School of Law names new dean

Donald Polden takes up a new role on the Mission campus.

In March, University President Paul Locatelli, S.J., announced the appointment of Donald Polden as the new dean of the Santa Clara University Law School. Polden will succeed Mack Player, who will step down on July 1.

Polden has been dean and professor of law at the University of Memphis School of Law since 1993. Under his leadership, the program raised the national profile of its faculty and their scholarly publications, increased the diversity of its student body, significantly increased private support of the law school and its endowment, and improved the structure and operation of the law school’s alumni association.

Polden has served as an associate dean and professor of law at Drake University School of Law and a visiting professor of law at University of Louisville School of Law. In addition, he has taught and lectured to professional audiences in the areas of federal antitrust law, federal securities law, employment law, and corporate law and governance. His scholarly publications have been cited by the United States Supreme Court and other federal and state courts.

“Don Polden’s impressive credentials and leadership ability will be invaluable in guiding the law school’s future course,” Locatelli said in his announcement. “As dean, he will build on the law school’s growth in quality and stature and the accomplishments of Mack Player.”

Polden earned an economics degree from George Washington University and a J.D. (cum laude) from the Indiana University School of Law, Indianapolis.

“I am extremely pleased to be joining the faculty and administration at Santa Clara University. I have deep respect for the mission and ambition of the University and its School of Law and for their outstanding leadership,” Polden said.

“The school’s goal to educate professionals with an uncompromising commitment to excellence and social responsibility makes it a stimulating place,” added Polden, “and the school’s cutting-edge curriculum and location in the Silicon Valley create unlimited opportunities for student and faculty academic enrichment and professional service.”

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