Search for the Allan R. Tessler Dean of the Law School

Cornell University invites nominations and applications for a visionary and dynamic leader to serve as the Allan R. Tessler Dean of Cornell Law School.

The Opportunity: Since its founding in 1887 as Cornell’s Department of Law, and renamed in 1925 as Cornell Law School, the School has produced numerous groundbreaking advances in legal education and scholarly work. Its history of excellence includes contributions across all fields of legal study and a distinguished record of transcending traditional boundaries. Cornell Law School is a remarkable community of scholars, educators, students, staff, and alumni who are deeply influenced by proud traditions and a set of cherished founding principles. Reporting to the Provost and serving as the Chief Academic Officer of the School, the Dean will set a bold and ambitious vision that builds on its powerful legacy and harnesses the talent and creativity of the community to solidify its position as one of the world’s preeminent legal institutions. The Dean will support and inspire a dynamic and accomplished faculty and advance innovative scholarship that addresses the most pressing challenges facing the legal world. Cornell Law School is distinguished by its deep-rooted commitment to outreach and engagement, and the Dean will continue to build partnerships and promote interdisciplinary efforts that serve its global mission of benefiting humanity and society. The School seeks an outstanding scholar and a collegial but decisive leader to propel the institution forward. The Dean must be an exceptional communicator who is skillful at building relationships with internal and external partners. The Dean will bring a considerable record of administrative leadership and must possess the ability to represent the School compellingly with a variety of audiences, including alumni and supporters. For more information about Cornell Law School, please visit

Cornell University: Unique among its Ivy League peers, Cornell is a private university with a land-grant mission. It is a world-class research institution known for the breadth and rigor of its curricula, and an academy dedicated to preparing young people to be well-educated and well-rounded citizens of the world. Cornell’s faculty, staff, and students believe in the critical importance of knowledge—both theoretical and applied—as a means of improving the human condition and solving the world’s problems. It embraces traditional liberal arts education, practical applications of knowledge, and interdisciplinary and collaborative approaches to research and teaching. It champions free and open intellectual inquiry and expression, treats all individuals with dignity and respect, celebrates difference and values diversity, fosters a sense of belonging, and remains open and accessible to all who meet its high academic standards.

How to Apply: Cornell University has retained the services of the executive search firm Korn Ferry to conduct this important search. All inquiries, nominations, and applications (consisting of a full-length curriculum vitae and a letter of interest indicating your motivation to apply for the role and your relevant experience) should be submitted to Korn Ferry at the e-mail address below. For priority consideration, please submit application materials in confidence by March 10, 2021.

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Contact Information

Comments, questions, nominations and applications should be directed to the Search Committee at All inquiries and materials will be held in confidence.

Search Committee

Name Title
Avery August, Co-Chair Vice Provost for Academic Affairs
Alex Colvin, Co-Chair Kenneth F. Kahn Dean of the School of Industrial and Labor Relations
Mike Dorf Robert S. Stevens Professor of Law
Valerie Hans Charles F. Rechlin Professor of Law
Maggie Gardner Associate Professor of Law
James Grimmelmann Tessler Family Professor of Digital and Information Law
Beth Lyon Clinical Professor of Law; Associate Dean for Experiential Education and Clinical Program Director
Brad Wendel Edwin H. Woodruff Professor of Law
Michelle Whelan Clinical Professor of Law
Markeisha Miner Dean of Students
Heather Mitchell JD ’96 – Global General Counsel for Investment, The Carlyle Group
Laura Wilkinson MBA ’85, JD ’86 – Cornell Trustee, Associate General Counsel-Global Antitrust at PayPal, Inc.
Eirene Kim President, Cornell Law Students Association and Senior Assistant Judicial Codes Counselor