Professor’s service work engages locally, globally

Virginia Harper Ho’s service work has local, state, national and international reach. Harper Ho is the associate dean for international and comparative law, Earl B. Shurtz Research Professor and director of the Polsinelli Transactional Law Center at the University of Kansas School of Law. She has also served as a research fellow for the International Institute of Green Finance (IIGF) at the Central University of Finance and Economics (CUFE) in Beijing, China.

Associate Dean Virginia Harper Ho

In addition to teaching and scholarship, Harper Ho is an associate editor of the American Journal of Comparative Law, a member of the Executive Committee of the American Society of Comparative Law and a former fellow of the National Committee on U.S.-China Relations’ (NCUSCR) Public Intellectuals Program. She is also a regular advisor on legislative changes to update the state’s business laws.

“My colleagues and I are actively engaged in national and international service,” Harper Ho said. “The networks we’re involved in give us direct connection with other leading scholars in the field and give us a voice in shaping the issues that are influencing the law.”

She frequently publishes and presents about international and comparative law topics at public forums, meetings, workshops, symposiums, conferences, and other scholarly events. Harper Ho has also written a book on labor dispute resolution in China, six book chapters and 22 journal articles.

“Faculty contributions to service are essential to the mission of the law school and contribute directly to the reputation of KU Law,” Harper Ho said.

American Council on Education’s Internationalization Lab

Harper Ho is a member of the steering committee that is guiding KU’s participation in the American Council on Education’s (ACE) Internationalization Laboratory for 2020-2022. She is co-chair of the administrative leadership, structure and staffing committee.

KU’s ACE Internationalization Lab will review the university’s internationalization capacities, assess opportunities for advancement and elevate institutional priorities.

“We are working to build a greater capacity to engage internationally and to ensure that a KU education inherently incorporates an international and global perspective,” Harper Ho said.

KU is one of 10 universities participating in the 18th cohort of the ACE Internationalization Laboratory and the first cohort since COVID-19 began.

“It is a critical time to examine and strengthen KU’s commitment to internationalization,” Harper Ho said.

Kansas Bar Association Drafting Committee

Harper Ho regularly advises on legislative amendments and updates to the state’s business laws as part of the drafting committee of the Kansas Bar Association’s Section on Corporation, Banking, & Business Law. She recently worked with the committee to draft revisions to the state’s statutes governing corporations and LLCs.

The state of Kansas enacted the revisions to the law related to corporations in 2017 and limited liability companies in 2019. Professor Emeritus Webb Hecker; Wheat Law Library faculty and staff; and KU Law alumni served on the drafting team alongside Harper Ho.

“I’ve actively been engaged in the legislative process, and I think that’s a really amazing thing that I can bring to the classroom,” Harper Ho said. 

American Society of Comparative Law

In October, Harper Ho began a new role as the secretary for the Executive Committee of the American Society of Comparative Law. The ASCL is considered the leading comparative law organization in the U.S.

“It’s a great honor to serve on the executive committee and help the ASCL make an impact alongside other leading comparative legal scholars,” Harper Ho said.

She has represented KU as the law school’s ASCL director since 2015. Previously, Harper Ho also served as chair of the ASCL’s Younger Comparativists Committee. The YCC actively engages younger comparative law scholars in the work of the society and promotes the study of comparative legal systems. In this role, she hosted and organized a workshop on comparative business and financial law at KU in 2017.

Professor Richard Levy also represents KU at the ASCL, serving in an editor role.

American Journal of Comparative Law

Harper Ho is an associate editor for the American Journal of Comparative Law, the flagship journal of the ASCL and a leading journal dedicated to comparative and transnational legal studies. As an editor, Harper Ho takes an active role in the peer review process.

National Committee on U.S.-China Relations

From 2016 to 2018, Harper Ho served as a fellow in the NCUSCR’s Public Intellectuals Program, an initiative that helps American scholars and specialists deepen their knowledge of China to inform policy and public opinion. Harper Ho remains involved with the organization and its mission as an advisory board member for the public intellectuals program and as an active participant in NCUSCR events, including the annual China Town Hall.

In 2019, Harper Ho led a 10-day Congressional staff delegation in China through the NCUSCR. While in China, Harper Ho served as a scholar escort and educated a bipartisan group of senior Congressional staff on issues relating to China and U.S.-China relations. The group visited Beijing, Kunming and Pu’er.

“My involvement with that program has directly shaped my perspective on U.S.-China relations and contributed to my Chinese Law class,” Harper Ho said. “Through the NCUSCR, I’ve also been able to make connections and extend opportunities to current and former students.”

— By Ashley Golledge