From faculty receiving national recognition to recruiting an acclaimed filmmaker, the Duke community has announced several changes in the past week.

Appointment from the Law School

David F. Levi—dean of the Duke School of Law—has been appointed chair of the American Bar Association's Standing Committee on the American Judicial System.

"I am pleased and honored to be chosen by [the president of the ABA],” Levi said in Duke Law News press release. "I look forward to working on these issues with this new committee, with my fellow co-chairs, with ABA leadership and staff and with our profession as a whole."

The appointment was made by ABA President William C. Hubbard.

"This new committee will be a focal point of the ABA's efforts to protect our nation's courts and secure the fair, efficient, and accountable administration of justice,” Hubbard said in the release. “Dean Levi's talent and experience as a lawyer, judge and dean, together with his remarkable and renowned leadership, make him uniquely qualified to assume this important responsibility for the ABA, our judicial system, and our nation."

Levi has served as the dean of the Law School since 2007, after earning his law degree from Stanford Law School in 1980. Prior to this, he was appointed United States Attorney by President Ronald Reagan in 1986 and a United States district judge by President George H. W. Bush in 1990.

The role of the Standing Committee, according to the ABA website, is to promote public awareness of the values of an independent, accountable and efficient judiciary. Levi will lead several subcommittees, including the subcommittees on federal courts and state courts, to carry out this goal.

Acclaimed filmmaker comes to Duke

The Center for Documentary Studies, in conjunction with the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, will be welcoming Marco Williams to the position of 2014–15 Lehman Brady Visiting Joint Chair Professor in Documentary Studies and American Studies.

Williams, a New York filmmaker and professor, has won several accolades for his films, including the 2014 Guggenheim Fellowship for his ongoing project about racial homicide.

In a press release from CDS, Guggenheim's statement said his works "challenge the status quo, [and] an audience’s comfort level, to interrogate and investigate our collective psyche as Americans."

Williams will be teaching a joint Duke-UNC course called Documenting Personal Narrative. According to the press release, this course focuses on creating documentaries from personal and communal relationships.

Williams expects that this class will be different from ones he taught in the past, both in physical setting and student diversity.

"I’m looking forward to the intimacy that I think characterizes the South," he said in the press release. "I’m also looking forward to the chance to engage students who come from a diverse course of study. I think that’s going to be great, and challenging for me as an educator.”