University of Wisconsin names new law school dean

Contact: Jini Jasti, ‭(608) 263-7906‬, [email protected]

MADISON – Daniel P. Tokaji has been named dean of the University of Wisconsin Law School.

He has been a professor at The Ohio State State University Moritz College of Law since 2003, serving as associate dean for faculty since 2018.

A graduate of Harvard College and the Yale Law School, Tokaji clerked for the Honorable Stephen Reinhardt of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. Before arriving at Ohio State, he was a civil rights lawyer in California for eight years. 

Tokaji is currently the Charles W. Ebersold and Florence Williams Ebersold Professor of Constitutional Law at Ohio State.  His scholarship focuses primarily on the field of election law, addressing questions of voting rights, racial justice, free speech and democratic inclusion.

“I am thrilled to have Dan assume the deanship of the Law School,” says Provost Karl Scholz. “He brings a wealth of experience and knowledge, and his impactful teaching, outstanding scholarship and commitment to public service match the qualities that make UW-Madison such a special place.

“Chancellor Blank and I are confident that he will provide terrific leadership, and we are very pleased to welcome Dan and his family to Wisconsin,” Scholz adds.

“Serving as dean of the University of Wisconsin Law School is my dream job,” says Tokaji. “For many years, I have admired the law school for its tradition of scholarly excellence, law-in-action approach to legal education, and devotion to public service, including communities in Wisconsin, the nation and around the globe. It will be an honor to serve and lead a law school that so ably embodies the Wisconsin Idea of advancing knowledge to make life better for everyone.”

As dean, Tokaji hopes to capitalize on the law school’s excellence in multidisciplinary scholarship and experiential education, while furthering the university’s commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion. 

“In challenging times like the ones we now face, it can sometimes be difficult to see opportunities,” says Tokaji. “But every challenge presents opportunities. While we must confront the effects of the pandemic, we must also think beyond it, guided by our mission and values – especially our commitment to our students, our graduates, and the communities they serve as lawyers and leaders.”