CONTACT: STEPHEN PRADARELLI
300 Plaza Centre One
Iowa City IA 52242
(319) 384-0007; fax (319) 384-0024
Release: June 18, 2002
Blanck And Gittler Named To Professorships In Law
College of Law professors Josephine Gittler and Peter D. Blanck have been
awarded named professorships by the University of Iowa effective July 1, 2002.
The new professorships were recommended by Law School Dean N. William Hines
and approved by Provost Jon S. Whitmore.
Gittler will hold the Wiley B. Rutledge Professorship and Blanck will hold
the Charles M. and Marion Kierscht Professorship. Rutledge was dean of the
UI College of Law from 1935 to1939 and went on to serve notably as a justice
of the U.S. Supreme Court. Charles M. Kierscht is a 1962 law graduate who
has chaired the college's Iowa Law School Endowment Campaign for the 21st
Century for the past five years. Kierscht and his wife Marion made a generous
leadership gift to the campaign to create this new professorship in the college.
Gittler became the first woman member of the law faculty when she joined
the Iowa faculty in 1973. She spent part of her early life in Ames, where
her father was a professor. She graduated from Barnard College (Columbia University)
in 1965 and earned her J.D. from Northwestern University in 1968, where she
was a member of the Northwestern Law Review, and was elected to the Order
of Coif, an academic honorary society. Before joining the Iowa faculty, she
served three years as a law clerk to different federal and state judges in
Connecticut and directed a penal code training program for the state.
At Iowa, Gittler has specialized in juvenile justice and health law issues
affecting children and mothers. Most recently in both her teaching and research
she has focused attention on mediation and negotiation as alternatives to
litigation for resolving disputes in health care decision-making. She is consistently
rated as an outstanding teacher by her students and faculty peers, and her
nearly 30-year record of research productivity is not only very impressive,
it has had a major and lasting impact in reforming the law affecting families
and improving social services available to them. For over 20 years, Gittler
has been co-director of the National Maternal and Child Health Resource Center,
an outreach program she created at the College of Law in 1981. Since 1994,
she has also directed the Conflict Management Institute, which she created
at the college. The interrelated missions of both the center and the institute
are to expand and improve health-related services to families.
Blanck joined the Iowa faculty in 1990. He received his B.A. degree in psychology
in 1979 from the University of Rochester magna cum laude, then earned a Ph.D.
in psychology from Harvard University in 1982. He stayed on at Harvard to
serve as a Post Doctoral Fellow for one year, then went to law school at Stanford
University, receiving his J.D. in 1986. At Stanford he served as president
of the Stanford Law Review. After clerking for a U.S. Court of Appeals judge
for one year, Blanck practiced law for three years with a prominent Washington,
D.C. law firm.
During his 12 years at Iowa, Blanck quickly earned tenure and rose to the
rank of professor in record time. He regularly teaches the basic course in
contracts, but his classroom and research specialty is disability law, in
which he has become a major national figure. Blanck has established a consistent
record of excellent teaching effectiveness and he is a prodigious scholar,
publishing numerous books, articles, books chapters, and reports each year.
In 1994, Blanck created the Law, Health Policy and Disability Center on the
Iowa campus, and he has continued as its director through the center's meteoric
growth in external support and national recognition. The center currently
receives a number of large external grants and contracts and employs 17 researchers.
Blanck himself is frequently sought out to advise congressional committees,
state officials and business leaders on disability law issues.
In announcing the awards of named professorships to Gittler and Blanck,
Dean Hines stated, "These awards not only recognize outstanding teaching,
scholarship and service to our college, they advance the college's and the
university's commitment to interdisciplinary academic work. Both Josy and
Peter do some of their teaching and nearly all of their research in collaboration
with colleagues from disciplines other than law. Their impressive professional
accomplishments are proof positive that interdisciplinary study and research
can be not only rigorous and relevant, but that the synergies created through
innovative collaborations of scholars can enhance the real-world impact of
their published results."