The University of Iowa College of Law proudly announces the appointment of eight outstanding professors to named faculty positions.
Three faculty have earned professorships, and one has been renewed as a distinguished chair. Mihailis Diamantis now holds the Ben V. Willie Professorship in Excellence, Diane Lourdes Dick has earned the title of Charles E. Floete Distinguished Professor of Law, Christopher Odinet has been named the Josephine R. Witte Professor of Law, and Todd Pettys has been renewed as the H. Blair and Joan V. White Chair in Civil Litigation.
In addition, four faculty members have earned faculty fellowships. Anya Prince has been designated as the Joseph F. Rosenfield Faculty Fellow in Law, Sean Sullivan as the Bouma Faculty Fellow in Law, Gregory Shill as the Michael and Brenda Sandler Faculty Fellow in Corporate Law, and Cristina Tilley as the Claire Ferguson-Carlson Faculty Fellow in Law.
“Named professorships advance the College of Law in transformative ways. These professors have continuously excelled in their teaching, scholarship, and service. Private endowments like this recognize exceptional faculty and thereby help us to reward and retain the best of them,” said Dean Washburn.
“Of course, awarding these named positions to our best professors also honors the legacies of the important people whose names are reflected in these positions, each of whom made a lasting mark at Iowa Law. It is such an important way to keep their legacies alive. The awarding of each one is an important moment,” Washburn continued.
Faculty Chairs and Professorships
The faculty chairs and professorships at Iowa Law reflect the prodigious scholarship produced by these faculty members and their importance to our academic community. These distinguished positions are made possible by the generous support of Iowa Law alumni and friends, who recognize the important role of strong faculty in the College’s success. Iowa Law is fortunate to have more than a dozen endowed chairs and professorships.
Ben V. Willie Professor in Excellence
The fund supporting the Ben V. Willie Professorship in Excellence was endowed in 1987 as part of the Iowa Endowment 2000 campaign by the late Ben V. and Dorothy M. Willie. It was the University of Iowa College of Law's first fully endowed chair and also now supports two professorships including this one. The Professorship was established by Dorothy two years ago to recruit, support, or retain excellent law professors who have attained the rank of full professor, demonstrated excellence in their respective fields of scholarly research, and demonstrated the likelihood of continued excellence in scholarly productivity.
Professor Mihailis Diamantis' legal research focuses on corporate crime, law and technology, and legal theory. He explores the profound impact of emerging technologies and established concepts like mens rea on corporate incentives. Furthermore, Professor Diamantis writes about privacy law and surveillance. Before joining the faculty at Iowa, he served as a visiting professor at Columbia Law School, clerked on the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, and worked on white-collar investigations as an attorney at Debevoise & Plimpton LLP.
Diane Lourdes Dick
Charles E. Floete Distinguished Professor of Law
The Charles E. Floete Professorship was established in a bequest in 1994 by the youngest daughter, Kathi Floete, of the position’s namesake in memory of her father, Charles E. Floete (LLB, 1879). Kathi recognized the College of Law's role in helping her father build a successful banking and real estate career to give her and her siblings a great life.
Professor Diane Lourdes Dick specializes in business and tax law, with a pronounced emphasis on commercial finance, business bankruptcy, mergers and acquisitions, and business entity taxation. In her previous role, she served as the William C. Oltman Professor of Teaching Excellence and Professor of Law at Seattle University School of Law. From 2020-21, she was chair of the Washington State Bar Association's Business Law Section.
Josephine R. Witte Professor of Law
The Josephine R. Witte Professorship in Law was founded in 1998 through the Iowa Law School Foundation (ILSF) as the beneficiary of Josephine's perpetual trust. Past holders of this professorship include Alan I. Widiss and Lea VanderVelde.
Professor Odinet's research focuses on commercial law, consumer finance, and property law, emphasizing digital/crypto assets, financial regulation, bankruptcy, and mortgage lending. His courses span a diverse array, including Property Law, Secured Transactions, Real Estate Law and Finance, Bankruptcy, Payments Systems, and Consumer Finance Law. Before joining the Iowa Law faculty in 2020, Professor Odinet taught at the University of Oklahoma College of Law and the Southern University Law Center. Before joining the academy, he practiced law in the business and finance group at Phelps Dunbar LLP.
The H. Blair and Joan V. White Chair in Civil Litigation was established in 2000 by the late H. Blair (1950B.A., 1958J.D.) and the late Joan V. White (1951B.A.). Blair was from Burlington, IA, and was a former managing partner at Sidley & Austin in Chicago, IL, who specialized in trade regulation and antitrust cases. He also was a former board member with DeKalb Genetics, Bankmont Financial, R.R. Donnelly & Sons, Kimberly-Clark, and DeKalb Energy. The two White sons, Blair Jr. and Brian, were the trustees of the White's estate. In 1997, Blair served as the Daum Practitioner in Residence at the Iowa Law School. He was also part of the Iowa Endowment 2000 Campaign National Committee and a former class agent.
Professor Pettys specializes in constitutional law and federal courts. His recent scholarship focuses on First Amendment rights in education. Before joining the College in 1999, he served as a law clerk for Judge Francis Murnaghan, Jr., of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit. Following his time with the Court of Appeals, Professor Pettys ventured into private practice, dedicating three years to the general litigation department at Perkins Coie, LLP, in Seattle, Washington. Before starting his legal career, he served as assistant director of the Capital Campaign for the Arts & Sciences at Duke University.
Iowa Law is pleased to recognize four new faculty fellows. Fellowships acknowledge exemplary promise, reward strong performance, enhance professional development, and encourage faculty in the early stages of their careers to continue pursuing their professional goals at the University of Iowa College of Law.
Joseph F. Rosenfield Fellow in Law
The Joseph F. Rosenfield Faculty Fellowship in Law is Iowa Law's oldest faculty fellowship. The late Joseph F. Rosenfield earned a law degree from the University of Iowa College of Law in 1928 and practiced law in Des Moines until 1947. He was an Iowa businessman, attorney, community leader, and philanthropist and amassed a distinguished record of service to the University of Iowa and this community and state. He was also an alum of Grinnell and served as a trustee there. Rosenfield retired as the President and Chairman of Younkers department store.
Professor Anya Prince's teaching and research interests are deeply rooted in health and genetic privacy, specifically focusing on genetic discrimination, the health privacy implications of big data, and the ethical, legal, and social implications of genomic testing. Before joining the faculty at Iowa Law, Professor Prince served as a visiting assistant law professor at Indiana University's Robert H. McKinney School of Law. Before joining the legal academy, she was a post-doctoral research fellow at the UNC Center for Genomics and Society (CGS) at UNC-Chapel Hill School of Medicine. In addition to her research experience, Professor Prince has worked as a Skadden Fellow and staff attorney at the Cancer Legal Resource Center in Los Angeles, California.
Michael and Brenda Sandler Faculty Fellow in Corporate Law
The Michael and Brenda Sandler Faculty Fellowship in Corporate Law was created in 2003 with gifts from the late Michael Sandler and his wife, Brenda. They desired to recognize noteworthy accomplishments in teaching, research, or professional service in the fields of business law, corporate law, securities law, and other legal specialties directly related to these fields. Michael Sandler was a member of the Iowa Law School Foundation Board of Directors.
Professor Shill specializes in corporate law and corporate governance, securities regulation, contract law, transportation law and policy, and local government law. He joined the College of Law faculty in 2017. He has held fellowships at Harvard Law School, NYU School of Law, and the American Bar Foundation, and has taught at a number of other law schools, including as a visiting professor at Washington University (St. Louis) School of Law in 2022. He holds complementary faculty appointments in the Department of Economics at the UI Tippie College of Business and the UI Driving Safety Research Institute. Before entering academia, he practiced appellate and white-collar litigation at Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher in New York and London and corporate law at Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft in New York.
Bouma Faculty Fellow in Law
The Bouma Faculty Fellowship was created in 2002 with gifts from two brothers from Pocahontas, Iowa. The late John J. Bouma graduated in the class of 1960 and spent his entire career in Phoenix at the Snell & Wilmer firm, where he served for several years as chairman. The late Robert E. Bouma graduated in the class of 1962 and joined Cravath Swain & Moore in New York. He worked in high-level positions at Xerox, Monsanto, and other large companies, ending his career with McDermott Will & Emery in Chicago. Both men also served as military lawyers early in their careers. Their desire for the fellowship was to recognize noteworthy accomplishments in teaching, research, or professional service in trial law.
Professor Sean Sullivan joined the faculty in 2017. He teaches and writes about antitrust law, evidence law, and economics. Across these topics, Professor Sullivan's research clarifies law by building upon ways in which law depends on economics and statistics. Before his time at Iowa Law, Professor Sullivan was an antitrust attorney at the Federal Trade Commission in Washington, DC. His practice focused primarily on the review and litigation of mergers in technology and commodity-chemical industries.
Claire Ferguson-Carlson Faculty Fellow in Law
The Claire Ferguson-Carlson Law Fellowship was created in memory of the late Claire Ferguson Carlson, who graduated from the University of Iowa College of Law in 1950, one of only three women in her class. Following graduation, Claire was a lawyer in Fort Dodge and served as a partner in the law firms of Bastian, Biesser, and Carlson and Kersten, Carlson, and Opheim. She was also a member of the Iowa Law School Foundation Board of Directors.
Professor Tilley specializes in tort and constitutional law, where she contends that personal injury litigation has a role to play in the creation of healthy media ecosystems and socially just communities. As a practicing attorney, she served as a law clerk for Judge Richard D. Cudahy of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit. She was also a member of the Appellate Litigation Group at Mayer Brown, where she worked extensively on asbestos litigation, securities class action issues, and First Amendment matters. Before her law career, she was a news reporter specializing in business and legal affairs at United Press International and other publications.