Scott M. Matheson Jr. has been appointed dean of the University of Utah College of Law.

The U. Board of Trustees ratified the appointment Wednesday.Matheson, 44, has been associated with the law school since 1985, when he joined its faculty. Matheson said he was honored by the appointment, noting the college's tradition of excellent teaching and research.

"I welcome the opportunity to build upon the many successes achieved under Dean (Lee) Teitelbaum," he said.

From 1989-90, Matheson was a visiting professor at the Harvard University John F. Kennedy School of Government. In 1988, on leave from the U., Matheson worked as a deputy Salt Lake County attorney.

He then returned to the U. College of Law where he taught until he was appointed U.S. attorney in 1993. He served in that capacity until November 1997, when he returned to the law school to teach.

Matheson earned his law degree from Yale University in 1980. He also holds a bachelor's degree in economics from Stanford University and studied two years at Magdalen College at Oxford University as a Rhodes Scholar.

Upon graduation from law school, Matheson worked as attorney for the Washington, D.C. law firm Williams & Connolly.

He managed the successful 1976 and 1980 gubernatorial campaigns of his late father, Gov. Scott M. Matheson.

He also ran President Clinton's campaign in Utah in 1992. He was chief legislative assistant to Rep. Wayne Owens, D-Utah, from January to September 1974.

Matheson is the grandson of Utah's U.S. attorney during the Harry S. Truman administration.

Teitelbaum, who served eight years as dean, will step down June 30. After a year's sabbatical, Teitelbaum plans to return to teaching at the law school.

"Taking all things into account - Scott's unusual breadth of administrative experience, intellectual quality of a very high order, close friendship with a host of important scholars across the country, long and warm relations within Utah, energy, personal modesty and unfailing integrity - I believe the College of Law has found the ideal person to lead us in the coming years," Teitelbaum said of the appointment.