Peter Yu was named the inaugural Kern Family chair of intellectual property law and director of the Intellectual Property Law Center at Drake University. He is currently associate professor of law at Michigan State University College of Law, and was the founding director of the schools Intellectual Property and Communications Law Program.

“Peter is an outstanding scholar and teacher, well known nationally and internationally,” said David Walker, dean of Drake Law School. “He has built two nationally ranked intellectual property law programs, and he shares our vision for a program at Drake that will not only provide an enhanced cirriculum in IP but also extend our reach to the international community of cutting edge issues of IP, especially biotechnology.”

The school is developing a program in intellectual property, with enhanced curriculum and emphasis on biotechnology and agricultural science that doubles the courses offered in IP law. The school will also be introducing students to more symposiums and lectures on IP law. Drake University Law School received a $750,000 leadership commitment from Pioneer Hi-Bred International, a subsidiary of DuPont to fund the new IP curriculum. And Yu’s position became possible after a $1.5 million endowment gift from Wayne and Donna Kern of Dallas, Texas. Wayne is a 1972 graduate of Drake Law School and was the former senior vice president for Heritage Communications Inc., before going on to a career in business, mergers and acquisitions.

Donna is a retired physician.

Yu will begin work at Drake University Law School this summer.

The new program will also feature a summer institute designed to draw both students and lawyers from foreign countries as well as the United States to Drake for sessions on intellectual property law. The first of these institutes is planned for summer 2008.