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Mercer Names New Law School Dean
January 15, 2004


MACON, Ga. -- Mercer University President R. Kirby Godsey announced today that Daisy Hurst Floyd has been named dean of the Walter F. George School of Law. She will join the Law School on July 1. Michael D. Sabbath, the Walter Homer Drake Professor of Bankruptcy Law, who has served as interim dean of the Law School since the fall of 2002, will resume his faculty responsibilities.

"Daisy Hurst Floyd brings a commitment to preparing law graduates of the highest caliber," said President Godsey. "Her professional accomplishments demonstrate strong leadership skills in both the academic setting and the legal community. Mercer Law School will greatly benefit from Dean Floyd's administrative leadership and her commitment to excellence in teaching and legal scholarship."

Floyd is currently professor of law at Texas Tech University School of Law. During her 13-year career with the university, she has served two terms as associate dean for academic affairs. As associate dean, she directed the law school's strategic planning process and coordinated the self-study and site team visit in connection with the 1996 sabbatical review by the American Bar Association and the Association of American Law Schools.

Named the Phi Alpha Delta Professor of the Year, 2001, she was the recipient of the New Professor Excellence in Teaching Award in 1995; and the President's Excellence in Teaching Award in 1994.

Her reputation for excellence in scholarship and teaching has resulted in her participation in three national studies with the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. In 2002, she became one of 12 participants to engage in a two-year study, "Cross-Professions Seminar," regarding the intersection between liberal education and professional education. In 2001, she was named a Carnegie Scholar and was one of only 30 higher education leaders and of only two law faculty members chosen nationwide to participate in a year-long project to advance the scholarship of teaching and learning. In 2000, she participated in the Foundation's "Preparation for the Professions Project," a study of legal education, and taught a Carnegie Seminar on Legal Education.

Earlier in her career, Floyd was director of the Legal Research and Writing Program, University of Georgia School of Law, and an attorney with Alston, Miller & Gaines (now Alston & Bird) in Atlanta.

After attending Randolph-Macon Woman's College, 1973-75, Floyd graduated summa cum laude with a bachelor's and master's degree in political science from Emory University in 1977, where she was tapped for Phi Beta Kappa. She earned the juris doctor degree cum laude from the University of Georgia in 1980. While a law student, she served as articles editor for the Georgia Law Review and was a Castellow Scholar and the recipient of the American Jurisprudence Award, Trusts and Estates.

A member of the State Bars of Georgia and Texas, and the American Bar Association, she is a Fellow of the American Bar Foundation and the Texas Bar Foundation. She serves on the faculty of the National Institute for Trial Advocacy (NITA), the National Judicial College, the Texas Judicial Academy, and the Texas Center for the Judiciary, where she is also a member of the Judicial PEER Committee. She is a member of the Board of Directors of the Lubbock Legal Aid Society.

Among her presentations given in 2003 are "Opinion Writing" for the College of New Judges, Texas Center for the Judiciary; "Advanced Evidence: Hearsay and Character," Fall Judicial Institute, Texas Judicial Academy; "Challenging Discrimination," Institute for Leadership and Social Justice; "Effective Judicial Writing," Texas Judicial Academy, Texas Association of Counties; and ""Lawyering and its Discontents: Reclaiming Meaning in the Practice of Law," Touro College Law Center.

The Law Dean Search Committee was chaired by attorney James A. Bishop of Brunswick, who is chairman of the Mercer University Board of Trustees and a Mercer law alumnus. "The Search Committee had the opportunity to review the credentials of many outstanding individuals across the country," said Bishop, adding the recommendation to the President was by unanimous vote of the committee. "Daisy Hurst Floyd was an exceptional candidate. Her career speaks well of her commitment to be a leader in educating men and women to become the finest in the legal profession. Under her leadership, the Mercer Law School will be well served for many years to come."

Speaking on her appointment, Floyd said, "I look forward to working with the outstanding faculty, staff, students and alumni of Mercer to further the Law School's distinctive mission. Mercer stands out in American legal education for providing a positive educational environment, emphasizing legal writing and professionalism, and preparing its graduates to regard the practice of law as a calling. Mercer is poised to become a leader in the national conversation about the changing legal profession, and I am excited to be a part of its future."

She and her husband, Tim Floyd, also a University of Georgia School of Law graduate, have two children, Kate, 22, and Will, 18.

The Mercer University Walter F. George School of Law is one of the oldest law schools in the country, founded in 1873. It was among the earliest ABA-approved law schools, gaining accreditation in 1925. The Law School's innovative Woodruff Curriculum, a comprehensive approach to teaching practical skills and professional ethics, has received the Gambrell Professionalism Award from the American Bar Association for its "depth and excellence" and "obvious commitment to professionalism." The Law School occupies a self-contained Colonial Revival campus, overlooking downtown Macon, just a mile down College Street from Mercer's main campus.