Stanford Law School (SLS) Dean M. Elizabeth Magill will leave the University in summer 2019 to assume the role of provost at the University of Virginia (UVA), Stanford News reported late last week. Magill will be the first woman to hold the position at UVA, where she earned her law degree in 1995.
“Serving as provost at the University of Virginia is in many ways a dream come true for me,” Magill told UVA Law News and Media. “The University and Charlottesville communities always have been special for me and my family. I look forward to working with President Ryan, J.J. and our outstanding deans, faculty, staff and students as we forge ahead and continue the University’s leading role in public higher education, research and service.”
Magill has served as the 13th SLS dean since 2012, after spending the previous 15 years as a faculty member at UVA’s law school. Magill also clerked for U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
As SLS dean, Magill helped form new programs such as the Global Initiative — which seeks to prepare students for transnational legal situations — and the Law & Policy Lab, which provides students with an opportunity to “counsel real-world clients in an array of areas, including education, copyright and patent reform, public enterprises in developing countries, policing and technology, and energy policy.” Magill also helped organize discussion seminars hosted in faculty members’ homes, where students and faculty could discuss topics in small settings.
“Both Stanford Law School and Stanford University as a whole have benefited from Liz’s sharp and strategic mind, her thoughtful decision-making rooted in institutional values, her relentless personal drive, and her care and concern for the well-being of everyone in the community,” said University President Marc Tessier-Lavigne to Stanford News. “We are proud of her contributions to Stanford and of the innovations the law school has pursued under her leadership.”
In addition to leading new programs, Magill oversaw significant faculty hiring efforts. SLS hired 19 faculty members under her watch, making up almost 30 percent of the faculty today. Magill also increased fundraising efforts and promoted increased engagement from both current students and alumni. SLS broke fundraising records in three of six years under Magill, as the Law Fund saw its most successful fundraising year ever in 2017.
“It has been a daily privilege to lead Stanford Law School these past six years,” Magill told Stanford News. “Stanford took a chance on me, and I have considered it the professional opportunity of a lifetime to serve as dean at this exceptional law school and play a role at this remarkable university. Thanks to the collective efforts of the faculty and staff here, SLS is in a very strong position, and I can’t wait to see the direction it takes under future leadership.”
Magill refined SLS’s commitment to supplying students with postgraduate public interest fellowships. In fact, 12 such fellowships were awarded this year, spanning fields such as criminal justice and international law. Magill contributed significantly to long-range planning efforts over the past two years, while continuing to advance campus diversity and inclusion. She served as co-chair of the Provost’s Task Force on Sexual Assault Policies and Practices from 2014-15.
Following summer consultations with SLS faculty, Provost Persis Drell will initiate the search for a new dean in September.