CONTACT: MELVIN O. SHAW
300 Plaza Centre One
Iowa City IA 52242
(319) 384-0010; fax (319) 384-0024
Release: Aug. 29, 2001
Four women law faculty named distinguished professors, endowed chairs
IOWA CITY -- Four women professors in the University of Iowa College of
Law have been elevated to endowed chairs or named professorships in the college.
These academic honors recognize members who have made outstanding contributions
to teaching, scholarship, and service within their respective specialties.
Patricia A. Cain was named the Aliber Family Chair in Law; Lea S. VanderVelde
was named to the Josephine Witte Chair in Law; while Margaret F. Brinig was
designated as the Edward F. Howry Professor of Law; and Adrien K. Wing was
designated as the Bessie Dutton Murray Professor of Law.
Cain, who has been a member of the law faculty for 10 years, spent the first
17 years of her teaching career on the University of Texas law faculty. She
specializes in federal tax law, wills and estates, real property, and feminist
legal theory. The Aliber Family Chair is customarily awarded to a faculty
member who is a nationally recognized scholar in federal tax law and estate
VanderVelde, a member of the law faculty for 21 years, focuses her teaching
and research on employment law, property, and constitutional law. Appointment
to the Witte Chair is based on a professor's achieving an outstanding national
reputation for research that cuts across disciplinary lines. VanderVelde has
done much of her recent scholarly work in the history of employment relationships.
Brinig joined the law faculty in 1999 after spending 24 years on the faculty
of George Mason University School of Law. She specializes in the law of economics
and the family, contracts law and alternative dispute resolution. The professorship
she holds gets its name from the legendary Washington, D.C. trial lawyer and
native Iowan, Edward F. Howry. The Howry Professor designation is reserved
for a faculty member who has dedicated his or her teaching and scholarly career
to the study and improvement of the civil justice system, including the performance
of their respective roles by lawyers, judges and juries.
Wing joined the law faculty in 1987 where she specializes in constitutional
law, race relations, and international law, with particular interest in constitutional
issues in the Middle East and the African continent. Wing's designation as
the Bessie Dutton Murray Professor makes her, behind Geraldene Felton, former
College of Nursing dean and Kelting Chair holder, the second African-American
female faculty member in recent UI history to hold a named professorship.
The Bessie Dutton Murray Professorship is awarded to a member of the law
faculty who has demonstrated outstanding teaching, research, and community
service in international issues, including special interest attention to the
professional development of nontraditional students.
UI President Mary Sue Coleman and Provost Jon Whitmore approved all four
designations last month on the basis of a formal proposal by Law College Dean
N. William Hines and favorable recommendations from the University of Iowa
Committee on Distinguished Professorships and Faculty Chairs.
In announcing the awards, Hines commented: "These are richly deserved
recognitions for the splendid academic accomplishments and notable professional
achievements of these four excellent faculty colleagues. It is a mere happenstance
that all four of these honorees are women faculty members, but I am nevertheless
proud that women faculty now hold one-third of the endowed chairs and distinguished
professorships in the College of Law.
"Until less than 30 years ago, there had never been a woman law faculty
member at Iowa. The progress of women in the legal profession in the past
generation is a little short of remarkable," Hines said.
The UI College of Law faculty is made up of 50 professors, including seven
full-time clinical law professors. These four recent awards bring to 15 the
number of law faculty members holding endowed chairs and named professorships.
In fall 2001, the College of Law has an approximate student enrollment of
700, made up of 680 juris doctorate students and 20 master of laws students.