BU management professor James Rebitzer explained that Weil, a labor, market policy and industrial and labor relations policy expert, was nominated for the position by U.S. President Barack Obama.
Weil currently plays an important role in the SMG Markets, Public Policy and Law Department, Rebitzer said. While he currently teaches GSM PL 727: Organizations, Markets and Society, Weil has worked with SMG for more than 20 years.
“He [Weil] is a terrific professor, and excellent scholar,” Rebitzer said. “He is one of the best teachers that I’ve ever seen. He plays really important roles in the university and the school, making sure that we appoint and recruit good people.”
If U.S. officials select Weil to the federal administrative position, Rebitzer said the distinction would reflect well on BU faculty and officials.
“It is [Weil’s nomination] a great feather for SMG, and a great feather in our cap,” Rebitzer said. “We have outstanding faculty, and when someone gets picked for top positions in the federal government, that just confirms it.”
In a Sept. 10 White House press release, Obama nominated 29 individuals, including Weil, to key administration posts.
Among those nominated were two other professors: Harvard Medical School health economics professor Richard Frank and ex-Georgetown University Law Center professor Ambassador Elizabeth Frawley Bagley.
Weil is a SMG Everett W. Lord Distinguished Faculty Scholar, according to the release. He also received the Broderick Prize in Research and the Broderick Prize for Teaching at BU, and was SMG’s 2011-12 Best MBA Instructor of the Year.
Additionally, Weil has been a lecturer and research fellow at the Harvard Law School Labor and Worklife Program since 1987 and co-director of the Transparency Policy Project at the Harvard University John F. Kennedy School of Government.
“I am grateful that these talented and dedicated individuals have agreed to take on these important roles and devote their talents to serving the American people,” Obama said in the release. “I look forward to working with them in the coming months and years.”
Weil would oversee employees nationwide who are in charge of enforcing labor-standard and worker-protection laws if approved by the U.S. Senate, according to the Department of Labor website. Such laws include minimum wage, overtime pay and child labor protection laws.
Additionally, Weil would be tasked with ensuring all immigrants are rightfully protected under the appropriate employment standards and worker protection policies. This is currently a source of debate on Capitol Hill resulting from the halted Comprehensive Immigration Reform bill.
BU spokesman Colin Riley said Weil’s nomination is a prestigious honor. While an official date to approve Weil has not yet been announced, Riley said the SMG professor would likely take a sabbatical if chosen for the job.
“He is a highly regarded faculty member, teacher and instructor by students and his colleagues,” Riley said. “He’s an expert in his field … and the nomination reflects very favorably on him, as well as the School of Management at Boston University.”