IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law seeks a visionary and decisive leader to build on the school’s history of excellence and innovation in legal education. The Dean must engage effectively with all Chicago-Kent stakeholders, including faculty, alumni, students, staff, and practitioners in the fields of law, business, technology and policy, to strategically implement his or her vision for Chicago-Kent’s future. The Dean will report to the Illinois Institute of Technology (“IIT”) Provost, Peter Kilpatrick, and be responsible for the law school’s academic programs, operating budget, personnel management, strategic planning, public relations and fundraising.
Founded in 1888, IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law has a long history of excellence in providing rigorous, innovative legal training to a diverse student body. Chicago-Kent is located in downtown Chicago, in the heart of Chicago’s business community. For the past 40 years, Chicago-Kent has committed itself to nurturing an engaged, productive, and vibrant scholarly faculty. It has also established a reputation as among the nation’s leading law schools in the areas of innovation, intellectual property, advocacy, law and technology, and legal writing. Its alumni thrive in the Chicago legal market. The school benefits from its unique position within a technical university and from its central location in one of the most vibrant cities in the world.
The new Dean’s primary responsibility will be to build on Chicago-Kent’s foundation of excellent legal education and high-quality faculty scholarship.
Essential qualifications for this position include:
Vision. The new Dean must understand the challenges of modern legal education and locate new opportunities for educational innovation while also developing Chicago-Kent’s unique strengths. The new Dean also must be committed to producing graduates who are not just attorneys skilled in contemporary legal practice, but also engaged professionals dedicated to the advancement of the law, legal practice, and society.
Exceptional Leadership Skills. The new Dean will need to lead the Chicago-Kent community in a collaborative effort to create and execute a strategic mission for the school. Chicago-Kent’s faculty members are eager to work with a leader who is energetic, creative, supportive, and able to inspire the law school community. The new Dean will need to find effective ways to continue to publicize the law school’s exceptional qualities to prospective students, alumni, employers, judges, and faculty at other law schools.
Collaborative Skills. The new Dean will have a powerful voice in the development of collaborative activities linking the law school with the university’s other colleges and schools and will need to work effectively with Illinois Tech’s administrative and academic leaders.
A Commitment to Diversity. Chicago-Kent is and always has been a diverse, eclectic, and heterogeneous community. From its inception, the law school has served Chicago’s immigrant and working class communities. It accepted women and students of color from the beginning, graduating its first African-American woman in 1894. Today, Chicago-Kent continues to be dedicated to providing opportunities for all, regardless of race, class, sex, religion, national origin, citizenship status, disability, age, sexual orientation, or gender identity. The new Dean must be committed to that diversity and eager to promote its advantages.
Interpersonal Skills. The new Dean must be able to effectively engage diverse constituencies. Inside the law school, this includes students, faculty, and staff. Outside the law school, this includes alumni, practitioners in the fields of law, business, and technology, community leaders, policymakers, and leaders of other educational institutions.
A Commitment to Institutional Development. The new Dean will be expected to maintain close relationships with the Chicago-Kent alumni and donor community to bolster their support for the school, maintain and enhance current sources of revenue for the school while also identifying potential new ones, and capitalize on the law school’s location in one of the nation’s most vibrant legal markets.
The Illinois Institute of Technology
IIT is a medium-sized, independent, non-sectarian, coeducational urban university emphasizing education for the professions, research and scholarship. Its academic programs are organized into eight colleges, institutes and schools: Chicago-Kent College of Law, Armour College of Engineering, the College of Architecture, Lewis College of Human Sciences, the College of Science, the Institute of Design, the School of Applied Technology, and Stuart School of Business. The University has four campuses. The Main Campus, designed by renowned architect Mies van der Rohe, is located approximately 3 miles south of Chicago’s Loop, on 120 acres of land. The downtown campus, a state-of-the-art modern facility, houses the law school and programs for the schools of business and design. There are also two satellite campuses for the School of Applied Technology and the Institute for Food Safety and Health.
IIT has an undergraduate enrollment of approximately 2,750 students and a (non-JD) graduate enrollment of approximately 3,800 students. Both populations are very diverse, with approximately 15% of undergraduates and 60% of graduate students classified as international students. Since its founding in 1940, Illinois Tech has prided itself on providing affordable, practical education for those eager to pursue it. IIT ranks #2 in the nation for overall student upward mobility, #1 in Illinois for mid-career earning power, and #1 in Chicago for occupational earning power.
The Chicago-Kent College of Law
Chicago-Kent College of Law has a student body of approximately 820 students, including almost 90 LLM and JSD students. Most are enrolled in the full-time day division; a considerably smaller group are enrolled in the part-time (evening) division. Chicago-Kent students routinely report positive to extremely positive levels of satisfaction with their Chicago-Kent education, and the school’s bar passage rate is consistently the third best in the city, behind only the University of Chicago and Northwestern University law schools.
Of the law school’s 59 full-time faculty members, 33 are tenure or tenure-track, 10 are legal writing professors, 9 are clinical professors and 7 others have long-term contracts. The tenured and tenure track faculty members stand out for the depth and quality of their scholarship. Chicago-Kent faculty publish more in top journals, are asked to participate more in scholarly conferences and asked to visit at top-tier schools far more than any other Chicago law school with which it competes for students. Chicago-Kent consistently ranks in the top 50 law school faculties for scholarly impact.
The full-time legal writing, advocacy, experiential, and clinical professors are comparably accomplished. Chicago-Kent has the largest full-time faculty dedicated to first year legal writing in Chicago, and the legal writing program enjoys a well-deserved reputation as the best in the city. Full-time faculty direct appellate and trial advocacy programs that are both ranked in the top 10 nationally. The C-K Law Group, a group of seven practicing attorney faculty members, offers students an opportunity to choose between different clinical practice areas. In 1976, Chicago-Kent became the first law school in the country to develop a law-firm style legal clinic, funded by client fees. This innovative decision allows the Chicago-Kent clinic to thrive today, even as other schools struggle with the cost of clinical education.
Nominations and applications will be accepted until the position is filled. Applicants should send a letter of interest and a CV. All inquiries, nominations, and applications will be treated in a confidential manner and the candidate will be alerted prior to any reference checks being conducted. All correspondence relating to the position should be directed to:
Professor Christopher W. Schmidt
Chair, Chicago-Kent Dean Search Committee
565 West Adams Street
Chicago, IL 60661-3691
Illinois Institute of Technology is an EEO/AA/Title VI/Title IX/Section 504/ADA/ADEA employer committed to enhancing equity, inclusion and diversity within its community. It actively seeks applications from women, minorities, individuals with disabilities, veterans and other underrepresented groups. All qualified applicants will receive equal consideration.
Diversity at Chicago-Kent