Washburn has chosen to step down from the deanship at the end of 2024
Thursday, May 30, 2024

Kevin Washburn, who joined the University of Iowa College of Law as dean in 2018, has announced that he will step down from the position at the end of the year, effective on Dec. 31, 2024.  

Kevin Washburn
Kevin Washburn

During his tenure as dean, Washburn developed a vision for the College of Law as the “Writing Law School” and worked with the law faculty to implement that vision successfully over the past six years, with an expansion of the college’s legal analysis, writing, and research faculty; a realignment of the Writing Center; and an expansion of writing and drafting classes. This vision succeeded in part because it aligned with faculty’s existing strengths. Washburn also helped develop an ambitious new environmental law program known as the Hubbell Environmental Law Initiative. 

“The university will miss Dean Washburn’s leadership at the helm of the college, but I fully support his future endeavors,” says Kevin Kregel, executive vice president and provost. “He has had a profound positive impact on the college and the university, navigating expertly through many challenges. I am particularly grateful that he will conclude his time as dean with the college’s most successful faculty hiring season in many years, with eight new faculty joining the college in 2024-25.”

After he steps down as dean, Washburn plans to return to the classroom and his research.  

Washburn remains an active scholar, continuing to publish research during his time as dean, and co-teach a course on federal Indian law. A citizen of the Chickasaw Nation of Oklahoma, his recent articles have focused on Indigenous conservation and tribal co-management of federal public lands. He also serves as the co-editor in chief of the leading treatise in his field, the Felix S. Cohen Handbook of Federal Indian Law, which is currently being revised for a new edition.  

“It has been a tremendous honor to serve as dean at Iowa Law, and I am grateful to the faculty, staff, alumni, and students who have helped me succeed in this role,” says Washburn. “We are in the midst of an ambitious capital campaign, and I plan to ‘run through the tape’ so that my successor will have strong resources to continue the momentum of the ‘Writing Law School.’”  

Washburn has been a national leader in legal education, serving a term as chair of the board of trustees of the Law School Admission Council, followed by a three-year term on the executive committee of the Association of American Law Schools.