Law Dean Confirmed to Oregon Transportation Commission

Marcilynn A. Burke, Dean of the University of Oregon School of Law, was recently confirmed to the five-member Oregon Transportation Commission (OTC). Dean Burke speaking

Marcilynn A. Burke, Dean of the University of Oregon School of Law, was recently confirmed to the five-member Oregon Transportation Commission (OTC). Governor Kate Brown nominated Dean Burke, the Dave Frohnmayer Chair in Leadership and Law, to serve on this volunteer commission. The Oregon Senate confirmed Burke as the newest member of the OTC in November.

“As the Dean of the only public law school in Oregon with expertise in land use matters, the decision was easy to serve in this critical role for the state,” Burke said. “I look forward to collaborating with fellow commissioners to pursue a more sustainable, accessible, and state-of-the-art transportation network for all Oregonians. It is indeed an honor to serve in this capacity.”

The Oregon Transportation Commission establishes state transportation policy. The commission also guides the planning, development, and management of a statewide integrated transportation network. Their goal is to provide efficient transportation access, that is safe and enhances Oregon’s economy and livability.

The commission meets monthly to oversee department activities relating to:

  • Highways
  • Public transportation
  • Rail
  • Transportation safety
  • Motor carrier transportation
  • Drivers and motor vehicles

"We welcome Dean Burke to the Commission and look forward to working with her on the important funding and policy decisions we will make in the coming years," said Transportation Commission Chairman Robert Van Brocklin, JD ’80 and a Portland lawyer. "Her background in government at the U.S. Department of the Interior, and in higher education as a law school professor and now as Dean of the Oregon Law School, will be valuable to the Commission as we confront Oregon's increasingly complex transportation challenges.”

“Our diverse state is growing rapidly. Emerging vehicle technologies to improve air quality and vehicular efficiency, combined with our statewide investments in transit, active transportation alternatives, seismic resiliency, and the preservation of our existing roads and bridges, will transform mobility in Oregon in the decades ahead,” Van Brocklin continued. “Dean Burke will help us prioritize these investments and new policies to strengthen our economy, improve our environment, and ensure equitable access to 21st century transportation options to make Oregon a better place to work and live."

Dean Burke is an expert in property, land use, and natural resources law. She previously served as the Deputy Director for Programs and Policy for the federal Bureau of Land Management (BLM), and then as the Acting Assistant Secretary for the U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI) following a 2011 appointment by President Barack Obama. In that role, she helped develop and implement the land use, resource management, and regulatory oversight policies that are administered by (1) the BLM, (2) the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, the (3) Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement, and (4) the Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement. The geographic scope of her work encompassed the continental U.S. and Alaska. In those positions, she played a central role in planning for the use, development, preservation, and conservation of on- and off-shore federal resources.

Following her term at the DOI, she resumed her position as associate professor of law at the University of Houston Law Center, where she had served as a member of the faculty since 2002. She later became associate dean at UHLC before joining the University of Oregon as dean of the law school.

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