Feminist Law Prof Michelle Anderson has announced that she will be stepping down as the Dean at CUNY Law School at the end of this academic year. Here is an excerpt from the email she sent to the CUNY community:
After 10 years at CUNY Law, I have decided to step down as dean at the end of this academic year. It has been an honor to serve this great institution alongside you—the faculty, staff, students, and alumni—and I count the extraordinary work we have done together as the highlight of my professional life.
When I was appointed, you told me of your dreams for the law school’s future. You said the school needed a new building in a more strategic location, a part-time program, a higher New York State Bar Exam pass rate, a stronger reputation, and a deeper commitment to our mission of diversifying the legal profession and serving the underprivileged. Together, we have accomplished much.
In 2012, we moved to a gorgeous building in an accessible location, and this year we launched a robust part-time program. Over the last five years, CUNY Law graduates reached a high of 84% and an average of 77% on the Bar. We enhanced our mission with terrific new courses, clinics, and centers, but I want to highlight our Pipeline to Justice Program, inaugurated in the fall of 2006, which continues to enhance the diversity of our student body today.
All the while, we have maintained our outstanding, top-10 U.S. News & World Report annual rankings for “Best Clinical Training.” (This year, we are third in the nation, a high water mark.) Over the past nine years, we have also been ranked as the best public interest law school in the nation, the second most diverse law school student body, and among the top 10 in the nation for best law professors, most diverse faculty, and highest percentage of public service and public interest employment. These accolades, embodying the spirit of CUNY Law, would not have happened without your deep commitment to the school. That commitment is one of the things that makes CUNY Law special, and it will be as valuable to the next dean as it has been to me.
To make the transition as seamless as possible, CUNY Board of Trustees Chair Benno Schmidt and CUNY Chancellor J.B. Milliken are convening a search committee to find a new dean before I step down in June. As with all decanal searches, the committee will seek input from our community, particularly from the faculty.
I am looking forward to joining the faculty to write and teach. The chancellor has also asked me to consider some assignments in the future that will provide an opportunity for me to continue to contribute to university-wide initiatives to which I’m committed. For now, though, I am focused on working with you to solidify our part-time program and expand our curricular offerings, including new experiential opportunities and joint degree programs. There is much to do, and I have no doubt we will accomplish it together.