UK names new law school dean

ralessi@herald-leader.comApril 9, 2009 

The University of Kentucky has hired a University of Georgia professor as the dean of the UK College of Law.

David A. Brennen, who has specialized in teaching tax law at Georgia since 2006, is scheduled to take over on July 1. The law school has been without a permanent dean for nearly a year since the previous dean, Allan Vestal, returned to teaching full time. Louise Graham, the college's Wendell H. Ford professor, has served as interim dean.

Brennen's appointment must be approved by the UK Board of Trustees.

Brennen said in a statement that he is "thrilled" to join UK's faculty and hopes to oversee an expansion of the university's legal education.

"There are opportunities for increased interdisciplinary activity, expanded curricular options and improved physical facilities," he said. "I also expect that UK Law will continue to have a positive influence on legal developments in all spheres — locally, nationally and worldwide."

Brennen has more than a dozen years of classroom experience and is in his second year as deputy director of the Association of American Law Schools, according to his biography on the University of Georgia's faculty Web site.

"In his role as deputy director of the American Association of Law Schools, he has had the opportunity to observe a broad spectrum of law schools, and I am confident we will benefit from his knowledge of best practices as we continue our quest for greater national recognition," UK Provost Kumble Subbaswamy said.

Mary Davis, the college's Stites & Harbison professor and associate dean for administration and faculty development, said Brennen's energy and enthusiasm became clear during his interview with faculty members.

"He really appeared to me to be the total package for what I thought the college of this caliber needs," Davis said.

She said she was impressed with Brennen's involvement with the law school association, which will give the college "more prominence on the national stage."

Brennen's background also includes a stint as assistant general counsel of Florida's Department of Revenue, and experience in private practice in Tallahassee, Fla.

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