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Kenneth Starr Named Dean Of Pepperdine Law School

April 6, 2004

The man who led the investigation into former President Bill Clinton's relationship with Monica Lewinsky has a new job.

Kenneth Starr has been named dean of the Pepperdine University School of Law. The California university plans to officially announce the appointment later today. He'll begin work on Aug. 1.

Starr had been a longtime guest lecturer at the Malibu-based school. A Pepperdine official said he was given the job after a six-month national search.

Starr first accepted the position in 1997 -- but changed his mind after being criticized for abandoning the Whitewater probe into the Clintons' real estate dealings.

Pepperdine Appoints Kenneth W. Starr
as Dean of Its School of Law

Tuesday April 6, 2004

MALIBU, Calif., April 6 /PRNewswire/ -- Pepperdine University announced today that Kenneth W. Starr has been appointed dean of Pepperdine's School of Law. Following a more than six month long national search, Pepperdine President Andrew K. Benton said that the Malibu, California-based University had chosen "the best candidate from a field of eminently qualified candidates" and that the appointment of Starr was among the "most important academic appointments" in the history of the University.

Starr, currently a partner in the law firm of Kirkland & Ellis LLP, will assume his new duties August 1, 2004. "We are extremely pleased that Mr. Starr has agreed to lead our School of Law," said President Benton. "His career has exemplified the highest ethical standards and unqualified personal and professional integrity. He will serve as a role model not only for our students, but for the entire Pepperdine community."

Benton said of Starr, "Ken Starr has served with grace and with distinction throughout his career -- in the classroom of America's finest law schools, clerking for a Supreme Court Justice, as a partner at two of the nation's most prestigious law firms, serving as a federal judge, presenting cases as our nation's Solicitor General, and illuminating the law as a scholar and author."

Starr was first offered the School of Law deanship in 1997 but chose to decline the appointment in order to serve as independent counsel in the Whitewater investigation. When the opportunity presented itself to reassert his interest in serving as dean of Pepperdine's School of Law, Starr said he was honored to be among those being considered for the position.

Starr has been a partner with Kirkland & Ellis LLP since 1993. He holds a bachelor's degree from George Washington University, a master's degree from Brown University and a juris doctorate from Duke University School of Law.

He was Solicitor General of the United States from 1989 to 1993 during which time he argued 25 cases before the U.S. Supreme Court covering a wide range of constitutional issues. For six years, from 1983 to 1989, Starr was a United States Circuit Judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. He was counselor to U.S. Attorney General William French Smith from 1981 to 1983.

Early in his career, he clerked for Judge David W. Dyer on the U.S. Court of Appeals and for U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice Warren E. Burger. A prolific writer and legal scholar, Starr has written numerous law review articles and most recently published a book titled, "First Among Equals: The Supreme Court in American Life" (2002). He has taught as an adjunct professor at New York University (NYU) Law School, as a distinguished visiting professor at George Mason University Law School, and he has lectured at Pepperdine University.

The Dean Search Committee at Pepperdine began reviewing a national pool of candidates in August. Darryl Tippens, Pepperdine's provost, and search committee co-chair with longtime law professor Gregory Ogden, said that the search process gave the University an opportunity to carefully review the qualifications of a group of "exceptionally talented and accomplished individuals, with established scholarly reputations, and demonstrated leadership ability." Tippens added, "We would have been gratified to choose any one of them as dean."

The six finalists included three from Pepperdine's School of Law -- Professor Richard Cupp, Interim Dean and Professor Charles Nelson, and Professor Timothy Perrin who is also an associate provost at Pepperdine. The other finalists included Edward Larson, a professor at the University of Georgia; William Murray Tabb, law professor and Judge Fred A. Daughtery, chair in Law at the University of Oklahoma College of Law.

The search committee retained Korn/Ferry International, the largest executive search firm in the United States, to assist the process. Provost Tippens and President Benton met with faculty groups, student groups and University staff early on to involve them in the process. Finalists met with various members of the committee, staff and faculty, and underwent multiple interviews. The law school faculty was asked to select three acceptable candidates for dean, whose names were submitted, unranked, to President Benton for the final decision.

"Pepperdine's commitment to remaining true to our core values fits especially well with the appointment of Ken Starr as the dean of our School of Law," concluded President Benton. "He shares a passion for our unique mission where 'strengthening lives of purpose, service, and leadership' is central to who we are as a University community."

Pepperdine's School of Law has approximately 650 students enrolled in its J.D. program and more than 100 students pursuing an LL.M in Dispute Resolution or the Master of Dispute Resolution degree. The School has a full-time faculty of 35 and is ranked in the second tier of the US NEWS & WORLD REPORT 2005 ranking of the nation's best law schools. In addition to the J.D., LL.M. in Dispute Resolution, and M.D.R. degrees, the school also offers a number of joint degree programs. Beyond its comprehensive academic program, the School maintains the nationally recognized Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution, the Center for Entrepreneurship and Technology Law, a resident academic program in London, and an active clinical and professional skills program. The campus of the School of Law is located in Malibu, California, in the Odell McConnell Law Center.