Mark C. Gordon, a respected educator and innovator with nearly 30 years of experience in higher education and public service, is the first president and dean at Mitchell Hamline School of Law.
He took over July 1 as the 25th president and dean at William Mitchell College of Law and assumed the leadership of Mitchell Hamline after ABA acquiescence was granted in December for the combination of William Mitchell and Hamline University School of Law.
Before coming to St. Paul, Gordon spent six years as president of Defiance College, a private liberal-arts college in Defiance, Ohio. Before that, he was dean of the University of Detroit Mercy School of Law for seven years.
Gordon brings with him a record of innovative leadership. At both Defiance and Detroit Mercy, he expanded the recruitment of entering students, increased the diversity of the student body, and gave students expanded opportunities for public service, hands-on experience, and international study.
In 2013, Defiance was ranked in the top 20 schools nationally for community service and engagement. During Gordon’s tenure at Detroit Mercy, enrollment nearly doubled and the school received national recognition for its success helping students get jobs in major national law firms.
He praised the possibilities inherent in the Mitchell Hamline combination. “It takes two really, really strong institutions which have tremendous individual strengths and puts them together in a way so that, as one, we’re going to be able to compete on a national level in a way that neither institution could do separately.”
Most law schools are cutting back these days, Gordon said. “We’re expanding faculty, we’re increasing the number of course offerings, we’re increasing the number of electives, we’re increasing the number of clinics, and we are dramatically expanding the alumni network. That’s an incredible thing, and it gives us the opportunity to become recognized as the model of 21st century legal education.”
Gordon’s career also includes serving as an associate professor in the School of International and Public Affairs at Columbia University, as general deputy assistant secretary in the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, and on the staff of former New York Governor Mario Cuomo.
Gordon graduated magna cum laude with a juris doctor from Harvard Law School. He holds a master’s degree in international affairs and a bachelor’s degree in political science from Columbia University.