MACON – Gary J. Simson, Macon Professor of Law and dean of Mercer University's Walter F. George School of Law since July 1, 2010, has been named senior vice provost for scholarship by Mercer Provost D. Scott Davis. Daisy Hurst Floyd, who served as law dean from 2004 to 2010 and is currently University Professor of Law and Ethical Formation at Mercer, will assume responsibility as dean until such time as a national search is conducted for a new leader at the law school.
"I am pleased that Gary Simson has agreed to lead this new initiative in the Provost's Office," Dr. Davis said. "He is a nationally regarded legal scholar and has an excellent reputation for mentoring young faculty in the development of their scholarship portfolios. Gary will serve a key role as the institutional focus on cultivating scholarship among both junior and established faculty expands. I have been recruiting Gary for some time to this new role, but it was his desire to complete the law school's reaccreditation process before accepting these new responsibilities."
Prior to his appointment as Mercer's law dean, Simson was the Joseph C. Hostetler-Baker and Hostetler Professor of Law at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio. He served as dean of Case Western's law school from 2006-2008 and previously was a faculty member and associate dean at Cornell University Law School. Simson received a B.A. summa cum laude in 1971 from Yale College, where he majored in Spanish Literature, and a J.D. in 1974 from Yale Law School, where he was an editor of The Yale Law Journal.
"I am grateful for Gary's service as dean of Mercer Law School over the past four years," said Mercer President William D. Underwood. "He has made a number of important contributions to our law school during his Mercer tenure, including recruiting outstanding faculty, improving the school's facilities and enhancing career services, which has resulted in Mercer Law School having one of the best placement rates in the country for its graduates."
Floyd was appointed dean of Mercer's law school in 2004, coming from Texas Tech University Law School, where she served on the faculty for 14 years and was an associate dean. She received a B.A. summa cum laude and M.A. in political science from Emory University and a J.D. from the University of Georgia School of Law, where she was articles editor of the Georgia Law Review.
"We are fortunate to have an experienced dean like Daisy Floyd to step in and provide leadership at the law school," Dr. Davis said. "Because of her experience and track record, the law school will continue to flourish while Gary Simson brings his knowledge and expertise in the area of scholarship to the entire University."
About Mercer Law School
Founded in 1873, the Mercer University Walter F. George School of Law is one of the oldest law schools in the United States and the first one in the state of Georgia accredited by the American Bar Association. Mercer Law School's educational philosophy is based on a broadly shared commitment to prepare students for the high-quality, general practice of law in a day-to-day learning environment that is both strongly supportive and consistently professional. Its innovative Woodruff Curriculum – which focuses on ethics and practical skills amid small class sizes – earned the Gambrell Professionalism Award from the ABA for its "depth of excellence." With an enrollment of about 440 students, Mercer Law School is nationally recognized for its exceptional programs in legal writing, moot court, public service, and ethics and professionalism. For more information about Mercer Law School, visit law.mercer.edu or call (478) 301-5000.