Celebrating Dean Testy: First Woman to Serve as UW Law Dean

After more than eight years, Kellye Y. Testy has decided to step down as dean of the University of Washington School of Law. Testy was named the 14th dean of the UW School of Law in 2009, the first woman to serve in that position.

“Leading this institution for the last eight years has been an extraordinary honor, inspiring me to serve well beyond my initial intention of five years,” says Testy. “I am very proud of all that the UW Law community has been able to accomplish together and have been bolstered each day by my trust and confidence in the school’s mission and our ability to achieve it.”

In an email to the UW Law community, UW President Ana Mari Cauce and Provost Jerry Baldasty praised Testy:

“We write to convey our deep gratitude for Kellye Testy’s outstanding leadership as dean of the law school. She joined the UW in 2009 and has steered the school through significant challenges to legal education. The law school today is a stronger and more influential school for her leadership, and it is very well positioned for its future success.”

The inaugural holder of the Toni Rembe endowed deanship, Testy has devoted her tenure to fostering academic and scholarly excellence, advancing social justice and promoting diversity.

Recently named the second-most influential person in legal education by the National Jurist, she has been actively involved with the Association of American Law Schools (AALS) for several years, including serving as the 2016 president. She has served on the Board of Governors of the Society of American Law Teachers as well as several committees of the ABA Section on Legal Education.

Testy has received numerous honors and awards, including the President’s Award from the Washington State Bar Association, the Washington State Trial Lawyers Public Justice Award and three Outstanding Teacher Awards.

Testy will serve out the remainder of the academic year with plans to return to the faculty. It is expected that an interim dean will be transitioned into the role this summer, while a national search is launched to find a permanent replacement.