GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Michael Gordon, an internationally known expert on corporate law, NAFTA, and international trade law, has been named the John H. and Mary Lou Dasburg Professor at the University of Florida’s Levin College of Law.
Gordon is the first person to hold the new endowed professorship, which was created earlier this year through a $1.5 million donation from UF law alumni John and Mary Lou Dasburg. Announced in April, the Dasburg’s gift is the largest sum ever given to the law school for a professorship.
“The Dasburgs established the professorship to strengthen the law school’s already firm foundation in corporate law,” said Dean Robert Jerry. “With his extensive background and record of scholarship in the law of international transactions, Michael Gordon is the perfect choice to be the first person to hold this position.”
A law professor at UF since 1968, Gordon is widely recognized as a leading scholar on corporate law, international transactions, and the North American Free Trade Agreement. He has served on four NAFTA dispute resolution panels, been a lecturer for the Council on Foreign Relations in the U.S. and for the U.S. State Department in more than two dozen countries, and written numerous books and articles on international business transactions.
Gordon said the new professorship will help fund the international travel that is a necessary part of his work. It will also enable the law school, at some time in the future, to search for a faculty member who might replace Gordon – someone with similar expertise in corporate and international law – when he retires.
“The value of a professorship of this sort far exceeds the cost to set it up,” said Gordon. “The Dasburgs have created a faculty position that will be here a hundred years from now, contributing to the intellectual life of the law school. Over the past 15 years, we’ve seen a number of these professorships established, and I think it’s a sign that this law school is moving in the right direction.”
The Dasburgs said they are glad to see Gordon appointed to the professorship.
“My wife and I both studied under Professor Gordon during our time in law school, and we found it to be a very rewarding experience,” said John Dasburg, CEO and co-owner of A-STAR Air Cargo, Inc. in Miami and vice chair of the Florida Board of Governors. “Michael Gordon is one of the law school’s great assets.”
In addition to his duties at A-STAR, Dasburg serves as vice chair of the Florida Board of Governors and is a former member of UF’s Board of Trustees and the UF Foundation Board. He is the former president of Northwest Airlines and former president, chairman and CEO of Burger King Corp.
Gordon said it is particularly gratifying to see his former students investing in the future of the law school.
“You teach because you like people, and it’s wonderful to see your former students developing into true leaders,” Gordon said. “The Dasburgs are a prime example of that.”
The Dasburgs’ gift will count in UF’s Faculty Initiative, a university-wide effort to raise $150 million to enhance classroom instruction and enable faculty members to conduct world-class research.
“By providing our scholars with the resources they need to do their research under the best possible conditions, we make UF even more attractive to prospective new faculty members,” Dean Jerry said. “We are very grateful to the Dasburgs for their support.”
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