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Release: March 6, 2001

W.H. 'Joe' Knight is named dean of University of Washington Law School

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- W. H. "Joe" Knight, University of Iowa law professor and former UI vice provost, has announced that he has accepted an offer to become the next dean of the University of Washington School of Law. Knight has taught at the UI College of Law since 1983 and served as vice provost of the university from 1997-2000.

Knight's departure also means that his spouse, Susan Mask, will step down as director of the Office of Affirmative Action, a position she has held since 1989. Neither Knight nor Mask has announced definitively when they will leave for the Seattle area, but Knight said he expects to leave sometime this summer to replace the current dean, Roland L. Hjorth.

Knight has inspired students and has gained the admiration of faculty since his arrival at the UI after having served as in-house counsel to a large bank and bank holding company.

"Joe Knight has been one of the most valuable members of the law faculty for all of the 18 years he has spent in Iowa City. Joe is an effective and popular teacher of contracts and commercial law subjects. He is an influential scholar in the field of banking regulation and commercial transactions, and he is a tireless worker on behalf of the college's core academic missions," said
N. William Hines, dean, UI College of Law.

"The University of Washington is gaining a first-rate dean, but Iowa's loss is one that it will be most difficult to overcome. Professors with Joe Knight's array of talent just don't come along every year," Hines said.

Knight said that he is impressed with University of Washington President Dick McCormick's commitment to diversity, with the people who are in leadership positions there, and with the law faculty.

"I'll join some extraordinary people at the law school, who, as a group, are waiting for an energetic and visionary leader to jumpstart them to another rung of achievement. Washington has the capability of carving out its own reputation. I want that reputation to be an international one in perception," Knight said.

"It will be difficult to leave a place like the University of Iowa. It is here that I have grown as a person and a teacher. This is a wonderfully encouraging and supportive environment. Iowa will always be home for my family and me," Knight said.