May 23, 2016 – Professor Laura Gómez will serve as interim dean for the UCLA College of Letters and Science Division of Social Sciences, effective July 1, 2016, when Dean Alessandro Duranti is scheduled to step down and return to the faculty. In addition to holding a primary appointment at the School of Law, Professor Gómez holds joint appointments in the departments of sociology and Chicana and Chicano studies in the College of Letters and Science.
Professor Gómez, who began her academic career at UCLA in 1994, joined the University of New Mexico as a professor of law and American studies in 2005, and returned to UCLA in 2011. Her research spans the fields of law and society, critical race theory and the sociology of race, and her articles have appeared in journals including the Law & Society Review
and the Annual Review of Law and Social Science
. She is the author of two monographs, "Misconceiving Mothers: Legislators, Prosecutors and the Politics of Prenatal Drug Exposure" (1997) and "Manifest Destinies: The Making of the Mexican American Race" (2007), with a third under advance contract, "Evicted from Whiteness: Latinos and the Future of Race." She co-edited the anthology "Mapping “Race”: Critical Approaches to Health Disparities Research" (2013).
Beyond her scholarly accomplishments, Professor Gómez has held numerous management and leadership positions at UCLA and elsewhere. She served as vice dean of faculty development at UCLA School of Law from 2013-15, and co-directed the Critical Race Studies Program. She participated in the UCLA Faculty Leadership Program in 2014-15. She is the past president of the Law and Society Association and has been associate editor of the Law & Society Review. She was associate dean for faculty development at University of New Mexico School of Law and co-directed UNM’s Institute for the Study of Race and Social Justice.
Professor Gómez’s many committee appointments include the Academic Senate’s privilege and tenure committee, the UCLA Moreno Report Implementation Committee, and faculty advisory boards for the UCLA Chicano Studies Research Center and the Center for the Study of Women. She also serves on the 2016 committee of visitors for the National Science Foundation’s Division of Social and Economic Sciences.