Searle Center To Study Regulation’s Effect On Business

By Carrie PorterThe Daily Northwestern

When Northwestern Law decides to run a help-wanted ad, it apparently goes high-class.

In Tuesday’s Wall Street Journal, NU ran an advertisement asking for candidates to direct its new research center, which will focus on the impact of government regulations on business growth and the economy.

NU trustee Daniel C. Searle will fund the project as a gift to the school.

“Through the work of the Searle Center, we look forward to further integrating and fostering the talents of Northwestern and other scholars who are doing relevant research that applies to U.S. domestic policy,” Searle said in an NU Law School press release.

According to Dean David E. Van Zandt, Searle wanted to change the direction of his philanthropic work to impact U.S. public policy.

“The center essentially will be a collection of faculty and scholars who will focus on research,” Van Zandt said.

In its partnership with the Kellogg School of Management, the law school will advance the role of legal work in business institutions and emphasize the importance of integrating the two realms of academia. The center will support scholars by offering opportunities such as research grants and symposia.

Some of the center’s possible areas of study include tort law and tort reform, intellectual property rights, environmental protection and property rights. In addition, regulatory federalism, healthcare, complex litigations and class actions will be addressed.

“A lot of details will be fleshed out once we have a director,” Van Zandt said. The center’s official name and location will not be finalized until a director is named.

Van Zandt said student apathy towards the new Searle Center is another problem.

“I’ve never even heard of the Searle Center,” said David Sanders, a third year law student.

That’s because the center won’t be used for student courses, Van Zandt said.

“From the students’ perspective, the center doesn’t have any immediate effect. Students will get involved through research, not through teaching components,” he said.

The interim director of the Searle Center is Fred McChesney, an NU law professor who has written extensively about law.

Reach Carrie Porter at [email protected]