William and Mary Law School

Alumni, Faculty & Students Respond to Douglas's Appointment as Dean

Dave DouglasWhen asked about the personal traits and qualifications of Professor Davison Douglas who will become dean in July, members of the Law School community praised his character, or his excellence as a scholar and teacher, or noted his knowledge of and deep affection for the Law School.  A common theme among the responses is that the nation's oldest law school will soon have a splendid new leader.

What follows is a sampling of the reaction to Professor Douglas's appointment from various Law School constituencies.

Former William & Mary President and Law School Dean Timothy J. Sullivan
Dave Douglas has been a powerful force for good in the William & Mary Law School community. He loves the Law School, he is a nationally respected teacher-scholar and is blessed with all the professional virtues a great dean requires. The Douglas years will be good ones for our Law School.

Faculty
 . . . Dave has always been an effective aggregator of information and points of view. He listens carefully to what people have to say and finds common threads among opposing views. His diplomatic skills are exceptional.  - Jayne Barnard, Cutler Professor of Law and Kelly Professor of Teaching Excellence

On a personal level, Dave has been an amazing mentor to me, carefully guiding me through my initial forays into the world of academic book publishing. He will be an outstanding dean because he is one of those rare individuals who combine true vision with the ability to carry out that vision. . . .  - Nancy Combs, 2009-10 Cabell Research Professor of Law

Dave . . . is the consummate professional. . . . He is the same person in class that he is outside of class, whether it is engaging with students and colleagues, pursuing his scholarship, or putting together programs through the Election Law Program or Bill of Rights Institute. . . .  [He  is the kind of person] who treats everyone fairly, listens to everyone, makes everyone feel that their views matter and count. . . . He's been considered a great teacher because of those attributes, a great colleague because of those attributes. - Neal Devins, Goodrich Professor of Law, Professor of Government, Director, Institute of Bill of Rights Law, Director, Election Law Program

He combines qualities of intellect, compassion and principle that will serve the Law School well. - Susan Grover, Associate Professor of Law

. . . Over the years, he has proven to be a leading scholar, a superb teacher, and a great colleague. Dave has the temperament to be a fine dean. He is steady, and perhaps more important, he listens. . . . [He] is very invested in our Law School, and he will always make decisions based on what's best for W&M Law. - James Heller, Director, The Wolf Law Library and Professor of Law

Dave exemplifies what we strive for here at William & Mary: teaching and scholarly excellence, serious dedication to one's pursuits, and an abundance of human decency. I'm very much looking forward to seeing where he leads the Law School in the years to come. - Laura A. Heymann, Associate Professor of Law

Our new Dean is an extraordinary teacher, a brilliant scholar, and the consummate gentleman. - Fredric Lederer, Chancellor Professor of Law and Director, Center for Legal and Court Technology

He is highly respected both within legal academia and without for his superb teaching ability, his excellent scholarship and his humane and understanding way of dealing with the people he meets. - Ronald Rosenberg, Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, Chancellor Professor of Law, and Director, American Legal System Graduate Program and Foreign Exchanges

There are many attributes that Dave brings to the table. One is his ability to connect with people quickly, . . . his ability to deal with people with respect, to listen to what they have to say. He has great people skills, in short, that I think are essential to being a successful dean. He has the ability to relate to other people regardless of their circumstances, whether they are students, faculty or staff. - Alemante Selassie, Associate Professor of Law

Dave Douglas's succession to the deanship of this historical law school is a great tribute to the school and, indeed, to its many alumni, as well as to him.  I do not know of a worthier figure to advance this institution he has graced so well as a colleague and as a friend. In appointing him to the deanship, the President has chosen the very best. - William W. Van Alstyne, Lee Professor of Law

Alumni and Students
. . . Under Taylor Reveley's tenure, William & Mary rose to a position of prominence . . . . Professor Douglas will provide the continuity and skillset to build upon Taylor Reveley's achievements. His appointment as Dean of the Law School ensures the continued success of the school and is a cause for celebration. - Edward R. Blumberg '75, President, Deutsch and Blumberg, PA

Professor Douglas . . . truly understands and appreciates the community, culture and history of our law school. . . . I greatly anticipate hearing about the wonderful things he will accomplish during his deanship. - Jenny Case '09, 2008-09 President, Student Bar Association

Professor Davison Douglas . . . will be a magnificent advocate for and leader of the Law School. His many years of exemplary service to the Law School will make him the perfect spokesperson for Marshall-Wythe, and I have full confidence that under his leadership, the school will achieve greater heights of academic excellence and national recognition than ever before. - Judith Conti '94, Board of Directors, William & Mary Law School Association

I was honored to serve on the dean search committee, which was ably chaired by Vice Dean Kades, and was pleased to learn that Professor Douglas was selected as the new dean. - Anna P. Engh '89, President, Board of Trustees, Marshall-Wythe School of Law Foundation

I have never had a professor who so clearly enjoyed the process of teaching and working with students as much as Professor Douglas. . . . Professor Douglas always gives this incredibly calming speech right before finals . . . in which he reminds you that you as a person are not defined by your performance in law school. . . . It's this type of perspective that I think will make him a wonderful dean. - Todd Garvey '09, 2008-09 Co-Chair, Institute of Bill of Rights Law Student Division

He is eminently well qualified and capable . . . not only savvy, articulate and personable, but perhaps equally important, he is a man of good humor and an excellent listener. William & Mary is fortunate to have a man of his caliber to lead the Law School. - Anita Poston '74, Member, Board of Visitors, College of William & Mary

Professor Douglas is beloved by the students and recent alumni. He'll begin his deanship with a giant reservoir of goodwill and support. His selection is a great event in our Law School's long history. - Mark Van Deusen '98, President, Board of Directors, William & Mary Law School Association

Davison Douglas is a person who epitomizes the highest caliber of intellectual and ethical thinking in the legal profession. He has an extraordinary background of accomplishments and brings a wealth of experience, poise and talent to this new role. - Henry C. Wolf, B.A. '64, J.D. '66, Rector, Board of Visitors, College of William & Mary