Frank H. Wu is currently a Distinguished Professor, holding the highest rank accorded a faculty member, at University of California Hastings College of Law. He previously served as Chancellor & Dean at the school, receiving unanimous renewal to a second term after having been voted the most “influential” dean in legal education in a poll by National Jurist magazine. UC Hastings is the unique standalone institution affiliated with the University of California system, with its own governance and independent finances.
Before joining UC Hastings, he was a member of the faculty at Howard University, the nation’s leading historically black college/university (HBCU), for a decade. He served as Dean of Wayne State University Law School in his hometown of Detroit, and he has been a visiting professor at University of Michigan; an adjunct professor at Columbia University; and a Thomas C. Grey Teaching Fellow at Stanford University. He taught at the Peking University School of Transnational Law in its inaugural year and again a decade later. In his leadership roles at UC Hastings and Wayne, as well as on the faculty at Howard, he was the first Asian American to serve in such a capacity.
He is dedicated to civic engagement and volunteer service. In April 2016, he was elected by the members of Committee of 100 as their Chair, and he held that office for two years; then in February 2017, the Board named him as the group’s first-ever President. C100 is a non-profit membership organization based in New York City and professionally staffed. Founded by individuals such as cellist Yo-Yo Ma, architect I.M. Pei, businesswoman Shirley Young, physicist Chien-Shiung Wu, financier Henry Tang, and philanthropist Oscar Tang, it invites Chinese Americans who have achieved the highest levels of success to join, working on twin missions of promoting good relations between the US and China and the participation of Chinese Americans in all aspects of public life. C100 sends delegations to China, holds a Capitol Hill briefing series in Washington, D.C., and publishes a unique “mirror” survey of American attitudes toward China and Chinese attitudes toward America.
He was appointed by the federal Department of Education to its National Advisory Committee on Institutional Quality and Integrity (NACIQI), which advises the administration on higher education accreditation, and by the Defense Department to the Military Leadership Diversity Commission, which submitted to Congress the report From Representation to Inclusion. He currently is a Trustee of Deep Springs College, a highly-selective full-scholarship school enrolling twenty-six on a student-run cattle ranch near Death Valley, where he previously taught for several short periods. He was a Trustee of Gallaudet University, the only university in the world dedicated to deaf and hard of hearing persons, from 2000 to 2010, and Vice-Chair of the Board for the final four years of his tenure. He served on the Board of the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights Education Fund from 2004 to 2010.
Professor Wu is the author of Yellow: Race in America Beyond Black and White, which was immediately reprinted in its hardcover edition, and co-author of Race, Rights and Reparation: Law and the Japanese American Internment, which received the single greatest grant from the Civil Liberties Public Education Fund. He blogged regularly for six years at Huffington Post (“HuffPo”), and his work has appeared in The New York Times, Washington Post, LA Times, Chronicle of Higher Education and National Law Journal. He is writing a book on the Vincent Chin case; he appeared on an episode of the TV show Fatal Encounters entitled “Killer Swing,” about the case, and his co-authored script of a trial reenactment of the Vincent Chin case has been performed around the nation.
Over the years, Professor Wu has maintained an extensive schedule of media appearances and public speaking. His professional credits include commentary for National Public Radio and Now with Bill Moyers. He has appeared as a guest on the Oprah Winfrey show, O’Reilly Factor, and C-SPAN Booknotes with Brian Lamb, and as part of a roundtable hosted by George Takei (the original “Mr. Sulu” on Star Trek) discussing the restored Charlie Chan films broadcast by Fox Movie Channel. In summer 2017, he visited Australia for a lecture tour featuring multiple events in Sydney and Melbourne.
Prior to his academic career, he held a clerkship with the late U.S. District Judge Frank J. Battisti in Cleveland and practiced law with the firm of Morrison & Foerster in San Francisco – while there, he devoted a quarter of his time to pro bono work on behalf of indigent clients. He received a B.A. from the Johns Hopkins University and a J.D. with honors from the University of Michigan. He completed the Management Development Program of the Harvard Graduate School of Education.
Professor Wu was born in the United States in 1967, to immigrants from Taiwan. He is married to Carol L. Izumi. They live in San Francisco. He is an avid runner, completing 36 half marathons in 2016; and photographer, shooting on film with a vintage Contax G2.