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Pepperdine Law School names federal judge to replace Kenneth Starr as dean

February 10, 2011 |  4:03 pm

Pepperdine University has named a federal appeals court judge from Kansas to head its law school, replacing former special prosecutor Kenneth Starr.

Judge Deanell Reece Tacha of the U.S. 10th Circuit Court of Appeals will start work June 1, the Malibu-based university announced Thursday.

Tacha, 65, was named to the federal court handling appeals from six Western states by President Reagan in 1985. She has served on the Judicial Conference of the United States, which sets policy for the federal court system, as well as the U.S. Sentencing Commission, which decides policy and guidelines for punishment of offenses tried in federal courts.

A former associate law school dean at the University of Kansas and a veteran of private practice as well as legal aid services in her home state, Tacha also has been active in international legal exchanges, including her work with an American Bar Assn. delegation to Albania to assist in that Balkan nation's drafting of a new constitution after authoritarian regimes were ousted.

Starr, also a former federal appellate judge and best known for his role in investigating President Clinton for lying about his relationship with intern Monica Lewinsky, left Pepperdine's law school last spring to serve as president of Baylor University in Waco, Texas. 

-- Carol J. Williams