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Professor Robin Morris Collin named senior advisor to the EPA

by Cindy Cromwell,

Norma J. Paulus Professor of Law Robin Morris Collin has been appointed as the senior advisor to the administrator for environmental justice at the Environmental Protection Agency, advising administrator Michael S. Regan as the agency pursues environmental justice and civil rights. In a press release from the EPA, Regan recognized Morris Collin as "one of the nation's foremost experts and a lifelong advocate for overburdened communities.” 

Robin Morris Collin
Norma J. Paulus Professor of Law Robin Morris Collin

A leader and scholar in the areas of sustainability, energy and environmental justice, Morris Collin was one of the first law professors to teach sustainability courses in a U.S. law school. She spent 10 years teaching at the University of Oregon School of Law and nearly 20 at Willamette Law

“Climate change is the single greatest environmental challenge of our time. Environmental justice is the way a multiracial, multi-ethnic society engages that challenge,” Morris Collin says. “I am honored to serve in this role to protect our land, air, and water and, as part of that work, lift up underserved communities so that we may all thrive together.”

While at UO, she co-founded the Conference against Environmental Racism and the Sustainable Business Symposium. At Willamette Law, she served as director of the certificate program in sustainability. 

In 2014, she was awarded the Jerry E. Hudson Award for Excellence in Teaching, an institutional honor from Willamette University, given to educators from each college who demonstrate excellence in teaching and distinguished leadership. 

“As a popular teacher and nationally-recognized scholar, Professor Morris Collin leaves an immeasurable legacy at our institution,” says Brian Gallini, dean at Willamette Law. “But, we are thrilled that she will have the opportunity to serve the country in this new role and broaden the scope and impact of her important work.” 

Morris Collin has been active in a number of causes, including as co-convenor of the Oregon Electric Vehicle Collaborative and a commissioner on the Oregon Commission for Women. She  was a founding member of Portland's Environmental Justice Action Group and of the Sustainable Future Section of the Oregon State Bar. 

She has a long list of accomplishments, including the David Brower Lifetime Achievement Award from the Public Interest Environmental Law Conference (2002) and the Oregon Woman of Achievement Award (2012). She received the Leadership in Sustainability Award from the Oregon State Bar (2010), the Campus Compact Faculty Award for Civic Engagement in Sustainability (2009), and the EPA Environmental Justice Achievement Award (2010) for her work with the Oregon Environmental Justice Task Force. Her work helped increase engagement between low-income and minority communities and state policymakers on environmental policy.

“I look forward to the privilege of working with Administrator Regan and the experienced, thoughtful, and collaborative leadership team at EPA,” she says.

About Willamette University College of Law

Willamette University College of Law was the first law school to open in the Pacific Northwest. Building on deep historic roots, we focus with pride on educating the next generation of problem-solving lawyers and leaders. Our location in Salem, Oregon, directly across the street from the Oregon State Capitol and Supreme Court, cannot be matched in the region. Our thought-leading scholars advance and promote our shared responsibility to make a difference in society, placing justice, fairness, and equality at the heart of everything we do.

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