Meet the Deans

Meet the Deans

Dean of the College of Law

Dean Melanie D. Wilson, the Lindsay Young Distinguished Professor of Law, began her tenure as dean of the College of Law in 2015.

Wilson earned a JD (magna cum laude and Order of the Coif) from the University of Georgia School of Law. She holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism with a minor in business, also from the University of Georgia.

She previously served as professor of law, associate dean for academic affairs, and director of diversity and inclusion at the University of Kansas School of Law.

Before entering academia, Wilson clerked for a federal district court judge and enjoyed thirteen years of law practice in both the private and public sectors, including six years as an assistant United States attorney and four years as an assistant attorney general for the state of Georgia.

As an academic, Wilson enjoys both teaching and scholarship. She received the Howard M. and Susan Immel Award for Teaching Excellence at the University of Kansas School of Law in 2011 and was named Outstanding Woman Educator of 2015 by the University of Kansas. She also co-authored three books on criminal procedure and has published more than a dozen articles and essays addressing prosecutorial ethics and the Fourth and Sixth Amendments.

Associate Dean for Faculty Development

Teri Baxter practiced in the litigation and appellate sections in the Houston office of Locke Liddell & Sapp LLP (now Locke Lord LLP) for five years before joining the faculty at Saint Louis University School of Law in 2002. While there, she taught Contracts, Commercial Law, and Secured Transactions as well as seminars focused on the Fourth Amendment, Privacy, and Family Law issues.

In 2013, Baxter joined the University of Tennessee College of Law, where she continues to teach Secured Transactions and a Family and Privacy seminar, but has added Constitutional Law, and Torts. These new courses provide a great fit with her scholarly focus on family, privacy, and related constitutional issues.

Associate Dean for Academic Affairs

Alex Long was named associate dean for academic affairs in 2015. He came to the University of Tennessee College of Law in 2007 after teaching at the Oklahoma City University School of Law for five years. He began his teaching career at the West Virginia University College of Law, where he taught Contracts, Disability Law, and Legal Research & Writing. Before entering academia, Long was an associate in the labor group of the Clarksburg, West Virginia office of Steptoe & Johnson.

Long teaches and writes in the areas of torts, professional responsibility, employment law, and disability law. His scholarship in this area has been published in numerous journals, including the Minnesota Law Review, Washington Law Review, Washington & Lee Law Review, and the Georgetown Journal of Legal Ethics. He is also the co-author of casebooks on Advanced Torts and Professional Responsibility.

Associate Dean for Library & Technology Services

Scott Childs joined the UT College of Law in 2011 from the University of North Carolina School of Law where he was the deputy director at the Katherine R. Everett Law Library and a Clinical Professor of Law since 2007. At UNC Law, he served as assistant director for public services since 2001, managing law library public services and coordinating the advanced legal research courses.

Prior to joining the staff at UNC Law, Childs served as head of reference at the Paul M. Hebert Law Center at the Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge, and was both a reference librarian and headed the collection development at  Cornell Law School.

Professor Childs began his legal career with the Legal Services Corporation of Alabama, serving as a Staff Attorney and then as a Senior Staff Attorney until 1995.

Assistant Dean for Student Affairs

Katrice Morgan serves as UT College of Law’s first Director of Diversity and Inclusion. She was appointed to the position in August 2015 and has worked at the college as the Assistant Dean for Student Affairs since 2007.

Prior to her work with the College of Law, Morgan served UT as Assistant Director of Advising Services for the College of Arts and Sciences from 1999 to 2001. Morgan was also an assistant district attorney general for the Sixth Judicial District of Tennessee from 2001 to 2007.

A native of Knoxville, Morgan holds a bachelor’s degree in English from UT and a law degree from the Loyola University New Orleans College of Law.

Assistant Dean for Finance, Administration, and Operations

Teresa Peterson joined the College of Law in 1983 and oversees the College of Law business office.

Prior to her work with the College of Law, she worked in the accounting office at Lakeshore Mental Health Institute.

A native of Knoxville, Peterson holds a bachelor’s degree in bachelor of science in business administration with a concentration in human resource management from the University of Tennessee. She has served on several committees of the American Bar Association and the Association of American Law Schools.