Dean Ammons is the first woman and the first African American to lead Widener University School of Law, and is the senior African American female dean in the nation. Dean Ammons came to Widener in 2006 from Cleveland-Marshall College of Law in Cleveland, Ohio, where she was associate dean and professor of law. During her 15 years at Cleveland-Marshall, she chaired and served on a number of university committees and taught Administrative Law, Legislation, Mass Communications Law, and Women and the Law. In 2006, the Cleveland-Marshall Alumni Association chose her as their Stapleton Award recipient. In addition, Dean Ammons has been on the faculty of the National Judicial College in Reno, Nevada, since 1993. In 2010, she was named to the Legal Education Development Committee of the American Bar Association, and she recently completed three years’ service as the Chair of the Curriculum Committee of the American Bar Association’s Section of Legal Education & Admissions to the Bar. Dean Ammons also served a three-year term on the Government Relations Committee of the Association of American Law Schools. She is also a member of the Advisory Boards of the Women Deans’ Databank and the Minority Deans’ Databank. Dean Ammons was elected to the Board of Directors of WHYY in Philadelphia, PA, in August 2013.
Dean Ammons was awarded the Community Leadership Award from Best Buddies Delaware on March 16, 2013. In November, 2012, Dean Ammons received the “Excellence in Education Award” from the Delaware Barristers Association. In February 2012, Dean Ammons was named one of “The Power 100” African American attorneys in the U.S. In October of 2011, she was honored with the Service to Children Award at the Christopher W. White Distinguished Access to Justice Awards program presented by the Delaware State Bar Association. In August 2010, Senator Tom Carper forwarded Dean Ammons’ name to the Department of Justice for consideration by the White House for a seat on the U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware. In January 2010, Dean Ammons was appointed by Governor Jack Markell of Delaware to be the special investigator in the case of the alleged child molestations by pediatrician Earl Bradley. Her work resulted in a package of nine legislative reforms that were passed unanimously by the Delaware General Assembly. In August 2009, she was named among the 14 Most Influential People in Delaware by “Delaware Today” magazine. In May 2009, she was named a Fellow of the American Bar Foundation. In 2008, Dean Ammons was named to and currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Delaware State Chamber of Commerce as chair of its ethics committee. She was honored by the American Council on Education, Office of Women in Higher Education, with the Delaware Leadership Award. In 2007, she was named a Senior Scholar in the Department of Health Policy at Jefferson Medical College in Philadelphia, PA. Also in 2007, Dean Ammons was appointed by Pennsylvania State Treasurer Robin Weissmann to the e-Treasury Blue Ribbon Advisory Commission on Productivity Management. At that time, she was named and continues to serve as a Trustee of the Christiana Care Health System of Wilmington, Delaware.
Prior to joining the faculty at Cleveland-Marshall, Dean Ammons served as executive assistant to former Ohio Governor Richard F. Celeste, from 1988 to 1991, advising him on legal and policy matters in the criminal justice, regulatory and administrative areas. She was a TV anchor-person in Huntsville, Alabama, and worked for several media outlets.
An Ohio State University Moritz College of Law alumna, she was selected out of 8,000 of her peers to be the recipient of the 2004-05 Moritz Alumni Society’s Community Service Award. She has been named to emeritus status on the Moritz National Advisory Council.
- Executive Summary of Special Report: Independent Review of the Earl Brian Bradley Case, 19 WIDENER LAW REVIEW 1 (2013)
- Seasons & Sea Changes: Weathering the Storm, An Encouraging Tale, 44 U. TOL. L. REV. 299 (2013)
- Independent Review of the Earl Brian Bradley Case for The Honorable Jack Markell, Governor of the state of Delaware, submitted May 10, 2010.
- Negotiating Paths, Creepy Crawly Creatures and Things That Go Bump in the Night: The Cautionary Tale of a Fourth-Year Dean, University of Toledo Law Review (2010)
- Discretionary Justice: A Legal and Policy Analysis of a Governor’s Use of the Clemency Power in the Cases of Incarcerated Battered Women, Journal of Law and Policy (1994)
- The Art and Science of Deaning: Lessons from my Garden, Leadership in Legal Education Symposium VIII, 39 U. TOL. L. REV. 209 (2008).
- Dealing with the Nastiness: Mixing Feminism and Criminal Law in the Review of Cases of Battered Incarcerated Women - A Ten Year Reflection, 4 Buff. Crim. L. Rev. 891 (2001), reprinted in 2 Ohio Corrections Research Compendium 172 (2004) And In Social Justice: Professionals, Communities And Law (M.R. Mahoney et al. eds., 2003).
- Mules, Madonnas, Babies, Bathwater, Racial Imagery and Stereotypes: The African-American Woman and the Battered Woman Syndrome, 1995 Wis. L.J. 1003 (1994), reprinted in Critical Race Feminism (A. Wing ed., 2d ed. 2003).
- Why Do You Do the Things You Do? Clemency for Battered Incarcerated Women, A Decade's Review, 11 Am. U. J. Gender Soc. Pol'y & L. 533 (2002-2003).
- What's God Got to Do with It? Church and State Collaboration in the Subordination of Women and Domestic Violence, 51 Rutgers L. Rev. 1207 (1999).
Other - Professional Presentations
- Women of Color and Domestic Violence, State of New Jersey, Office of the Attorney General, Criminal Justice Division, PROGRESS: Stopping Violence Against Women Conference, Eatontown, New Jersey, December, 2003
- Religion and Domestic Violence. New Jersey Coalition for Battered Women, Cherry Hill, NJ. November, 2002
- Legal and Ethical Responsibilities for Clergy. , Pacific Union Ministerial Conference, Ontario, CA. August, 2002