NYU Law dean Trevor Morrison to resign

Trevor Morrison, a tenured dean at NYU’s School of Law, announced that he will step down at the end of the current academic year after nine years as dean.


via nyu.edu

NYU Law Dean Trevor Morrison will be stepping down at the end of the academic year. He has held the position since 2013. (Image via nyu.edu)

Kristian Burt, Contributing Writer

Dean Trevor Morrison of the NYU School of Law announced Oct. 7 that he will be stepping down at the end of the 2021-22 academic year in an email to the law school community.

Morrison has held the position since 2013 and was the 15th dean of NYU Law. He plans to take a sabbatical and return to the university as a full-time law professor during the 2023-24 academic year.

NYU will begin a search for the new law dean. Similar searches for new leadership are also being conducted at the Gallatin School of Individualized Study and the College of Arts and Science. 

NYU President Andrew Hamilton, Provost Katherine Fleming and David Tanner, chair of the NYU Law Board of Trustees, released a statement regarding Morrison’s resignation.

“If the mark of a successful deanship is whether the school is in a better place at the end than at the beginning of one’s service, then Trevor’s has been a great and proud feat,” the statement reads.

The resignation comes a month after NYU Law completed its Lead The Way fundraising campaign, which lasted eight years and raised $540 million — one of the largest amounts raised by a single law institution. The funds will be distributed to increase student financial aid, construct new buildings and hire faculty.

“You know a lot about the dean — they’re the people you look at when you’re looking at the law school,” said Dawson Galluzzi, a second-year law student. “He’s been in the role for a while now, but it is always a little disappointing when they leave. He’s going on a sabbatical, so I hope that he gets a good break.”

Morrison, the first dean in the history of the school to be an outside hire, replaced Richard Revesz in 2013. As dean, Morrison recruited 17 new tenured faculty, added 15 new research centers, and hired additional security and support systems for the law community. 

Prior to his appointment as dean, Morrison served as the Liviu Librescu Professor of Law at Columbia University and was chosen as an associate counsel to former President Barack Obama. He now serves on the Presidential Commission on the Supreme Court of the United States.

Recently, Morrison led the school through the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic and orchestrated a full return to campus in the fall 2021 semester. He also worked to create the NYU Law COVID-19 Hardship Fund to increase financial support to students during the pandemic.

Serving as the Dean of NYU Law is the best job I have ever had, but strong institutions are made stronger by successful leadership transitions, and now is the right time for that to happen here,” Morrison wrote in the email. “The future of NYU Law is dazzlingly bright.”

Rachel Cohen contributed reporting.

Contact Kristian Burt at [email protected].