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OCU Names First Female Law Dean, Judge Valerie Couch

Federal Magistrate Judge Valerie Couch has been named the 12th dean of Oklahoma City University School of Law, President Robert Henry announced.


“This is a remarkable Christmas present for OCU. Judge Couch will be an exceptional dean. She has been involved with our law school as an adjunct faculty member for a decade, and her rapport with students and faculty is sterling, as is her reputation within the legal community,” said Henry.


A yearlong, nationwide search was conducted, led by Oklahoma City University School of Law faculty member Professor Paula Dalley. “The search committee conducted an extensive nationwide search and considered many qualified applicants. JudgeCouch particularly impressed us with her enthusiasm for OCU LAW, her leadership ability, and her prominence in the legal community. We are delighted with President Henry’s choice,” she said.


Couch holds a juris doctor degree and a master’s degree in English literature from the University of Oklahoma, and a bachelor’s degree in English literature from UCLA.


Couch was appointed United States Magistrate Judge in the United States District Court for the Western District in March, 1999. Prior to that she was in private practice with Hartzog Conger & Cason, P.C., where she was an associate from 1983-88 and a director and shareholder from 1988-99.


“Oklahoma City University is the most interesting and exciting place to be in Oklahoma right now, and I am thrilled to be joining President Robert Henry and all the faculty, students and staff at a pivotal time in the university's history. Only the rich and challenging environment of a school close to my heart could coax me to leave a job I have loved in the federal judiciary. And this decision,like many others, has essentially been a matter of the heart. As a practicing lawyer and judge in Oklahoma City, I have been an eyewitness to the impressive changes at the OCU School of Law over the last 28 years. It has become a resourceful, vibrant, innovative and productive place with superb faculty, talented and generous students and a noble tradition of service to the community, and I am so pleased to become a part of that,” Couch said.


Her official university duties will begin July 1.