Incoming President and Dean Announcement
General Jerry W. Kilgore, Chair of the Board of Appalachian School of Law, is pleased to announce that B. Keith Faulkner has been selected by ASL’s Board of Trustees as the new President and Dean. He will assume that role on July 1, 2021.
ASL’s current President and Dean, Justice (ret.) Elizabeth A. McClanahan, said “Dean Faulkner brings to ASL a highly diverse background that emphasizes the holistic nature of experiential learning.” He began his career as a nuclear power plant operator aboard a U.S. Navy fast-attack submarine. He obtained Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in business administration. After graduating from law school, Faulkner went on to practice law as a litigator, served as Interim Dean of Campbell University’s Law School and Dean of Campbell’s Business School, and, for the last five years, has held the post as Dean of Liberty University School of Law. Dean Faulkner led the law school to achieve the number seven bar-passage rate outcome compared to all law schools in the nation in 2018. The most recent admissions cycle demonstrated the highest number of applications since the founding of the school in 2004 and the third largest entering class in its history. “Keith’s rich background is a perfect fit for ASL,” President McClanahan said, “because it closely matches our educational philosophy and aspirational spirit.”
“I am honored and humbled to be asked to serve as the next President and Dean of Appalachian School of Law,” Faulkner said. “ASL has embraced an innovative learning model that, I believe, is the future of legal education. I want to be a part of prospering and expanding its reach while continuing to build on the school’s
progress realized under Justice McClanahan.”
“ASL’s 3-plus-3 accelerated degree programs are particularly exciting,” Faulkner observed. Under these programs, students spend three years at a college or university and then enroll at ASL. Upon completion of their first year at ASL, these students will receive their baccalaureate degree and then, after completing the two remaining years at ASL, receive their law degree. “These programs,” Faulkner agrees, “save students a year’s tuition, allow for an additional year for graduates to exercise their earning potential, and forge a reliable path for a future career in law.”
“I am also impressed by ASL’s medical-legal partnership with Ballad Health and Virginia Tech’s Pamplin College of Business,” Faulkner added. The partnership
combines health and legal services at a single site of care. A multidisciplinary team including ASL students and faculty, along with legal aid lawyers, work
together to address medical and social/legal problems that have an impact on overall health.
“The ASL Board could not be more pleased with the hiring of Dean Faulkner,” said ASL Board Chair, The Honorable Jerry Kilgore. “Keith brings a vast array of
prior experiences that allow him to hit the ground running here at ASL. Mostly, his commitment to the ASL Mission will bring further successes in the school’s
“I see my professional and educational background,” Faulkner stated, “as being wholly in sync with ASL’s mission statement. Everything I have seen at ASL
confirms my desire to invest in its future.” “In my opinion,” he concluded, “ASL has an opportunity to lead the Commonwealth with an innovative educational
model — one that is at once intellectually resourceful and pragmatic. I’m glad to be part of the next chapter in the life of this extraordinary institution, and I thank
the ASL Board of Trustees for giving me this opportunity.”