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U. of Wisconsin law dean Kenneth Davis will return to faculty next year

University of Wisconsin
September 8, 2010
University of Wisconsin Law School Dean Kenneth B. Davis Jr. said today he will step down in September 2011 and return to the faculty.

Davis came to the Law School in 1978 and has been dean of the school since December 1997, making him the school's second longest-serving dean in its 142-year history.

"We have been fortunate to have had someone with Ken's dedication, experience and talent guiding our Law School for so many years," says UW-Madison Chancellor Biddy Martin. "He has been innovative in taking the Law School in new directions, and we will miss his leadership."

During his tenure as dean, Davis has steadily worked to raise the Law School's stature and visibility. Its national ranking has climbed along with its ability to attract top students from across the state and nation.

Davis attributes these accomplishments in part to the school's national reputation as a leader in diversity and its focus on "law in action."

Davis has also led an initiative called "Preeminent and Public," which encouraged those at the Law School to consider ways to advance its national stature and influence while at the same time being true to its mission as Wisconsin's only public law school.

That initiative has led to enhanced standards for faculty accountability and productivity, a more merit-based compensation system and expanded student learning opportunities in areas such as business law and professional skills.

Davis pointed to that initiative, and the need for the dean to be involved in long-range planning for the school, as a reason he's stepping down as dean.
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