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University Relations

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Jan. 18, 2005
Contact: Lynn Bretz, University Relations, (785) 864-8866.

Stephen McAllister to resign as dean of KU law school

LAWRENCE -- University of Kansas School of Law Dean Stephen R. McAllister announced today that he will step down as dean of the nationally ranked KU School of Law on Aug. 15 and return to the law faculty as a professor.

"I am very proud of what the school has accomplished during my tenure, especially our private fund raising, our renewed emphasis on alumni relations, and dramatic increases in the diversity of our student body," said McAllister, who became dean in July 2000.

" Five years as dean has been very challenging and rewarding, but I am young and have a variety of opportunities I want to pursue, including involvement in Supreme Court litigation, state and national politics, and spending time with my daughter who will be born in February and my wonderful wife and children."

Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor David Shulenburger said that although he regretted McAllister was stepping down, he was pleased that McAllister would stay at KU on the faculty.

"The School of Law has made significant gains under Steve's leadership, from outstanding hires in new faculty to an extraordinary speaker series of nationally prominent legal minds," Shulenburger said.

Under McAllister's leadership, the school has raised more than $13 million during the university's KU First capital fund-raising campaign and increased its proportion of minority students to more than 20 percent, up from less than 10 percent only five years ago. The school's entering class this fall had a 3.55 median grade-point average and a median LSAT score of 156.

McAllister, who served nearly three years as a law clerk for U.S. Supreme Court Justices Byron White and Clarence Thomas and Judge Richard Posner of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, has brought an impressive group of speakers to the school. They include the first female president of Ireland and United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Mary Robinson, former U.S. Attorney General Janet Reno and Supreme Court Justices Thomas, White, Stephen Breyer and Antonin Scalia. Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg will visit in March. McAllister also has brought to the school a series of nationally prominent journalists who cover the Supreme Court and legal issues, including Pulitzer Prize winner Linda Greenhouse of the New York Times.

In March 2004, the KU Law School was ranked 33rd among U.S. public law schools by U.S. News & World Report's America's Best Graduate Schools. In February 2004, the two leading national magazines for current and prospective law students, National Jurist and PreLaw Insider, rated the school as No. 2 in the nation among public law schools in a "Best Schools for Your Money" survey.

McAllister has provided what Shulenburger called "outstanding and above-the-call-of-duty service" as head of two KU United Way campaigns, in 2002-03 and 2003-04, and as interim director of the Robert J. Dole Institute of Politics, from October 2003 to September 2004. McAllister's tenure at the Dole Institute included the inaugural Dole Lecture, given by former President Bill Clinton.

A native of Lucas, Kan., McAllister was in private law practice in the Washington, D.C., office of the Los Angeles law firm Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher before joining the law school in 1993. As Kansas' first and only state solicitor from 1999 through 2003, he monitored, supervised and participated in constitutional cases, primarily in the Supreme Court of the United States. During that time, McAllister appeared twice before the Supreme Court with Kansas Attorney General Carla Stovall, and in 2001 he personally argued and won an important case for Kansas at the Supreme Court.

In 1999, McAllister was named the law school's associate dean for academic affairs and was one of 20 KU faculty members to receive a $5,000 William T. Kemper Fellowship for Teaching Excellence.

McAllister's research interests include the Eighth Amendment, affirmative action, federalism and sex offender laws. He has briefed six and personally argued three Supreme Court cases, and he has published more than two dozen academic articles.


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