William H. Farnham joined the Faculty of the Law School in 1926 where he served until 1964. He twice served as Secretary of the Law School; and from 1942-43, Acting Dean of the Law School. In that capacity, he kept the school in session on a year-round basis, providing the foundation for managing the influx of the large number of veterans in the late 1940s.
He became Dean of the University Faculty in 1952 and provided outstanding leadership in strengthening the Faculty’s role in the governance of the University. He presided with care and precision over the Faculty’s complex committee system, and saw to it that the Faculty’s viewpoint on basic questions of educational policy was clearly and effectively communicated to the President and the Board of Trustees. That ability was especially important because during his tenure, the fundamental question of control over student affairs came into sharp focus.
Professor Farnham passed away in Ithaca on August 14, 1985.