Dean David Schizer sent an email to Columbia Law School alumni this morning mentioning that he is approaching the end of his ten year term. (I didn't realize that there is a ten year limit on deans at Columbia, nor did I realize he'd been there so long. For some reason the past nine years have gone by very, very quickly.)
This is an exciting time for Columbia, difficult as things are in legal education and law practice more generally. And my sense -- gathered from afar -- is that Schizer has been incredibly good for the law school. I've heard about his dedication to helping students find jobs, to helping/encouraging faculty to do great work in the classroom and in their research and service, and to expanding Columbia's engagement with the legal community. Cribbing now a little from Dean Schizer's letter:
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.
I'm sure the competition for this deanship will be fierce. It'll be most interesting to see what happens.