The United States Senate unanimously confirmed the nomination of former College of William and Mary President Paul R. Verkuil ’61 as head of the Administrative Conference of the United States March 3. President Barack Obama appointed Verkuil to the position in 2009.
“I am very excited,” Verkuil said. “It is a great position for someone who spent his life in the administrative [sector]. It’s an agency whose job is to fix the government.”
The ACUS is a consultative board that advises Congress and other federal agencies on the efficiency and fairness of procedures. The board operates independently from the entities that it guides. Though it was established in 1968, a joint committee of the Senate and House of Representatives dissolved the ACUS during the Clinton administration. Verkuil is the first chairman of the board since 1995.
“It was a mistake [to remove the ACUS from the government],” Verkuil said. “I think everyone felt that afterwards.”
Now the president must appoint 10 ACUS board members, which Verkuil hopes will happen soon. Verkuil and his board will then set the board’s agenda.
“Since I am the only employee right now, I can’t really say what our focus will be,” Verkuil said. “I will say that there are a whole lot of good ideas floating around for improving government performances.”
Verkuil received an undergraduate degree in English literature from the College before receiving a J.D. from the University of Virginia School of Law and an LL.M. and a J.S.D. from New York University School of Law.
He served as the College’s 24th president from 1985-92, CEO of the American Automobile Association and dean of both Tulane University Law School and Yeshiva University’s Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law where he is currently a professor.
Verkuil also served as special master for the United States Supreme Court from 1994-97, in which he ensured judicial orders were followed.
“This is very good news,” College President Taylor Reveley said in a press release. “As one of our country’s foremost experts on administrative law and regulation, Paul Verkuil will do an enormous amount of good in this post. Paul has had an extraordinarily productive career. Leading the revived ACUS is the latest manifestation of his prowess as a leader. William and Mary is very proud of its alumnus and 24th president.”