June 2, 2003
Contact: Victor Nakas
William F. Fox Jr.
The Very Rev. David M. O’Connell, C.M., president of The Catholic University of America, has announced that Douglas W. Kmiec will step down from his position as dean and St. Thomas More Professor of Law in July 2003. Effective July 15, Professor William F. Fox Jr., current associate dean for academics and an expert in administrative law, civil procedure and veterans affairs who has served on the faculty since 1975, will assume the position of dean for the 2003-2004 academic year.
“The Columbus School of Law and The Catholic University of America of which this school is an important part were well served by Dean Kmiec in the last two years,” remarked Father O’Connell as he made this announcement. “I am particularly impressed by the quality of faculty he has attracted including, in his current class of new appointments, a recent Supreme Court clerk, the ‘teacher of the year’ from a nearby competitor, and an elite, established core of distinguished legal experts who bridge the gap between theory and practice very well. These are first-class legal educators who will join the ranks of our present faculty in providing a first class legal education.”
Douglas W. Kmiec
“CUA’s Columbus School of Law is a venerable institution,” Kmiec said. “For a century and more it has yielded over 9,000 law alumni who are leaders of the bench and bar. In my two years here, I have been privileged to see applications skyrocket (there are now over 10 for each place in the class); student quality increase to top levels, as measured by entering credentials; and new curricular developments, such as an international LLM with the emerging democracies of eastern and central Europe, become a reality.”
Kmiec came to the CUA law school in July 2001 with the express purpose of exploring and emphasizing the relationship between the Catholic faith and professional study. “He personally taught numerous classes on Catholic social thought as it relates to the law and created a framework through which this important study can continue,” said Father O’Connell. Known for its forthright religious perspective, its welcoming student community, as well as its innovative specializations, the CUA law school moved this year into the top 100 of law schools as ranked by U.S. News & World Report. Located on the main university campus, just minutes from away from the Supreme Court and Capitol Hill, the CUA law school has close to 1,000 students in full-time and part-time law study.
“Some have asked me, ‘Why leave CUA Law when things are going so well?’” Kmiec
said. “And my response is to answer this question with a question – I am a law professor,
after all. Seriously, things at CUA are very well in hand and that’s the best time to undertake transition. And if some greater explanation is needed, it is just this: my home and my children are a continent away on the West Coast in California. I simply miss being a part of their lives. I am very fortunate to be at a law school that reveres both law and family, and Father O’Connell and my colleagues fully understand my duty to honor both.”
In choosing Fox as Kmiec’s replacement, Father O’Connell observed that “Dean Fox is a man who is very well respected by his peers on the faculty and very much admired by the students and staff. His appointment should signal a wonderful continuum that builds upon an outstanding history and tradition as a school of law. I sense in him a very strong commitment to professional excellence as well as a genuine support for the mission of the law school of the national university of the Catholic Church in our country. I am so very grateful to him for his generous acceptance of this appointment.”
A search for a permanent dean will commence early in the next academic year.
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