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July 1, 2011

Michael Moffitt begins tenure as Oregon Law Dean

Moffitt to serve as school's 20th dean

Michael Moffitt, the 20th dean in the more than 125-year history of the University of Oregon School of Law, officially took office on Friday, July 1. He succeeds Margie Paris, who served as dean since 2006. Dean Michael Moffitt

Moffitt, a nationally-recognized expert in mediation and dispute resolution, has served on faculty of the School of Law since 2001. He has also been the associate director of the law school’s Appropriate Dispute Resolution Center, and has served as the law school’s associate dean for academic affairs.

“It will be a privilege to serve as dean and to work with the faculty, administrators, students and alumni of Oregon,” Moffitt said. “Together we can build on the school’s academic excellence, student success, and public service. Our graduates face an evolving economic and professional landscape. I am grateful to be at a world-class research university and to work with colleagues who will embrace the opportunities facing modern legal education.”

Prior to joining the UO faculty, Moffitt served as clinical supervisor of the mediation program at Harvard Law School. He taught negotiation at both Harvard and The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law.

“I fundamentally believe in higher education, and in the transformative potential of legal education in particular,” Moffitt said. “I look forward to leading a law school that celebrates its successes, is relentlessly aspirational, and is entrepreneurial about legal education.”

Moffitt served as a law clerk in U.S. District Court in Ohio, then was a senior consultant for Conflict Management Group, providing strategic assistance around the world to public and private organizations in negotiation and conflict situations.

“Michael Moffitt brings all the qualities we contemplated when our search began for the next law school dean,” said UO Senior Vice President and Provost Jim Bean. “He is innovative, dynamic and has demonstrated the ability to work collaboratively to broaden our academic successes. We fully expect that he will lead the School of Law to new heights.”

Moffitt is author of two books and more than 20 articles in law reviews and specialty journals. He has mediated the terms of seven contracts for public school teachers and school districts around Oregon, including the Springfield School District and Eugene School District 4J.

Gerry Gaydos, a Eugene lawyer and member of the search committee that helped select the new dean, said Moffitt stood out for his ability to attract “top-flight new faculty” to the law school and his role in leading the Appropriate Dispute Resolution Center to national prominence.

“As a leading practitioner of dispute resolution, he has been an outstanding resource to the community and the Oregon Bar,” Gaydos said.

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