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College of Law names Banks to first Board of Advisors Distinguished Professorship

January 22, 2009

Jaclyn D. Grosso
(315) 443-9534

Jaclyn D. Grosso

Professor William C. Banks, an internationally renowned expert on national security and counterterrorism, has been named to the newly created College of Law Board of Advisors Distinguished Professorship. Created through the leadership and financial commitment of the College of Law Board of Advisors, the position will fund the scholarly work, research and academic initiatives of Banks, who is the director of the Institute for National Security and Counterterrorism at Syracuse University. Banks, who has taught at Syracuse University College of Law for 30 years, is currently a Laura J. and L. Douglas Meredith Professor for Teaching Excellence and is a professor of public administration in SU's Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs.

Banks"Endowing this position ensures leadership in this important area for Syracuse University College of Law," says Michael David Wohl L'75, who served as a champion for the professorship and is a Board of Advisors member. "Our board felt it was critical to ensure the longevity of such scholarly excellence. Professor Banks' presence and his institute distinguish the College of Law from other law schools and provide a robust learning environment for students."

Banks is widely published and co-wrote the definitive text in the field, "National Security Law" (Aspen Publishers Inc., 2006), which was first published in 1990 and is now in its fourth edition. Banks and his co-authors published "Counterterrorism Law" (Aspen Publishers Inc., 2007) to help define the emerging field of counterterrorism law. Banks is also the author of numerous other books, book chapters and articles.

"As we find ourselves in a time of global change and conflict, we are fortunate to have such a scholar and leader on our faculty who is immersed in the area of national security," says College of Law Dean Hannah R. Arterian. "Professor Banks' passion for teaching is an inspiration to us all. We are so grateful to our Board of Advisors and the Faculty Today program that helped support this critical position."

In addition to teaching, Banks lectures extensively on national security and constitutional law-related topics and on comparative legal systems throughout the United States and Canada, as well as in South and Central America, the Middle East, the Caribbean, Asia, Africa and Europe. Banks' current research interests include domestic and international terrorism, emergency powers, war powers, emergency preparedness and response, civil/military relations and appropriations powers.

Banks earned a bachelor's degree from the University of Nebraska and J.D. and master's degrees from the University of Denver.

Counted in The Campaign for Syracuse University total, the gift is among the first that will be bolstered through Faculty Today, a new gift challenge program created to encourage donors to endow faculty chairs and professorships. Designed to accelerate the University's ability to recruit and retain world-class faculty, Faculty Today will supplement the earnings from the Board of Advisors Distinguished Professorship Fund for five years. The program was developed by the SU Board of Trustees, which allocated $30 million from the University's endowment in support of the new initiative. To learn more about Faculty Today, visit

With a goal of $1 billion, The Campaign for Syracuse University is the most ambitious fundraising effort in SU's history. By supporting faculty excellence, student access, interdisciplinary programs, capital projects and other institutional priorities, the campaign is continuing to drive Scholarship in Action, the University's vision to provide students, faculty and communities with the insights needed to incite positive and lasting change in the world. More information is available online at

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