Wayne State University Law School dean steps down

November 2, 2012

Robert Ackerman has announced that he will not seek reappointment to another five-year term as dean of the Wayne State University Law School this spring. Instead, he will assume full-time teaching duties at Wayne Law during the fall 2013 semester. For personal reasons, Ackerman has requested that an acting dean be appointed to take on administrative responsibilities immediately.

Ackerman will formally step down effective Nov. 28, 2012, the last day of law classes this semester.

Ackerman, who teaches courses in torts and dispute resolution, has been dean since May 2008. During his tenure he has led the Law School in the development of the Transnational Environmental Law Clinic, the Asylum and Immigration Law Clinic, and the Program for International Legal Studies. He has secured funding for Public Interest Law Fellowships, and he has assisted in strengthening the Law School’s faculty by hiring a number of outstanding legal scholars and practitioners. Just over a year ago, Ackerman presided over the grand opening ceremony for the Damon J. Keith Center for Civil Rights, a project he and a number of Wayne Law faculty members, alumni and friends helped make a reality.

“It has been an honor to serve as Wayne Law’s dean for the past several years,” Ackerman said. “We have become a leader in clinical education, public interest and civil rights law, and international law. Exciting programs are under way in business and entrepreneurship. I look forward to joining the ranks of our full-time faculty and spending more time with our wonderful students.”

John Rothchild, associate dean and associate professor of law, will serve as acting dean until an interim dean is named. The search for a permanent dean will begin soon. Rothchild, who received his law degree from the University of Pennsylvania Law School, has been a member of the Wayne Law faculty since 2001. He is co-author of “Internet Commerce,” a law school casebook published by Fountain Press, which has been adopted for classroom teaching at more than 30 law schools.

Wayne State University is a premier urban research institution offering more than 370 academic programs through 13 schools and colleges to nearly 29,000 students.