A former KU law professor will join the administration of Chancellor Robert Hemenway after working five years in the federal government.
A Justice Department lawyer said Monday that he would return to Kansas University in August to begin work as a special counselor to the chancellor.
Reggie Robinson, acting director of the department's Victims of Crime program, was a popular member of the KU law faculty from 1988 to 1993. He was among 17 people chosen for a one-year White House fellowship from 1993 to 1994 and was assigned to U.S. Atty. Gen. Janet Reno's staff.
He stayed at the Justice Department an additional four years to work on a variety of programs and projects.
Robinson, 40, said he expected to focus on the university's external affairs under the direction of KU Chancellor Robert Hemenway.
``My sense is that it will evolve over time,'' he said.
He had planned to devote only one or two years to federal service.
``I never intended to make a career out of government,'' said Robinson, who earned a bachelor's and law degree at KU. ``I thought I'd go, not necessarily come back to KU, but after a time in government, I'd go to something else.''
Robinson said he learned a valuable lesson from Reno. She stressed that the nation's best problem solvers were working in communities throughout the states, not inside the Beltway.
``The challenge is not to craft a better mouse trap from Washington, but to really listen to what communities want and help them do it,'' Robinson said. ``To the extent that Washington plays a useful role, it's identifying those innovate engineers around the country and then spreading the word.''
In addition to administrative duties at KU, law school Dean Michael Hoeflich said Robinson would be an adjunct professor of law. Robinson had taught civil rights, constitutional issues, torts and local government. He'll lead a seminar this fall on voting rights.
``Not many people have the experience he has with the Justice Department and how it works,'' Hoeflich said.
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