January 16, 2003

Teitelbaum Resigns as Law School Dean

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Lee E. Teitelbaum, Allan R. Tessler Dean of Cornell Law School will leave Cornell at the end of this academic year. Teitelbaum has been dean of the Law School since he came to Cornell in July of 1999.

In a letter he sent on Nov. 26 to the law school’s staff and faculty, Teitelbaum announced his resignation and discussed some of the changes that the law school has undergone during his tenure as dean.

“The Law School is on a sound financial basis, with faculty salaries now at the average for our peer schools and reserves for additional faculty that will permit further growth,” Teitelbaum wrote. “The International and Comparative Law program has expanded its reach as well as its visibility through the East Asia program, and commitments of substantial financial support (both immediate and endowed) will support new developments.”

He also cited a substantial increase in the yield on admissions, which has risen from 19 percent to 27 percent during Teitelbaum’s tenure, an increase he attributed to, among other things, a successful campaign to establish merit scholarships, culminating in the addition of $6 million to the endowment for scholarships.

Teitelbaum also noted the importance of cross-disciplinary teaching, which he described in an interview as including “jointly taught courses with faculty in other departments.” The law school has offered classes with teachers from the College of Industrial and Labor Relations, the College of Arts and Sciences and the Johnson Graduate School of Management.

“It involves scholarship that brings more than one disciplinary perspective to bear,” Teitelbaum said. “We have people on our staff who teach law and economics, legal history, law and anthropology and law and psychology.”

Other accomplishments include plans to launch a new journal, The Journal of Empirical Legal Studies, next year, adding three new staff members and two new chairs and renovating the school — “bringing all the classrooms up to date, technologically and otherwise,” Teitelbaum said.

“Lee Teitelbaum has been an excellent dean of Cornell Law School for the past four years,” President Hunter R. Rawlings III stated in a press release. “Our law school is in excellent condition, to which he contributed substantially, and I am confident that we will be able to recruit a superb successor to Dean Teitelbaum.”

Teitelbaum cited “compelling family reasons” as the cause of his resignation. Teitelbaum will return of the University of Utah College of Law as a member of their faculty. He taught there from 1986 until 1999 and was dean from 1990 until 1998.

“I have enjoyed working with Lee and appreciate his contributions, not only to the Law School, but also to the university as a whole,” Provost Biddy (Carolyn A.) Martin said in a press release. She added that there will be a committee formed to search for his successor.

Archived article by David Hillis