Date: July 2, 2013
To: Members of the Columbia Law School Community
From: David Schizer
Subject: Ten Years
This week , I begin my tenth year as dean. As you may know, Columbia Law School enacted a ten-year term limit for deans more than four decades ago. I am honored to be the first since then to serve for ten years, and I am very proud of what we have achieved together so far.
Although this is a challenging time for legal education, our school is thriving. Our goal has been to produce scholarship that engages with the most important issues of our time, and to make our curriculum more connected to the profession, more interdisciplinary, and more international. To do so, we have added outstanding scholars and teachers to our faculty. Our full-time faculty is now twenty percent larger than it was nine years ago. Our student body this year will be about three percent larger than nine years ago, primarily reflecting an increase in our LL.M. enrollment to enhance the international influence of our school. As a result, our student-faculty ratio is the lowest it has ever been. This allows us to provide each student with more individual attention, and to pursue a broad range of innovations in our research and teaching. We have also added a new floor to Jerome Greene Hall, renovated classrooms and other spaces, maintained our exceptional job placement record in a challenging job market, and offered more generous support to students who work in government and public interest organizations over the summer and after graduation.
In all of these efforts, the unprecedented level of philanthropic support from our alumni and friends has been indispensable. In six of the past nine years, we have attracted at least twice as much in new cash and new pledges as we were receiving before I became dean; indeed, we reached this higher level every year except my first year and the two most difficult years of the financial crisis (2008-09 and 2009-10). I am profoundly grateful to all of you for the many ways in which your work strengthens our school.
The process for selecting a new dean will be underway soon. It has been an honor and a privilege to serve in this role for the past nine years, and I look forward to another successful year as we continue our work together to strengthen this magnificent law school and to promote freedom and opportunity through the rule of law.