Rebecca White named permanent dean of UGA School of Law


Thursday, September 16, 2004

Writer: Larry B. Dendy, 706/542-8078, ldendy@uga.edu Contact: Arnett Mace, 706/542-5806, amace@uga.edu

Rebecca White named permanent dean of UGA School of Law

Athens, Ga. -- Rebecca H. White, who has been interim dean of the University of Georgia School of Law for 14 months, will become permanent dean Oct. 1, according to Arnett C. Mace Jr., UGA’s provost and senior vice president for academic affairs.

Mace said he and UGA President Michael F. Adams decided to appoint White to the position based on her outstanding performance in the interim role and strong support from the school’s faculty, staff and alumni.

White, who also holds the J. Alton Hosch Professorship in the school, became interim dean July 1, 2003, when former dean David Shipley stepped down to return to teaching. She will be the first female dean in the school’s 145-year history.

“Rebecca has clearly demonstrated that she has the necessary combination of professional competence and personal leadership skills to guide the School of Law’s growth in the coming years,” said Adams. “The school has made important advances under her leadership as interim dean, and we are delighted that she will continue to devote her energy, vision and commitment to attaining higher goals of academic excellence.”

Mace added that White’s relationship with the school’s faculty, students and alumni was an important factor in her appointment.

“Rebecca has the respect of her fellow faculty members as well as staff and students in the law school, and she has also won the confidence of Georgia’s legal community, which is heavily comprised of UGA law graduates,” said Mace. “This network of support will be extremely valuable as she works to strengthen instruction, scholarship and outreach in the school.”

Prior to becoming interim dean, White was associate provost and associate vice president for academic affairs. An authority in the areas of labor law, employment law, employment discrimination and labor arbitration, she joined the law school faculty in 1989.

White received the Josiah Meigs Award, UGA’s top teaching honor, in 2000, and law graduates have chosen her six times to receive the law school’s Faculty Book Award for teaching excellence. She is a member of UGA’s Teaching Academy and has been a Senior Teaching Fellow and a Senior Faculty Fellow for the Foundation Fellows program.

She is co-author of a text book and a treatise on employment discrimination, has written numerous articles for law reviews and is on the editorial board of the Labor Law Journal. Her scholarship is often cited in decisions by federal and state courts across the country.

White graduated first in her class from the University of Kentucky law school and served as a clerk for a judge of the Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals. She practiced labor and employment law with a Cincinnati firm for seven years before joining UGA.

Earlier this year she received the Woman of Distinction award from the State Bar of Georgia Younger Lawyers Division’s Women in the Profession Committee. The award recognizes women in the legal profession who contribute significantly to the advancement of women or to the practice of law.

Founded in 1859, the School of Law is the third-oldest of UGA’s 14 schools and colleges. With 41 faculty members and more than 700 professional and graduate students, the school is ranked by U.S. News & World Report as one of the 11 best public law schools in the nation and one of the four top public law schools in the South.