KU News Release

April 1, 2011
Contact: Jill Jess, University Relations, 785-864-8858

Stephen Mazza named dean of School of Law

Stephen Mazza

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LAWRENCE — Stephen W. Mazza, interim dean of law, has been named to the permanent position, University of Kansas Provost Jeffrey Vitter announced today.

Mazza had been interim dean since July 1, when then-Dean Gail Agrawal left to become dean at the University of Iowa College of Law.

“I am delighted that Stephen Mazza has accepted this position of leadership for the School of Law,” Vitter said. “He has provided exceptional stewardship in the interim role. I am very happy to see that the experience has been mutually rewarding for Stephen as well, prompting him to get interested in the long-term role. His faculty, staff and alumni have voiced strong support. In the end, we had to fight off other universities who were also impressed with Stephen’s strengths.”

Mazza joined the KU law faculty in 1998. An honors graduate of the University of Alabama School of Law, he received his master of laws degree from New York University School of Law, where he was managing editor of the Tax Law Review. After practicing in the tax section of a large Atlanta law firm, he returned to NYU as an acting assistant professor.

“I’m excited about working with the provost, the faculty, the students and the alumni base to build upon KU School of Law’s outstanding reputation. At the same time, I’m humbled by their willingness to place their trust in me, particularly my faculty colleagues who I admire and respect,” Mazza said. “Given the current legal market, there will be challenges ahead, but responding to those challenges will provide opportunities for the school to enhance its reputation and better serve its students, the state of Kansas and the national legal community.”

Mazza has expanded the number of tax offerings at KU, teaching courses in taxation of mergers and acquisitions, tax procedure and tax policy. He also coordinates the law school’s tax certificate program and Voluntary Income Tax Assistance program. Mazza is a member of the tax section of the American Bar Association and a frequent speaker on tax issues. Besides numerous journal publications, he is co-author of the leading text on tax procedure; this text has become a standard work used at law schools throughout the United States and was cited by the Supreme Court in an important tax procedure case.

Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little praised the selection.

“Stephen is a nationally recognized scholar, a gifted teacher and a resourceful administrator,” Gray-Little said. “He has helped reform the law curriculum and is instrumental in recruiting and alumni activities. Stephen’s leadership will be a key factor as we embark on strategic planning initiatives and a major fundraising campaign.”

Search committee chair Chris Drahozal, John M. Rounds Professor of Law and associate dean for research and faculty development, said Mazza was selected from an international pool that included faculty and administrators from prestigious law schools.

“I’d like to thank Chris and the search committee for their dedication in finding the right fit for KU and the law school,” Vitter said.

The University of Kansas is a major comprehensive research and teaching university. University Relations is the central public relations office for KU's Lawrence campus.

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