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Monday, 04/26/04
Vanderbilt law school dean to become full-time faculty member
By MICHAEL CASS
Tennessean Staff Writer

Vanderbilt University Law School Dean Kent Syverud will step down a year from now to be a full-time faculty member at the school, Vanderbilt announced today.

Syverud, whose tenure as dean began in 1997, had planned for some time to concentrate on teaching starting in 2005. He also has taught extensively while running the law school.

''It has been a good run,'' he said in a news release. ''Vanderbilt had a great law school when I arrived here, and I think it has improved in many ways over the past seven years thanks to the incredibly hard work of faculty, students, staff, alumni and the University administration. I look forward to continuing to teach and write at Vanderbilt in the future as a member of the best faculty around.''

Syverud came to Vanderbilt from the University of Michigan Law School, his alma mater. While a professor at Michigan in 1992, he voted for a policy that considered race as a factor in admissions. The U.S. Supreme Court voted 5-4 last June to uphold that policy after a white applicant challenged it upon being rejected by the law school.

At Vanderbilt, Syverud has overseen a $24 million expansion and renovation and recruited numerous professors from top universities. Applications to the law school have doubled to almost 4,000 a year, and the endowment has increased dramatically, the university said.

Vanderbilt plans to start searching for Syverud's successor this summer.