Richard Pomp Named Board of Trustees Distinguished Professor

The UConn Board of Trustees voted April 27 to honor Pomp with the distinction, among the highest accorded to UConn faculty.

Richard Pomp

Richard Pomp, Alva P. Loiselle Professor of Law, in a UConn Law classroom. (Molly Sullivan)

UConn Law Professor Richard Pomp has been named a Board of Trustees Distinguished Professor, recognizing his teaching and decades of work promoting fair, efficient and progressive taxation.

The Board of Trustees voted April 27 to bestow the honor on Pomp, who is the Alva P. Loiselle Professor of Law and a tax expert who is sought after nationally and globally as a visiting scholar, advisor and expert witness. He has counseled cities, states, Indian tribes, the U.S. Congress, the U.S. Treasury, the White House, the Department of Justice, the IRS, the United Nations, the IMF, the World Bank, and numerous foreign countries.

“The law school is thrilled that Professor Pomp has received this great honor recognizing his exceptional distinction in teaching, research and service,” Dean Eboni S. Nelson said. “He is an internationally renowned scholar and thought leader in the field of taxation, and his many contributions to the law school, university, and beyond have positively impacted the lives of others both domestically and abroad.”

In addition to working with the governments of Zambia, Indonesia, Gambia, Mexico, the Philippines, India, the People’s Republic of China, Vietnam, and the Republic of China, Pomp has served as a hearing officer for the Multistate Tax Commission, revising the existing rules on state corporate income taxation and drafting alternative and creative solutions. He also helped design or draft the Navajo tax code, the Connecticut income tax, the Chinese income tax, the Alaska personal income tax (adoption pending), and the federal Internet Tax Freedom Act.

Pomp was part of the first group of tax specialists to meet with the People’s Republic of China. He negotiated with Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping so that UConn received the first Chinese law student of any American law school since the Cultural Revolution. Joining forces with then-Senator Frank Church, Pomp was instrumental in stopping the passage of a tax treaty with the United Kingdom that would have eviscerated state tax bases—the only time a tax treaty has been voted down.

He was director of the New York Tax Study Commission. Under his direction, New York established an independent tax court and restructured its corporate and personal income taxes. The then-governor described him as “the father of fundamental tax reform in New York.” He was the only non-resident appointed to the California Commission on the 21st Century Economy, writing the dissenting report that stopped the majority’s recommendations from being implemented. He participates in various capacities in Supreme Court litigation, and judges have relied on his interdisciplinary work to support their decisions in many high-profile cases.

Pomp is a remarkably prolific author, with 13 books and monographs and more than 140 publications in total. His casebook, now in its ninth edition, has been translated in part into seven languages. His work has been described as creative, original, challenging orthodoxy, exposing fallacies and myths, breaking down silos, connecting seemingly disparate concepts, opening new avenues of analysis, and fundamentally changing the previous view of classical problems.

Pomp has received every major award in his field and two awards for teaching. His views are regularly sought by the media, including CNN, NPR, Bloomberg Radio, Sirius Radio, KCBS, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and The Washington Post. His classes have been consistently described as transformative, inspirational, innovative, and creative, the reason for coming to UConn School of Law.

The Board of Trustees Distinguished Professor designation is one of the highest honors the university bestows on faculty, seeking candidates who excel in research, teaching and public engagement.
Pomp is one of three professors to be accorded the honor in 2022. The others are Laurinda Jaffe, professor and chair of the Department of Cell Biology at the School of Medicine, and Rachel O’Neill, a professor in the Department of Molecular and Cell Biology and Department of Genetics and Genome Sciences at the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and the School of Medicine and director of the Institute for Systems Genomics.

“The selection of each new class of Board of Trustees Distinguished Professors highlights how exceptional our faculty are at UConn. These are outstanding scholars who have made significant advancements in their fields, as well as in scientific discovery and community impact within and far beyond our university campuses. I am pleased to honor them with this recognition and congratulate them on this distinction,” said Carl Lejuez, provost at UConn.