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LOS ANGELES – The University of California, Irvine’s Donald Bren School of Law has hired the first of its top administrative positions: An assistant dean and a director of development, according to the school’s dean, Erwin Chemerinsky. Charles Cannon, the director of development at the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA) School of Law, will become the director of development at UC Irvine’s law school on Jan. 22, Chemerinsky said. In addition, Rebecca Avila, the senior associate dean for administration and finance at the University of Southern California’s Annenberg School for Communication, will become the assistant dean for administration and finance at UC Irvine on June 1. Chemerinsky said Cannon will be instrumental in raising money for student aid, additional faculty salaries and a new building for the law school. He also will develop a strategy for the school’s existing fundraising campaign. “One of the most important things he’s going to need to do is develop that campaign,” Chemerinsky said. UC Irvine’s fundraising campaign has already attracted big dollars. The law school’s namesake, Donald Bren, a billionaire philanthropist from Newport Beach, Calif., donated $20 million to pay for faculty salaries. Mark Robinson, founder and senior partner of Robinson, Calcagnie & Robinson in Newport Beach, Calif., donated $1 million in unallocated endowment funds. And the Joan Irvine Smith and Athalie R. Clarke Foundation donated $1 million toward its law library. Cannon, who was at UCLA for 17 years, did not return a call for comment. But Dean Schill, dean of UCLA School of Law, said: “He was ready for a new challenge. And I’m pleased that Irvine can provide him with the opportunity to move on to the next phase of his career.” Schill said UCLA School of Law, where Cannon worked under an associate dean of external affairs, is in the midst of growing its development office and plans to launch its own fundraising campaign in April. “I’m joining the new law school because I think it’s a rare opportunity to get to start a new law school,” Avila said, who has been in charge of central administration at USC’s Annenberg School for Communication Geoffrey Baum, assistant dean for public affairs at the Annenberg School for Communication, said Avila was the only senior associate dean at the school. He declined to comment about her move but noted that she has served on the boards of California Common Cause and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Southern California. She also served as executive director of the Los Angeles City Ethics Commission. Chemerinsky taught at USC Law School for 21 years before joining Duke Law School in 2004. He officially takes the UC Irvine dean position on July 1.

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