Florian 'Bart' Bartosic, Former UC Davis School of Law Dean, Dies at 85
Florian "Bart" Bartosic, Dean of UC Davis School of Law from 1980-1990, has died. A prominent labor lawyer and esteemed scholar and teacher, Bartosic played an integral role in King Hall's growth and rise to national prominence during the 1980s. He was 85 years old. A beloved teacher and colleague, his loss will be mourned throughout the King Hall community.
Bartosic earned a B.A. from The Pontifical College Josephinum in Ohio in 1948 and studied theology there until 1950. After two years in the U.S. Army, he earned a B.C.L. (J.D.) degree from the College of William and Mary in 1956, and an LL.M. from Yale Law School in 1957. He worked briefly as an attorney for the National Labor Relations Board and then for two years as staff director of the Board of Monitors of the Teamsters Union. Later, he was hired by Teamsters President Jimmy Hoffa as counsel for the union. (Bartosic was at work on a book on Hoffa, which remained unfinished at the time of his death.)
During the 1960s, Bartosic continued to work as an attorney, primarily for the Teamsters, and taught as a visiting scholar at Harvard and Stanford law schools. He also taught law at Catholic University, George Washington University, the University of Michigan, the University of Virginia, and the University of Utrecht in the Netherlands. He was an active participant in the Civil Rights movement. He entered academia full-time in 1971, joining the faculty at Wayne State University Law School. He was elected to the American Law Institute in 1974 and became a lifetime member in 1999.
In 1980, Bartosic was appointed Dean of UC Davis School of Law following a national search. Bartosic oversaw the hiring of several outstanding faculty members and an impressive rise in UC Davis School of Law's national status. Though the Law School relied completely on state funding for operating expenses when he assumed his duties in 1980, Bartosic foresaw the need for private support, establishing an annual alumni fund drive and other fundraising measures that helped to found a Law School endowment, provide scholarships and lectureships, and launch the King Hall Loan Repayment Assistance Program (LRAP). He also oversaw the establishment of Edward L. Barrett Professorship, the Law School's first endowed chair, and was instrumental in launching the Perfect Tender Co-op for students with children.
In 1990, the UC Davis Law Review published "In Honor of Florian Bartosic," a tribute to Bartosic's work as Dean including contributions from Professors Edgar Bodenheimer, William Fessler, and Gary Goodpaster. "No single person is responsible for all that Davis has become, but in my estimation, much of it is due to Bart Bartosic," Goodpaster wrote. "In many ways, most of them silent and often unnoticed, he shaped and guided the development of the school, building soundly, stably, patiently... In my perception, now having been on the faculty almost twenty years, no one else could have done it, and it was most splendidly done."
Bartosic's career also included considerable professional activity, such as service as secretary of the ABA Labor Law Section, membership in the California Judicial Advisory Committee and the Board of Michigan's Legal Services Corporation, and service as a hearing referee for the Michigan Civil Rights Commission and the Michigan Employment Relations Commission. He also served on the panel of arbitrators of the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service and the American Arbitration Association. In addition to the American Law Institute, he was a member of the Order of the Coif, the Society of Professionals in Dispute Resolution, the International Society of Labor Law and Social Security, the Industrial Relations Research Association, and the International Industrial Relations Research Association.
Bartosic retired from teaching in 1992, but was brought back to teach courses on several occasions until 1998, when health problems prevented him from continuing. He was named as the recipient of the Law School's Distinguished Teaching Award in 1998. His legacy as a scholar includes a prolific list of publications on labor law and other subjects, including his book, Labor Relations Law in the Private Sector. His influence on generations of King Hall faculty, students, and staff is immeasurable.
In a statement published in the Law School's Counselor magazine shortly following his retirement as Dean, Bartosic summarized his legal philosophy: "What makes for justice is one's legal consciousness, one's commitment to freedom, equality, dignity, and security as the rights not of some but of all."
UC Davis Law Review article: "In Honor of Florian Bartosic"