Monday, July 6, 2020

College of Law appoints new interim dean

January 10, 2020
“The Magna Carta: Enduring Legacy 1215 -2015” by The American Bar Association in conjunction with the U.S. Library of Congress is displayed in the College of Law on Feb. 12, 2019.
“The Magna Carta: Enduring Legacy 1215 -2015” by The American Bar Association in conjunction with the U.S. Library of Congress is displayed in the College of Law on Feb. 12, 2019. —
Photo by Annie Barker | The State News

The College of Law appointed Melanie B. Jacobs as interim dean. Previously she was senior associate dean for academic affairs and professor of law.

Former Dean Lawrence Ponoroff returned to faculty effective Dec. 31, 2019. 

“I've been in this position, I think for a week. But bear in mind, I've been on the faculty here since 2002. So, it's my 18th year here at MSU. But so far the week is going well,” Jacobs said. “I feel incredibly grateful to have lots of very kind support from students and faculty and staff. So, it's making the transition much smoother.”

Jacobs has more than 20 years of experience in teaching law. She joined the MSU College of Law faculty in 2002. 

This transition also comes as the College of Law continues the process of fully integrating with Michigan State University. This process began in fall 2018 and is expected to be completed in August 2020. 

“We already have a fabulous law school. We're already part of MSU,” Jacobs said. “But this is a way in which we can provide our students and our faculty with even more opportunity. So, I'm really excited as we complete this integration process, to think through greater opportunities for our students and faculty, and also for students and faculty across campus to do more with us. I mean, it works in both directions. So, I just think this is it's just a very exciting time.” 

The College of Law is currently a private law school affiliated with MSU, but has separate administrative practices and governing board. 

The prior Dean Ponoroff served as dean of the college for the past three and a half years but stepped down due to personal reasons. 

College faculty are continuing to work alongside the MSU provost office to find a permanent dean. 

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