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Regents Approve Law School Dean

FEBRUARY 8, 2008 — The Board of Regents approved David Wippman as the new Law School dean. Wippman, a Minnesota native currently at Cornell, begins his appointment on July 1 as the 10th Law School dean.

David Wippman Named Law School Dean

DECEMBER 17, 2007 — Pending approval by the Board of Regents, David Wippman will take the helm in 2008 as dean of the University of Minnesota Law School. "I am confident that we have chosen one of the very finest deans in the country to lead our law school forward locally, nationally, and internationally," says University of Minnesota Provost E. Thomas Sullivan.

Professor Wippman, a Minnesota native, will hold the William S. Pattee Professor of Law Chair. He is currently Vice Provost for International Relations and professor of law at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York.

He joined Cornell in 1992 and has taught public international law, human rights, and international criminal law. He was co-director of the Cornell-Paris I Summer Institute of International and Comparative Law, a member of the Executive Committee of the American Society of International Law, and a member of the Board of Editors of Human Rights & Human Welfare.

"David Wippman is an eminent scholar, a trusted and collegial leader, a highly admired teacher, and an experienced practitioner with the very highest aspirations for our great law school," says Sullivan.

Professor Wippman took a year away from Cornell to serve as a director in the National Security Counsel’s Office of Multilateral and Humanitarian Affairs during the Clinton Administration (1998–99). In that role, he worked on war crimes issues, the International Criminal Court, economic sanctions, and U.N. political issues.

Before joining Cornell, he worked in private practice for ten years and represented several foreign governments in litigation before U.S. courts and international tribunals. He also worked in legislative lobbying and political consulting on public and private international law issues.

Professor Wippman’s reputation as an authority in international law is well founded. He was a co-author on two books released in 2006 on the topic: International Law, Norms, Actors, Process: A Problem-Oriented Approach and Can Might Make Rights? Building the Rule of Law After Military Interventions.

He received his A.B. from Princeton and his M.A. and J.D. from Yale. During law school, he served as editor-in-chief of the Yale Law Journal.

"David Wippman has a unique blend of leadership that will inspire and engage our alumni, students, faculty, staff, and friends," says alumnus and search committee member Walter F. Mondale. "I'm very excited about the new dean. He's simply remarkable on so many levels. Once you get to know him you'll see why he has already generated so much enthusiasm from our community."

Professor Wippman was selected after a careful national search that began in May. Included in the process were recommendations from the dean search committee, faculty, and University administrators; site visits; interviews; and lastly, narrowing of the candidate pool to five strong finalists.

"I'm honored to have been asked to lead the University of Minnesota Law School," says Professor Wippman. "As dean, I look forward to meeting and working closely with all faculty, alumni, students, and staff to move the Law School to ever higher levels of achievement and impact. I'm excited to begin our work together."

Professor Wippman will be the tenth dean to serve the Law School since it was established in 1888. Current interim co-deans Fred Morrison and Guy Charles will continue their roles during a transition phase.

"In this period of transformative change and high aspirations, the Law School needs an exceptional leader who cherishes the historic mission and critical contribution of a public law school in the 21st century," says University President Robert Bruininks. "David Wippman will be that outstanding and inspiring leader."

And Wippman has one more thing going for him, Mondale adds: "Let's not forget, he's a son of Minnesota."

Additional Information:

portrait of David Wippman
Photo credit: DiMeo photography