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UH Law Center Professor Kellen Zale named Fulbright Research Chair

Associate Professor of Law Kellen Zale

Associate Professor of Law Kellen Zale

July 05, 2023 — University of Houston Law Center Associate Professor Kellen Zale has been awarded a prestigious Fulbright Canada Research Chair in Comparative Canada-U.S. Studies. Selected by the Foundation for Educational Exchange between Canada and the United States, or Fulbright Canada, Zale will teach and conduct research at Trent University in Ontario, collaborating with Canadian scholars and practitioners in her field.

“I’ll get to experience the fall semester in Canada,” said Zale. “The opportunity is multi-layered, with both a research and teaching component at Trent University, which works with the Fulbright organization to organize the opportunity.”

The non-governmental, not-for-profit organization has awarded Zale a one-semester Fulbright grant to pursue her research on land use, housing affordability and short-term rental markets.

“Canada is a little more similar to the U.S. than many other countries, but it's different enough that it provides a unique opportunity to see how they're responding to similar problems in their communities, such as affordable housing needs, environmentally sustainable development, growth in short-term rental markets and various other land use issues,” Zale said. “It'll be an opportunity to explore and see how some of these challenges are handled in another country.”

As a Fulbright Visiting Scholar, Zale will also teach a seminar in comparative land use law and planning that will complement her research on regulatory responses to the growth in short-term rentals in the U.S. and Canada.

Given a stipend from the Fulbright organization for housing and living expenses, she will be based at Trent University for the Fall 2023 semester, where she will work on a comparative research project stemming from her prior work on the sharing economy, land use regulation and local government law.

Zale is excited to learn more about Canada’s approaches to land use and housing issues, such as regulatory responses to short-term rental markets, tax treatment of housing used as investment and policies around equity and sustainability concerns. She plans to develop a comparative law framework for scholars, policymakers and communities thinking about these issues.

“While there are abstract ideas in property law, to a significant extent, you can literally see the impacts of land use law and policy on the ground and in the built environment,” Zale said. “It is something that you can have conversations about with people about in a way that is sometimes more easily relatable than in other areas of law.”

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