Mitchell Hamline School of Law President and Dean Mark C. Gordon announced that he will be stepping down from the role he has held since 2015, effective June 30, 2019.
“We have accomplished everything we set out to do when I accepted this position in 2015 and agreed to lead the combination of William Mitchell College of Law and Hamline University School of Law,” Gordon said. “We have successfully combined as an institution; we are the national leader in innovation in legal education; we have introduced new curricular innovations; we have enhanced our financial strength; and we have expanded diversity significantly at the school.”
“None of these accomplishments would have been possible,” Gordon added, “without the incomparable faculty, administrators, staff, and students at Mitchell Hamline. They truly are the best guarantee of the future success of the school.”
“Dean Gordon has been the right leader to oversee the merger of our institutions, and the entire board of trustees joins me in expressing our sincere gratitude to him,” said Lisa A. Gray, chair of the Mitchell Hamline board. “Under Dean Gordon’s leadership, the school not only successfully navigated through a time when many law schools were struggling, it also became a national leader in innovation in legal education. We aimed to and succeeded in providing a world-class education for our students. The school is well-prepared to address the changing world of legal education and to prepare our students for successful careers. As we look for new leadership, students and faculty should be aware that educating the next generation of leaders and legal practitioners is our top priority.”
Since the combination, Mitchell Hamline School of Law has become nationally recognized for its blended learning programs, which enable students to remain living and working in their communities while studying law both online and on-campus. The school now offers online certificate programs for both lawyers and non-lawyers alike in a range of areas. Additionally, the school has increased student enrollment and expanded its outreach into the community.
Gordon noted that he looks forward to a one-year sabbatical, “furthering my passion for diversity and inclusion in education for students with disadvantaged backgrounds both locally and nationally. I am particularly interested in ways that we can help youth from foster care and a range of other disadvantaged backgrounds access higher education and enable them to transform the trajectory of their lives.” After completing his sabbatical, Gordon plans to return to Mitchell Hamline as a tenured professor of law.
The board of trustees will announce appointment of an acting dean to begin serving upon Gordon’s departure this summer, and it will undertake a national search for a new president and dean, with the expectation of naming one to begin in July of 2020.