A Farewell to Departing Directors

Roger Williams University School of Law recognizes and salutes the nine members of its Board of Directors who are stepping down at the end of this month.

Michael M. Bowden
rwu law

Roger Williams University School of Law recognizes and salutes the nine members of its Board of Directors who are stepping down this year, effective June 30. Please join us in expressing our sincere appreciation for their years of dedication and exemplary service.

“For the past decade, the School of Law has been the beneficiary of the enormous talent of the bench and bar represented by this departing group of board members,” said board chair Judge William E. Smith of the  United States District Court for the District of Rhode Island 

“They have contributed wisdom, energy, ideas and funding for the programs that have made RWU Law what it is today,” Judge Smith said.  “They have mentored and taught and hired our students;  they have led by example of their diverse and impressive career paths; and above all, they have shown up time and time again, at the law school, in the classrooms, at the award and fundraising  dinners and commencements, and events too numerous to list. We are so much better for their efforts, and  we will miss them tremendously!”

Dean Michael J. Yelnosky, who is also stepping down on June 30,  recalled the pleasure of working with the Board of Directors throughout his tenure.

“We are truly fortunate to have a great board,” Dean Yelnosky said. “A board that supports the law school’s mission, holds management responsible for pursuing that mission, and is willing to contribute to the pursuit of that mission in so many ways.”

“The cohort of directors whose terms have recently expired is a major part of the original heart and soul of the board,” Yelnosky added. “A cohort that worked tirelessly for a decade or more to solidify the place of the School of Law at the University and in the increasingly far-flung communities we serve. There is no doubt that we will miss their support as directors – although most will undoubtedly stay involved with the law school – but their willingness to cycle off is a very healthy step in the maturation of the board.”

Departing members of the board are:

  • flahertyThe Honorable Francis X. Flaherty, Vice-Chair
    • Associate Justice, Rhode Island Supreme Court
    • Served 2011-2020



  • whelanJoseph D. Whelan, Esq., Treasurer
    • Partner, Whelan Corrente & Flanders LLP
    • Served 2008-2020



  • vogelThe Honorable Netti C. Vogel, Secretary
    • Associate Justice, Rhode Island Superior Court
    • Served 2011-2020



  • cliftonThe Honorable Edward C. Clifton  (Ret.)
    • Associate Justice, Rhode Island Superior Court
    • Served 2008-2020



  • fieldMichael W. Field, Esq. ’97
    • Assistant Attorney General, Deputy Chief, Rhode Island Office of the Attorney General
    • Served 2008-2020



  • freedmanLinn F. Freedman, Esq.
    • Partner, Robinson + Cole LLP
    • Served 2008-2020



  • harrisonValerie Harrison, J.D., Ph.D.
    • Senior Advisor for Equity, Diversity and Inclusion, Temple University
    • Served 2015-2020



  • howesConstance A. Howes, Esq.
    • Former President & CEO, Women & Infants Hospital
    • Served 2008-2020



  • mandellMark S. Mandell, Esq.
    • Senior Partner, Mandell, Boisclair & Mandell, Ltd
    • Served 2008-2020 (as chair 2011-2014)



Effective July 1, Dean Gregory W. Bowman will take the helm of RWU Law, along with 11 new members and three newly appointed officers of the Board of Directors.