CUNY Law Dean Michelle Anderson Named President of Brooklyn College

The Board of Trustees of The City University of New York today appointed Michelle J. Anderson as the tenth President of Brooklyn College. She is presently the Dean and Professor of Law at the CUNY School of Law. Chancellor James B. Milliken recommended Dean Anderson’s appointment to the CUNY Board of Trustees after a national search.

In a joint statement, Board of Trustees Chairperson Benno Schmidt and Chancellor Milliken stated: “Dean Anderson brings to Brooklyn College a record of extraordinary academic leadership and success, a strong commitment to students, an exemplary record of public service and a deep belief in Brooklyn College’s mission of academic excellence and opportunity. She will build upon an exemplary foundation of student and faculty achievement nurtured and enhanced by President Karen Gould at an institution so vital to our State, City and nation."

Michelle J. Anderson

Michelle J. Anderson

The nomination was approved unanimously. The appointment is effective August 1, 2016.

Founded in 1930, Brooklyn College serves nearly 18,000 undergraduate and graduate students and was recently rated the number one “Best Bang for the Buck” college in America by Washington Monthly.

Dean Anderson succeeds Dr. Karen L. Gould, the first woman to serve as Brooklyn College’s president, who is retiring from a long and distinguished career in higher education administration. Trustee Barry F. Schwartz chaired the search committee, which included trustees, a CUNY college president, faculty members, students and alumni.

Dean Anderson has led the CUNY School of Law since 2006, overseeing a period of great renewal and transformation in development, facilities, programs, and recognition. During her tenure, CUNY Law strengthened its public interest mission, increased its academic standards and obtained PreLaw Magazine's ranking as the "Best Public Interest Law School" in the nation. In addition, the School had an unbroken string of national top ten U.S. News & World Report rankings for "Best Clinical Training," where it currently ranks third nationally. It also achieved Princeton Review's national top ten rankings for "Best Law Professors" and "Most Diverse Faculty"; and earned the National Jurist ranking as the second most diverse law school in the nation for both faculty and student body diversity.

Under Dean Anderson’s leadership, the CUNY School of Law moved from a converted junior high school building in Flushing, Queens, to a new LEED gold-certified facility in Long Island City. CUNY Law launched a number of groundbreaking initiatives, as well, including the Pipeline to Justice Program, the Incubator Program, the Community & Economic Development Clinic, the Center for Urban Environmental Reform, the Center on Latino and Latina Rights & Equality, and the Sorensen Center for International Peace and Justice.

Dean Anderson was a member of the New York City Bar Association’s Task Force on New Lawyers in a Changing Profession, and has written about the importance of matching underemployed attorneys with low and moderate-income communities that have great need for affordable legal services.

Dean Anderson is a leading scholar in the law of rape and sexual assault. Her research traces the history and evolution of rape law and offers new models for reform. She is an adviser to the American Law Institute’s project to reform the Model Penal Code on sexual offenses and a consultant to its campus sexual misconduct project. Her research has been published in the Yale Law Journal, Boston University Law Review, George Washington Law Review, Hastings Law Journal, Rutgers Law Review, Southern California Law Review, and the University of Illinois Law Review, among others. Prior to her decade as Dean of the CUNY School of Law, Dean Anderson was Professor of Law at Villanova University School of Law. She has also been a Visiting Professor of Law at Yale Law School, the University of Pittsburgh School of Law, and Georgetown University Law Center. She has also been a Visiting Scholar at the University of Cape Town, South Africa.

Dean Anderson is a 1989 honors graduate of the University of California, Santa Cruz, where she earned the Chancellor's Award for outstanding academic achievement. She earned her J.D. from Yale Law School in 1994, where she was Notes Editor of the Yale Law Journal. At Yale, she received research fellowships from the Orville H. Schell Center for International Human Rights and the Ford Foundation in Public International Law. Following law school, Dean Anderson clerked on the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit for Judge William A. Norris. She then worked at Georgetown University Law Center in the Appellate Litigation Program and Institute for Public Representation, where she earned an LL.M. in Advocacy and represented clients pursuing a range of civil rights claims and criminal appeals.

Dean Anderson was recently honored with City & State’s “Above & Beyond Award for Outstanding Women in Public Service” at the organization’s gala honoring the 25 most powerful women in New York who have demonstrated exemplary leadership in their field and made significant contributions to society. In 2014, she received the New York City Bar Association’s “Diversity and Inclusion Champion Award” for her critical role in initiating and sustaining change within the CUNY School of Law and the New York legal community. She has also been honored by the Feminist Press with the “Susan Rosenberg Zalk Award”; by Education Update newspaper with the “Distinguished Leader in Education Award”; and by the Center for Women in Government and Civil Society at the University of Albany, with its “Public Service Leadership Award.”

Brooklyn College students have won many prestigious awards and honors in recent years, including a Rhodes Scholarship as well as Fulbright, Truman, Mellon, Beinecke, Gilman, Watson, Tow and other national and international scholarships and fellowships.  The College was also listed among the most diverse campuses in the nation by Diverse Issues in Higher Education Magazine.

Brooklyn’s world-class faculty includes winners of numerous prestigious awards, honors and fellowships, as well as recipients of funding from leading institutions and foundations including the National Science Foundation, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, the National Institutes of Health and the Department of Education. Faculty members have also been honored with Grammy and Obie Awards in music and theater, as well as the Pulitzer Prize.

The College is located on a landscaped 35-acre campus that is considered one of the most beautiful in the country and features state-of-the-art facilities, studios, smart classrooms, laboratories and production and practice rooms.

During President Gould's tenure, Brooklyn College launched the Barry R. Feirstein Graduate School of Cinema at Steiner Studios at the Brooklyn Navy Yard, the first public graduate school of cinema in the city and the only school in America located on a working film lot. The Feirstein School is educating a diverse new generation of filmmakers in areas of demonstrated employment growth, offering affordable access while providing a pipeline of diverse talent and new voices to the industry.

Brooklyn College’s Leonard and Claire Tow Performing Arts Center is nearing completion and will provide an exceptional home with rehearsal, performance and production space for its award-winning performance programs. The West Quad Center, which opened in 2009, provides a central location for student services and athletics.

Brooklyn College is deep in the planning stages for the multi-million dollar Roosevelt Science Teaching Commons, which will offer state-of-the-art teaching and research facilities for Brooklyn’s programs in anthropology and archaeology, biology, chemistry, computer and information sciences, earth and environmental sciences, health and nutrition sciences, kinesiology, mathematics, physics, psychology, and speech and hearing sciences. The complex will be dedicated to promoting increased public understanding of science while engaging the community, both at the college and in the borough of Brooklyn.