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Transition at William & Mary Law School

William & Mary Provost Peggy Agouris sent the following message to the campus community Oct. 2, 2019. - Ed.

Dear William & Mary community,

William & Mary Law School Dean Davison M. Douglas has let me know that he is planning to step down from his position in July 2020 to return to the law school faculty.

Dean Douglas, who has led the law school since 2009, is W&M’s longest-serving law dean in the past 50 years and the ninth-longest serving law dean in the U.S.  Over the past two decades, Dave has made an indelible impact at the law school as a professor, scholar and administrator. During his tenure as dean, the law school has added outstanding scholars and teachers to the faculty, dedicated the Hixon Center for Experiential Learning and Leadership and added several new clinics and programs to address the unmet legal needs of the community and provide invaluable real-world experience to students.

The school has also raised more than $81 million toward the university’s For the Bold campaign. As he noted in his message to the law community, Dean Douglas decided the most appropriate time to step down was after the conclusion of the campaign in 2020:

This campaign is absolutely vital to the long-term success of the law school. I decided early on in my tenure as dean that I would serve until the end of the campaign and do everything I can to help us achieve the bold fundraising goals we set for ourselves.

A renowned constitutional historian, Dave started at W&M Law School in 1990 and went on to hold a number of leadership roles, including director of the Institute of Bill of Rights Law. He also founded and directed the Election Law Program. He became dean of the school on July 1, 2009, and since that time has led multiple efforts to further its mission to educate highly skilled and ethical citizen lawyers.  More information about Dean Douglas and his impact to William & Mary is included in this university press release.

We will be conducting a national search for the next dean of the law school, and will share more details on that process in the coming weeks and months.

I want to express my thanks to Dave for his decades of leadership at William & Mary. He’s done so much for the Law School, which will continue to benefit from his expertise, vision and dedication – since he’ll be moving only from the dean’s office to a faculty office.  He has also been among the most welcoming and thoughtful colleagues to me since my arrival, for which I am personally grateful.

I know you all will join me in wishing Dave well as he transitions back to the classroom next summer.