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May 8, 2013

Assistant Professor Erik Girvan Wins Research Award

Oregon Law Assistant Professor Erik Girvan is part of a research team that recently received a 2013 Incubating Interdisciplinary Initiatives (I3) Award. The award, presented by the University of Oregon organization Research, Innovation and Graduate Education, provides funding to interdisciplinary research groups in support of developing large-scale projects. The research team was one of four groups selected from a pool of fifteen applicant teams. This is the first year the I3 award has been awarded. 

Girvan’s team will use this funding to work on their project, called “PRIDE: Positive and Restorative Investment in Discipline Reform in Education.” PRIDE will test the use of restorative justice concepts and practices to reduce or eliminate racial disproportionality in school discipline decisions. Other members of the team include: Jeffrey Sprague, Director of the College of Education and Institute on Violence and Destructive Behavior; John A. Inglish, Director of Technical Assistance and Consulting Services; and Claudia G. Vincent, Research Assistant for the Institute on Violence and Destructive Behavior. The team received $48,499 from I3 to launch their project. The award furnishes twelve months of funding.

Over the next year, the PRIDE research team will design and pilot test the project before applying for a much larger grant in order to scale up their test.

“If successful, the intervention could provide a way to help remedy a problem linked to racial disparities in the juvenile justice and prison systems as well the achievement gap," said Girvan.

Girvan teaches courses on civil procedure, legal remedies and race and gender bias and the law. Before coming to Oregon Law, he practiced complex commercial litigation at Faegre & Benson LLP (now Faegre Baker Daniels LLP) for seven years. During that time, he litigated over 100 cases involving consumer protection statutes, financial services contracts, business torts, corporate governance and insurance coverage in jurisdictions across the country. He earned his J.D. at Harvard Law School and his Ph.D. in Social and Political Psychology at the University of Minnesota. While in law school he served as an editor of the Harvard Human Rights Journal, a mediator and advanced training director for the Harvard Mediation Program and a student advocate representing low-income clients in housing court.

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