University of Utah S.J. Quinney College of Law Professor Shima Baughman has been chosen as a Presidential Scholar, an award that honors the extraordinary research and academic efforts of early- to mid-career faculty and provides these talented individuals with financial backing to support their scholarly, teaching or research initiatives.
Baughman is one of five University of Utah faculty members to receive the honor this year.
“This year’s recipients of the Presidential Scholar award are incredibly deserving, and we are fortunate to have such impressive scholars leading and teaching at our university,” said Ruth Watkins, senior vice president for Academic Affairs at the U. “This award is intended to recognize their expertise and to support the remarkable work they are doing to benefit their respective fields and the institution.”
Each year, new presidential scholars are recognized, and recipients receive funding for three years.
Baughman has established herself as a nationally recognized scholar in the field of constitutional criminal procedure and criminal law. Baughman covers a wide range of criminal law topics and engages deeply on important questions with all criminal law stakeholders, including scholars, courts, prosecutors and defendants. Baughman is a prolific contributor to the literature in her field; she is a coauthor of a leading criminal law textbook; her articles are published regularly in top legal journals and she is the solo author of a forthcoming book with Cambridge University Press titled “The Bail Book: A Comprehensive Look at Bail in America’s Criminal Justice System.” In addition, Baughman’s work has been influential with courts, which have cited her articles in a number of judicial opinions. Gov. Gary Herbert recently appointed Baughman to serve on the Utah Sentencing Commission, which is responsible for establishing sentencing policy for the state of Utah, including guidelines that help determine the kinds of sentences that convicted defendants will serve.
The Presidential Scholar award will advance Baughman’s work with the Utah Criminal Justice Center and fund empirical and theoretical projects studying prosecutorial decision-making and misdemeanor bail in hopes that changes in both areas can eliminate overcrowding in American jails.