WILLIAMSBURG - The search is formally under way to select a new dean for the Marshall-Wythe School of Law at the College of William and Mary.

Dr. Thomas A. Graves Jr., college president, named the committee last week. It is headed by Associate Professor and Associate Dean Timothy J. Sullivan. Graves asked it to submit no fewer than three names and no more than five for consideration.

Included on the committee are five members of the law school faculty, the president of the law school alumni association, the president of the student bar association and the research editor of the Law Review.

Announced May 2

Dean James P. Whyte Jr. announced on May 2 that he intended to resign as Dean and return to full-time teaching when a successor is named or not later than June 30, 1976.

Graves said the search "should be national, broad, intensive in its scope and attention." He indicated that the committee should search "for a dean who will provide strong educational and administrative leadership and direction to the school. In continuing to move it toward a position of eminence in legal education."

Former U.S. Sen. William B. Spong Jr., who is currently Cutler lecturer in law at the school (on a part time basis) is the person mentioned thus far as a strong candidate. Spong, who is president-elect of the Virginia Bar Association, has taken a noncommittal position regarding the position.

Political Involvement

Several law school faculty members have expressed the feeling that Spong's previous political involvements may lessen his attractiveness as a potential dean.

However, other members of the law school faculty and several college officials have indicated privately that they believe Spong's statewide support and his national legal stature put him in "a leading and strong" position for the dean's post should he want it.

The also expressed the belief that as dean or dean-elect, Spong could garner strong support next spring in Virginia's General Assembly for the new multimillion-dollar law school building, William and Mary's top priority capital fund item.

The committee is expected to hold its first meeting in mid-June with recommendations possibly not coming until early next year. Graves is expected to send all the committee's candidates and his recommendations on them to the board of visitors for its final decision.

Document Type

News Article

Publication Information

Richmond Times-Dispatch at D-6 (June 1, 1975)