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William Johnson Appointed SLU-Madrid Rector

by Isaiah Voss on 06/19/2024


William "Bill" Johnson, J.D., outgoing dean of the Saint Louis University School of Law, has been named rector and vice president of SLU-Madrid, effective Oct. 1.

Johnson has served as the dean of SLU's School of Law for more than seven years.

"Bill rightly recognizes the scholarly expertise, teaching excellence, operational prowess and embodiment of SLU's institutional mission among the Madrid campus faculty and staff, and I know he will be a champion for their work and continued growth," said Provost Michael Lewis, Ph.D., in a statement to the SLU community.

Originally from Minnesota, Johnson has participated in study abroad programs in Germany and the Netherlands, experiences that significantly impacted his appreciation and passion for international engagement.

His international involvement also includes visiting academic appointments at universities in Lithuania, Germany and France, and he has been a guest lecturer at a university in Hungary.

William Johnson on stage talking to the audience from a lectern with a microphone.

William Johnson, J.D., has been named rector and vice president of SLU’s Madrid campus, effective Oct. 1. Submitted photo.

Johnson graduated with a B.A. in German from the University of Minnesota — Twin Cities with a minor in Russian in 1995. He obtained his law degree from the University of Michigan Law School in 2001.

He is a recognized scholar for his research in international commercial law, specifically contract law. In the U.S., Johnson has been a professor at Saint Louis University School of Law and the University of North Dakota.

As director of the School of Law's Summer Law Program in Madrid, Johnson spent four consecutive summers at SLU-Madrid, developing strong relationships with faculty and staff. He has continued to visit each year as dean, and has been a strong supporter and advocate for SLU-Madrid.

"World-class scholars, talented teachers, a dedicated staff body and internationally engaged students — from nearly seventy countries — together create a diverse community that is unusual, distinctive, and compelling," said Johnson. "And the Jesuit mission to seek justice in a global context offers a common calling for each member of the community. I am so deeply optimistic about the future of this remarkable campus."

Johnson will succeed the three SLU-Madrid co-directors, Laurie Mazzuca, Ph.D., Francisco "Paco" García-Serrano, Ph.D. and Victoria "Viki" Villarreal, who have collectively served in an interim capacity since May 2023.