local, national and international law affect Native Hawaiian cultural and natural resources.

Said MacKenzie, “I am honored to have been chosen to fulfill this important position while Dean Soifer takes a much deserved leave. I feel a special kuleana to ensure that Chief Justice Richardson’s vision for the law school is fulfilled, and I am grateful for the opportunity to support and advance that vision.”

For more information, visit: