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.

The University of Kentucky is increasingly the first choice for students, faculty and staff to pursue their passions and their professional goals. In the last two years, Forbes has named UK among the best employers for diversity, and INSIGHT into Diversity recognized us as a Diversity Champion four years running. UK is ranked among the top 30 campuses in the nation for LGBTQ* inclusion and safety. UK has been judged a “Great College to Work for" three years in a row, and UK is among only 22 universities in the country on Forbes' list of "America's Best Employers."  We are ranked among the top 10 percent of public institutions for research expenditures — a tangible symbol of our breadth and depth as a university focused on discovery that changes lives and communities. And our patients know and appreciate the fact that UK HealthCare has been named the state’s top hospital for five straight years. Accolades and honors are great. But they are more important for what they represent: the idea that creating a community of belonging and commitment to excellence is how we honor our mission to be not simply the University of Kentucky, but the University for Kentucky.