David W. Burcham, who began his
career in education more than 30 years ago, was elected the university's
15th president on October 4, 2010, in a unanimous decision by the LMU
Board of Trustees.
Previously, Burcham served as interim president, executive vice president and provost at LMU.
association with LMU has been long and successful. He graduated first
in his class from Loyola Law School in 1984 and, after seven years in
public and private practice, he returned to Loyola Law School and his
first love – teaching. He was appointed senior vice president and dean
of the law school in 2000, and served in that capacity until he was
named LMU’s executive vice president and provost in 2008.
his term as executive vice president and provost, Burcham championed
academic excellence. He emphasized steady improvement in the quality and
caliber of research and teaching at the university. “Striving towards
excellence in academics, that is why we are here,” he told a recent
LMU’s chief operating officer, Burcham has strengthened the university
for the long term by overseeing the current $380 million capital fund
drive and the 20-year Master Plan for future growth.
that end, he reconfigured the university budget during the recent
economic downturn, transferring funds from various support functions to
ensure that academics remained fully funded. He also charged the chief
academic officer with modernizing the core curriculum and academic
requirements. In 2009-2010, LMU was named a "top producer" of Fulbright
awards among institutions with master's degree programs by The Chronicle
of Higher Education.
the financial front, he has declared an end to over-reliance on tuition
increases to finance university operations. Instead, he has supported a
vigorous grant application program and increasing the “Right Place,
Right Time” capital campaign fundraising goal from $300 million to $380
million despite the recession.
build for the future, he has given priority to winning approval for the
campus 20-year Master Plan. The plan creates the necessary entitlements
for university expansion and growth. “It is critical in terms of
setting the future direction of the university to have facilities and a
campus that support academic excellence,” he said.
his tenure as dean of Loyola Law School, Burcham forged strategic
improvements in the curriculum. He oversaw a host of innovative
programs, including the Business Law Practicum, the Center for Juvenile
Law & Policy, the London IP Institute, and the Tax LLM program.
Practical training programs became a hallmark of the curriculum under
Burcham’s stewardship. The Byrne Trial Advocacy Team won five national
championships during his deanship and he oversaw the creation of the
National Civil Trial Competition, one of the country’s preeminent mock
enhanced the size and prestige of the faculty, increasing the number of
full-time law professors by almost 15 percent. He also worked with
faculty to establish programs in their core areas of expertise,
including the Center for the Study of Law & Genocide, the Civil
Justice Program, the Distinguished William J. Landers Lecture on
Prosecutorial Ethics, the Fidler Institute on Criminal Justice, the
Intellectual Property Special Focus Series, the Journalist Law School
and the Sports Law Institute.
also strengthened the law school’s financial foundation. He raised
money to establish seven new faculty chairs, as well as paying for and
completing the Girardi Advocacy Center and its flagship classroom, the
Robinson Courtroom. With that accomplished, he instituted a building
moratorium to focus on the school’s endowment, which more than doubled
under his watch.
is a recognized authority on constitutional law, clerked at the U.S.
Supreme Court for Justice Byron White (1986-87) and the U.S. Court of
Appeals for the Third Circuit for Chief Judge Ruggero J. Aldisert
(1984-86), and was in private practice at Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher
native of Los Angeles, Burcham earned a B.A. in political science from
Occidental College in 1973, and a M.A. in education administration from
Cal State Long Beach in 1978. Burcham and Chris, his wife, have been
married for 36 years. They have two children.
For more information about President Burcham, visit the president's home page here.