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Benjamin B. Ullem

Attorney Benjamin Ullem named dean of Drake Law School

Benjamin B. Ullem, a senior partner
at the Des Moines law firm of Whitfield & Eddy PLC, has been appointed to a
one-year term as dean of Drake University Law School.

Ullem, a 1966 Drake graduate who
earned his law degree from Drake in 1969, will begin his new position on June
9. He will succeed longtime Law School Dean David S. Walker, who will take a
yearlong sabbatical and then return to the faculty.  

In announcing the appointment,
Drake Provost Ron Troyer said, “Ben Ullem has long been an ardent
supporter of the Drake Law School and he has ably served the University as a
volunteer for many years.

“I am delighted that such a
highly respected member of the legal community has agreed to serve as dean
while our nationwide search continues for a permanent Law School leader. He
brings the passion and skills needed at this moment in our history.”

Ullem has a long and distinguished
record of service to Drake. He has been a member of the University’s governing
board since 1992 and chaired the board from 2000-2003. He will take a leave of
absence from the board while serving as dean.

In addition, Ullem has been chair
of the Drake Law School Board of Counselors and president of the Drake National
Alumni Association Board. He chaired Drake’s National Commission II, which
helped plan the University’s successful $130 million fundraising campaign. He
also led the Law School’s $30 million fundraising effort in that campaign.

He has received Drake’s Alumni
Loyalty Award and Distinguished Service Award — the highest honor given to
Drake alumni.

“Being the dean offers me an
opportunity to serve my Law School and enhance its leadership in legal
education,” Ullem said. “Drake Law School is such a tremendous
contributor to the Iowa and national legal scene that I want to become a part
of it.”

Ullem has been with Whitfield
& Eddy since 1969. The firm, which was founded in 1928, now has 53
attorneys and was honored last year for providing 500 hours of pro bono work to
the Polk County Bar Association’s Volunteer Lawyers Project. 

A certified mediator, Ullem is
active in the Polk County Bar Association, Iowa Bar Association and American
Bar Association. He is a member of the Surety Claims Institute, National Bond
Claims Association and the Fidelity and Surety Law Committee of the ABA. His
practice includes business law, construction law, corporate law, fidelity and
surety law, insurance, real estate and mergers and acquisitions.

In addition to his professional
activities, Ullem has been involved in community service as past president of
the Des Moines Jaycees and a former member of the board of directors of the
Greater Des Moines Partnership. He also was a member of the inaugural class of
the Greater Des Moines Leadership Institute.