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Professor Frank Askin Receives RU Human Dignity Award for Role in Creating Minority Student Program

April 18, 2006 – 
Professor Frank Askin ’66 of Rutgers School of Law–Newark has been selected to receive a Rutgers University Human Dignity Award, which recognizes extraordinary achievement and commitment in promoting the value and importance of diversity at the university and in society. Askin was chosen for his work in establishing the law school’s Minority Student Program (MSP) and helping foster its mission for nearly 40 years. “Frank Askin richly deserves this award,” said Stuart L. Deutsch, Dean and Professor of Law. “Not only did he play a key role in creating the MSP but he has devoted his career to advancing equal opportunity in the legal profession and protecting the rights of people in New Jersey, especially the poor and those without voice.”

In 1968 Askin was appointed to chair a special faculty committee charged with developing a program that would significantly increase the number of minority students at the law school, which at the time was almost exclusively white and male. While the initial focus was on increasing the number of African-American students, the program has been expanded over the years to include Asian Americans, Hispanics, Native Americans, and disadvantaged applicants of all races. More than 2,000 students have participated in the MSP and have graduated from the law school, making it a nationally recognized model for educating and preparing minorities and disadvantaged students of all races for a law career. MSP alums can be found on the bench, in the U.S. Senate, in the Cabinet of the Governor of New Jersey, in private practice, government agencies, major corporations, legislative bodies, public interest organizations, and academic institutions across the country.

Frank Askin has been a member of the law faculty since graduating with highest honors in 1966. In 1970 he founded the Constitutional Litigation Clinic, which has established numerous important legal precedents in civil rights and international human rights cases. In addition to directing the Clinic, Askin teaches Civil Procedure, Election Law, and Public Interest Advocacy.

The Human Dignity Awards ceremony will take place Wednesday, April 19, at 2:00 pm in the Assembly Room, Winants Hall, on the Rutgers University campus in New Brunswick.