Killenbeck, Wylie H. Davis Professor Of Law, Promoted To Distinguished Professor

Friday, June 06, 2003

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. - Dr. Mark R. Killenbeck, the Wylie H. Davis Professor of Law at the University of Arkansas, was promoted to Distinguished Professor, the University's highest professorial honor, at the University of Arkansas Board of Trustees meeting May 15th in Little Rock.

The Distinguished Professor designation is reserved for faculty members recognized nationally and internationally as intellectual leaders in their academic disciplines for extraordinary accomplishments in teaching, published works, research, creative accomplishments in the performing arts or other endeavors.

University of Arkansas School of Law Dean Richard B. Atkinson reacted with pleasure to the designation, observing that "Mark is one of the most recognized, respected, and productive members of this faculty and has clearly become one of the intellectual leaders in his field." He noted that some of the nation’s foremost scholars in law, history, political science, and higher education had written in support of Killenbeck’s promotion, characterizing his work as "important and unique," written with a "refreshing voice of reason, ethic of thoughtfulness, and commitment to even-handed evaluation of alternative perspectives that makes his scholarship a force to be reckoned with."

Killenbeck has written numerous articles that have appeared in many of the nation’s foremost law journals, including The Supreme Court Review, the Michigan Law Review, and the California Law Review. He has edited and contributed to a number of books and is currently finishing a book on one of the Supreme Court’s most important decisions, M’Culloch v. Maryland. His recent scholarly efforts have focused on two areas: affirmative action and diversity, and federalism. His affirmative action scholarship was quoted extensively by the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit in the University of Michigan case currently before the United States Supreme Court. His federalism articles have in turn been described as "lucid, smart, and careful," the work of a "brilliant scholar at the peak of his career."

Dean Atkinson also stressed Killenbeck’s record as a teacher and his service to the University and the profession, noting that "Mark was the first individual from this faculty to be elected to the prestigious American Law Institute. That Institute is the world's preeminent law reform body and has a very limited and distinguished membership. Mark is distinguished in every meaningful sense of the term and richly deserves this honor."

Professor Killenbeck expressed his gratitude to the University and in particular to Dean Atkinson, stating that "I am pleased by this news and deeply appreciative of the support and encouragement of many individuals at the University, in particular Dean Atkinson, who has been a valued colleague since I arrived here and has as Dean brought a new spirit of professionalism and accomplishment to the Law School."

A native of Rochester, New York, Killenbeck received his undergraduate education at Boston College, where he majored in English literature, a subject he subsequently taught at the University of Kansas. He earned both his J.D. and a Ph.D. at the University of Nebraska, where he spent 13 years in a variety of administrative positions in the University System’s Central Administration. He began his career as a legal educator at the University of Arkansas School of Law in 1988 and was appointed the Wylie H. Davis Professor of Law in 1999. The professorship was made possible through a gift from the estate of the late Claude Finch, a client and friend of Fayetteville attorney E.J. Ball, who served as executor of Finch's estate.

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