Professional News

Melynda Price named inaugural J. David Rosenberg Professor of Law

headshot photo of Melynda Price by windows
Melynda Price

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Sept. 14, 2022) — The University of Kentucky J. David Rosenberg College of Law is pleased to announce that Melynda J. Price, Ph.D., has been appointed as the inaugural J. David Rosenberg Professor of Law.

The Rosenberg Professorship is one of the elements of the 2019 Rosenberg Law Endowment created by alumnus J. David Rosenberg and his wife, Dianne, to provide the College of Law resources for students, faculty and programs. Rosenberg Professorships provide support to attract and retain faculty who “demonstrate intellectual excellence and promise, and an outstanding performance on behalf of the college.”

“Dr. Price’s accomplishments and contributions at the Rosenberg College of Law exemplify intellectual excellence and outstanding performance on behalf of the college,” UK Rosenberg Law Dean Mary J. Davis said. “She is an invaluable member of our world-class faculty. She is not only an excellent law professor but also a leader at the university and in our community.”

The dean made the appointment in consultation with the college’s elected Faculty Executive Committee.  

Price joined the law school faculty at UK in 2006 after completing a Ph.D. from the University of Michigan in political science and a law degree from the University of Texas. In addition to being a professor at the law school, she is currently director of the University of Kentucky Gaines Center for the Humanities.

Her scholarship has been published in a variety of peer-reviewed social science and law journals. She is the author of At the Cross:  Race, Religion and Citizenship in the Politics of the Death Penalty.” In 2017, she was named a University Research Professor, awarded by UK to faculty for outstanding research achievements.    

Price co-organized the 2019 Kentucky Law Journal Symposium on preservation of monuments, titled “Written in Stone: American Monuments and Monument Protection Laws,” with the proceedings published in the Kentucky Law Journal.

She continues to pursue scholarship in preservation techniques to educate the local Black community about the role of archives in cultural preservation. The primary focus of her research has been on race, gender and citizenship, the politics of punishment and the role of law in the politics of race and ethnicity in the U.S. and its borders. Her recent research projects explore services for Black victims of crime, building on her previous study of advocacy and support groups started by Black mothers of murdered children, which systematically examines the victims’ rights movement and victim services typically housed in prosecutors’ offices in response to critiques of inattentiveness to race and racism within the criminal justice system. Her research on Black victims and victim services in Kentucky is in progress. Her research will soon be published in The Journal of Race, Ethnicity and Politics and in The Sexual Politics of Black Churches.

Price was a 2016-17 fellow in the Law and Public Affairs Program at Princeton University. She serves on the UNited in True racial Equity (UNITE) Research Priority Area Advisory Board at the university.

In addition to her national and international research, Price is a prior recipient of the Robert M. and Joanne K. Duncan Excellence in Teaching Award, presented annually to a UK Rosenberg Law faculty member for excellence in the classroom.

As the state’s flagship, land-grant institution, the University of Kentucky exists to advance the Commonwealth. We do that by preparing the next generation of leaders — placing students at the heart of everything we do — and transforming the lives of Kentuckians through education, research and creative work, service and health care. We pride ourselves on being a catalyst for breakthroughs and a force for healing, a place where ingenuity unfolds. It's all made possible by our people — visionaries, disruptors and pioneers — who make up 200 academic programs, a $476.5 million research and development enterprise and a world-class medical center, all on one campus.   

In 2022, UK was ranked by Forbes as one of the “Best Employers for New Grads” and named a “Diversity Champion” by INSIGHT into Diversity, a testament to our commitment to advance Kentucky and create a community of belonging for everyone. While our mission looks different in many ways than it did in 1865, the vision of service to our Commonwealth and the world remains the same. We are the University for Kentucky.