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Law School Dean Robert Scott Will Step Down, Return To Teaching After Current Academic Year

July 27, 2000 -- University of Virginia School of Law Dean Robert E. Scott has announced that he will step down on July 1, 2001. He plans to return to full-time teaching and research in 2002, after taking a sabbatical.

Scott joined the Law School faculty in 1974, and was appointed the school’s ninth dean in 1991.

"Next year will mark an important transition time as the Law School concludes the capital campaign, finishes construction of the Student-Faculty Center, and celebrates the 175th anniversary of the school’s founding," Scott said. "With new leadership, I am confident the school will advance even further toward our goal of unparalleled excellence in legal education."

Under Scott’s leadership, the school’s current capital campaign has raised more than $140 million, with five months remaining. Scott spearheaded the most ambitious building project in the school’s history, a $30 million renovation of the David A. Harrison III Law Grounds, completed in 1997. The last of his capital projects, a $7 million student-faculty meeting and dining center on the Law Grounds, is under way now.

"During my tenure on the law faculty, I have been a colleague of seven of the nine deans in the history of the school," said Vice President and Provost Peter Low, the Hardy Cross Dillard Professor of Law. "From personal experience, I can say without hesitation that Bob ranks right at the top of this very distinguished group."

"When Bob steps down after 10 years as dean, he can justly be proud that the Law School’s quality and reputation as one of the best in the nation have been enhanced, and that, in large measure due to his leadership, it is now located in one of the finest facilities in the country. We owe him our deepest gratitude and admiration."

As dean, Scott also instituted the Mary Morton Parsons Seminars in Ethical Values, a program providing insights into the moral and ethical responsibilities of the lawyer as public citizen, and founded the school’s Principles & Practice Program, bringing leading practitioners and judges to the Law School to team teach advanced courses with full-time faculty.

An important part of Scott’s role has been to set the intellectual tone and agenda for the Law School. Prior to becoming dean, he founded the Legal Studies Workshop at the Law School, one of the first faculty colloquia of its kind. As dean, he has urged the Law School community to aspire to preeminence in both its teaching mission and in the equally important obligation of engaging in scholarly research that advances the University’s core function as an institution dedicated to the search for truth.

"Bob Scott’s intellectual leadership has been as important to the Law School as the many remarkable accomplishments of his deanship," said Paul Mahoney, the school’s academic associate dean. "Although we will miss his extraordinary vision and energy in the decanal role, our sense of loss is greatly alleviated by the anticipation of Bob’s continued intellectual and collegial contributions to the Law School."

The Lewis F. Powell, Jr. Professor of Law and the Arnold H. Leon Professor of Law, Scott is a nationally renowned teacher and scholar in the fields of contracts, commercial law and bankruptcy. He has written four books on contracts and commercial transactions, is the author of more than three dozen scholarly articles, and is widely recognized as setting the standard for the economic analysis of the law of contracts.

Scott currently serves as president of the American Law Deans Association and has served various times as chair of the American Association of Law Schools’ sections on Contract Law, Law and Economics, and Commercial and Consumer Law. He was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1999, and has been a fellow of the American Bar Foundation since 1993.

In April, the U.Va. Board of Visitors established the Robert E. Scott Distinguished Professorship in Law, made possible by an outpouring of support from some 250 of his colleagues on the faculty, former students, and other alumni and friends of the school, who together committed $1.9 million for the professorship.

Scott earned his bachelor’s degree cum laude from Oberlin College, and is a 1968 graduate of the William & Mary School of Law, where he was editor-in-chief of the Law Review, a member of the Order of the Coif, and had the highest academic average in his class. Scott earned an S.J.D. from the University of Michigan in 1973, after which he joined the law faculty at William & Mary. In 1974 he joined the Virginia law faculty. As a visiting professor at Columbia Law School in 1987-88, the law students voted him the outstanding faculty member of the year.

"I look forward to serving under a new dean who, I am confident, will bring new talents to the job," Scott said.

A national search for Scott’s replacement will commence in early fall, Low said.

Contact: Louise Dudley (804) 924-1400

 

FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: please contact the Office of University Relations at (804) 924-7116. Television reporters should contact the TV News Office at (804) 924-7550.
SOURCE: U.Va. News Services

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