From the Provost — June 7, 2018

College of Law Dean Alan Michaels to step down, return to faculty

Alan C. Michaels, the Edwin M. Cooperman Chair in Law, who has served as dean of the Moritz College of Law since 2008, announced today in a letter to the law school community that he has decided to step down on June 30, 2019.

"I will be forever thankful for the opportunity I have had to lead this extraordinary law school during the past decade and grateful to our wonderful community of faculty, staff and students," said Michaels. "The College of Law has accomplished a great deal and is poised for a dynamic future that I look forward to with great anticipation."  Upon completion of his tenure as dean in 2019, Michaels, a leading scholar of criminal law and procedure, will return to full-time teaching and scholarship at the University after a sabbatical leave.

Under Alan's leadership, the College of Law has been a national exemplar of the path forward for legal education.

-- Provost Bruce A. McPheron

The Ohio State University Executive Vice President and Provost Bruce A. McPheron commended Michaels on the College of Law's outstanding success through a very challenging period for legal education following the 2008 financial crisis. "Alan has maintained two priorities as dean: student outcomes and faculty excellence in teaching and research," said McPheron in announcing Michaels' continued service through the next academic year. "With inspired creativity under Alan's leadership, the College of Law has been a national exemplar of the path forward for legal education. Moritz is perfectly positioned to continue its advance as one of the nation’s great public law schools," McPheron added.

During Dean Michaels' tenure, the College of Law continually enhanced the strength of the training offered to students. Additions included: an augmented and nationally ranked program on legal writing and analysis, an entrepreneurial business law clinic, expanded upper-level practice experiences for students interested in transactional work, and new elective credits in the first year, for which students can opt for practice or perspective classes. The College of Law also launched a first-of-its-kind Corporate Fellows Program that provides outstanding post-graduate work modeled on a medical residency, along with a Public Service Fellows counterpart. Together, these programs have launched outstanding careers for more than 100 graduates. The college also created a pipeline into the technological field of alternative legal service providers. Collectively, these and other programs have consistently placed Moritz in the nation's top twenty law schools in employment outcomes, including the top five among public law schools.

Alan Michaels

With the college's momentum powered by a series of record-breaking years in fundraising (including successful completion of the law school's $36 million portion of the But for Ohio State campaign) and the recruitment of twenty-one new faculty members and an increasingly diversified staff, research excellence has been a college hallmark under Dean Michaels' leadership. Ohio State's difference-making research continued in its long-time areas of national prominence, such as election law and alternative dispute resolution, and, with the foundation of the Program on Data and Governance, the Drug Enforcement and Policy Center, and the Program on Law, Finance and Governance, the College has expanded its impact in cutting-edge areas of the law. This success has been enhanced by integration with other colleges at Ohio State, including new jointly appointed faculty with the Colleges of Arts and Sciences, Engineering, and Public Health, and new joint ventures with the College of Social Work, the John Glenn College of Public Affairs, and the College of Medicine.

Throughout these and other college accomplishments, Dean Michaels has led a constant focus on keeping costs as low as possible for students without compromising excellence. Creative internal and external partnerships and a continuous scan for new approaches have simultaneously allowed for doubling student aid, very moderate tuition growth, and the rare law school in fiscal balance in today’s environment.

The university will conduct a national search to identify the next dean of the College of Law. "Given the great success under Dean Michaels, this will be an outstanding opportunity to continue the momentum of the college in leading excellence and impact among public law schools," said McPheron.