Houston, TX

Remembering Professor Ronald Turner, University of Houston Law Center professor

Marisol Gallagher

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Ronald Turner/law.uh.edu

HOUSTON, TX — University of Houston Law Center has recently lost one of its great teachers, thinkers and role models, Professor Ronald Turner.

Professor Turner passed away on June 7, 2021. He was 66. The Law Center will be holding a memorial service in his honor on June 24, at 5.30 p.m.

Ronald Turner is a Wilberforce University graduate with magna cum laude predicate in 1980. He received his law degree from the University of Pennsylvania Law School in 1984.

In 1998, Professor Turner joined the Law Center Faculty. He was the A.A. White Professor of Law, the first Law Center’s African-American full professor in history.

Before joining the Law Center, he served as a labor-management relations examiner with the National Labor Relations Board, performed law in Chicago, and teacher at the University of Alabama School of Law.

Professor Turner focused on labor law, employment law, constitutional law, taught employment discrimination, labor law, torts, constitutional law, and a course on HIV/AIDS and the law.

“Professor Turner was cherished by our students,” said Dean Leonard M. Baynes. “He was a noted scholar often publishing in top 30 law reviews and the author of several casebooks. He was also an excellent teacher who was able to get students to discuss complex and sensitive issues in a productive manner in his classes.”

Ronald Turner was a former research associate at the Industrial Research Unit at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business. He also served as a contributing editor for the AIDS & Public Policy Journal.

He has numerous publications, including books and articles on labor and employment law issues, AIDS, and hate speech. He was also a Visiting Professor of Law at the College of William & Mary Marshall-Wythe School of Law and was a Visiting Professor of History at Rice University.

Here are some tributes from Professor Turner’s colleagues at Law Center, including legal academics from across the country.

“Ron touched many people in so many ways,” said Professor Seth Chandler. “One thing I think about is his dedication to the promotion and tenure process at the Law Center. Ron did the work it took to evaluate all candidates fairly and to write complete reports regardless of his circumstances. I am not suggesting this achievement go on his tombstone - it will be a very crowded monument indeed if all of his accomplishments are listed - but it is emblematic of his commitment to fairness and an indomitable work ethic in matters large and small.”

“The news of the loss of Ron Turner brings such grief and sadness,” said Texas A&M University School of Law Professor Michael Z. Green. “Ron’s skills and talents are unique in this community. He is one of a few people primarily focused on being a workplace law scholar but also versed in and dedicated to issues of race. He was an endless worker, and his scholarship was always interesting and insightful. He was smart and funny and when you needed him he was there for you to learn from and be advised by and to grow with as needed. May he rest in peace.”

“Ron was a great scholar and, more importantly, a great person,” said Angela Onwuachi-Willig, Dean and Ryan Gallo and Ernest J. Gallo Professor of Law at the Boston University School of Law. “He will be sorely missed.”

The public can donate in honor to Professor Ronald Turner by visiting https://giving.uh.edu/law/ with reference to Professor Turner.

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