Paul R. Verkuil was the twenty-fourth president of the College of William and Mary, serving from July 1, 1985 until his resignation, effective January 7, 1992. Melvyn D. Schiavelli acted as interim president after Verkuil's resignation until Timothy J. Sullivan accepted the position. Verkuil's immediate predecessor as president was Thomas Ashley Graves, Jr. and interim president George R. Healy.
Verkuil attended William and Mary, graduating in 1961 with a degree in English literature. After serving in the United States Army, he earned his law dregree from the University of Virginia in 1967, a master's in law in 1969 from New York University, a masters in political science and economics from the New School for Social Research in 1971, and a doctorate in judicial science in 1972 from New York University. Before his return to Williamsburg, Verkuil was a law professor at the University of North Carolina from 1971 to 1977 and dean of the law school at Tulane University from 1978 to 1983. He has been a visiting professor at Duke University, the University of Indiana, Columbia University, and the University of Pennsylvania, as well as dean and professor at the Benjamin N. Cardozo Law School of Yeshiva University and interim Dean of Law at the University of Miami.
An author of more than 60 articles on public law, Verkuil has also written several books, including Administrative Law and Process (Foundation Press, 4th ed.2004), Regulation and Deregulation (West Group, 2nd ed.2004), and Outsourcing Sovereignty: How Privatization of Government Functions Threatens Democracy And What We Can Do About It (Cambridge University Press, 2007). He has been the editor of the Virginia Law Review, the recipient of the NYU Founders Day Award for "Consistent evidence of outstanding schoalrship," and is a lifetime fellor of the American Bar Foundation and the American Law Institute.
Verkuil's interest in law reform has influenced his work in the public sector. He served as a chairman on the Nuclear Regulatory Commission and a member of the White House Council on Small Business. From 1992 to 1995, he was the CEO of the American Automobile Association (AAA). He was also Special Master to the U.S. Supreme Court on the New Jersey v. New York case concerning the soverignty of Ellis Island.