Loyola Chicago University School of Law has named longtime faculty member Michael Kaufman as its new dean, effective immediately.
Kaufman has served as interim dean since July, after former Dean David Yellen left to become the president of Marist College. Kaufman, an expert in education law and securities regulation, has been on the faculty of the Chicago law school since 1986. He was the associate dean for academic affairs for more than a decade before taking on the interim dean role last year.
“We are confident that his unwavering commitment to excellence, innovation, social justice, and the abiding values of the School of Law and Loyola University Chicago will allow the law school to flourish in new and exciting ways,” said University Provost John Pelissero in an announcement of Kaufman’s appointment.
Kaufman has focused much of his efforts on educational diversity and access to quality education. While an associate dean, he spearheaded the law school’s Weekend JD Program, a first-of-its kind offering at a law school that allows students to attend classes primarily on weekends, with one-third of the coursework offered through distance education. That program debuted in the fall of 2016. Administrators expected an enrollment of 25 to 30 students, but it has proven more popular: 43 enrolled in the initial cohort.
Kaufman also founded the law school’s Education Law and Policy Institute and its Institute for Investor Protection. He still directs both.
“Working together, we can build upon our strengths — including our vital Jesuit mission and legacy of extraordinary leadership — to improve legal education and the legal profession while also shaping the future of justice,” Kaufman said.
In addition to his work in legal education, Kaufman is a lifelong Chicago Cubs fan who followed the 2016 World Series with the fatalistic outlook the team’s supporters are known for. Only this time, the Lovable Losers actually won.