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Amelia Smith Rinehart, associate dean for academic affairs for the University of Utah’s law school, will be the next dean of the West Virginia University College of Law.

Rinehart will start June 30, according to a Tuesday news release from WVU. Her salary will be $320,000.

Maryanne Reed, WVU’s provost and vice president for academic affairs, said in the release that Rinehart “is both an engineer and lawyer by training and practice, as well as an academic leader who values cross-disciplinary collaboration, community engagement and stewardship. We look forward to seeing how she brings her entrepreneurial and innovative spirit to WVU.”

From 2016 to 2019, Rinehart was the associate dean for faculty research and development at the Utah law school, where she became a tenured professor in 2015 after joining the faculty in 2010, her resume said.

The release said she earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in biomedical engineering from Tulane University. She worked as an experimental engineer at the Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center in Texas, then earned her law degree from the University of Chicago. She practiced patent litigation and prosecution in New York and Louisiana before transitioning to higher education.

She focuses on patent law and theory, technology transfer and patent licensing, WVU said.

Reach Ryan Quinn at,, 304-348-

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