Professor's legacy of scholarship and teaching remembered
Robert C. L. Moffat, University of Florida Levin College of Law professor and affiliate professor of philosophy, sociology and criminology and law, passed away Nov. 14 in Gainesville after a long illness. He was 73 years old.
Moffat joined the law school faculty in 1966 as an assistant professor and was promoted to associate professor in 1968 and tenured professor in 1971. During his 44-year teaching career at UF Law, Moffat specialized in law and public policy, jurisprudence, criminal law, and law and morality.
Moffat leaves behind a lasting legacy of numerous articles, publications, speeches
and presentations on a wide variety of topics, but his memory will also live on through the lives he impacted as a professor.
“Professor Moffat cared deeply about his students and took a great deal of personal satisfaction in their achievements. The depth of his love for teaching and his affection for his students were demonstrated by his reluctance to leave the classroom even in the last days of a severe and painful illness,” UF Law Dean
Robert Jerry said.
His devotion also was evident toward his colleagues in the legal field and to the ongoing pursuit of knowledge.
“Bob had the respect of his colleagues as a dedicated and serious scholar. His immense knowledge of the legal philosophies of Lon Fuller and other influential theorists was of great benefit to those of us who sought refreshment from time to time on jurisprudential issues,” said Stuart R. Cohn, John H. & Mary Lou Dasburg Professor of Law and associate dean for international studies at UF Law.
“At the same time his feet were firmly planted in the here and now, and he was able to bridge chronological and philosophical gaps for the benefit of his students
and in his scholarly articles. He was devoted to the law school and his students and
he will be sorely missed.”
After earning his B.A., M.A. and LL.B from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, where he was editor-in-chief of the Southwestern Law Journal, Moffat went to the University of Sydney in Australia to earn his LL.M. Moffat was a Fulbright Scholar
from 1962 to 1964 and earned First Class Honors when he graduated in 1966.
Among the many professional associations Moffat took part in, the longest running
was the American Section of the International Association for Philosophy of Law
and Social Philosophy. He joined the organization in 1966, served as executive director from 1987 to 1999 and was elected president of the organization for the 2003-2005 term.
Moffat consistently published scholarly works during his career. His most recent article, “Searching for Substantive Justice: Lessons from Lon Fuller’s
Natural Law,” was published in the April 2010 issue of the Iowa Journal of
Gender, Race & Justice.
Moffat is survived by a son, Iain, and daughter, Kaaren.
Contributions in Robert Moffat’s memory may be made to the Professor Robert
and Janette Moffat Memorial Scholarship in Law, University of Florida Foundation,
Inc. Attn: Gift Processing, P.O. Box 14425, Gainesville, FL 32604.