Michigan State University College of Law names Jacobs interim dean

Melanie B. Jacobs, senior associate dean for academic affairs and professor of law, has been named interim dean of the Michigan State University College of Law as Dean Lawrence Ponoroff returned to the faculty, effective Dec. 31, 2019.

Jacobs, a respected member of the legal academic community, brings more than 20 years of experience in teaching law to the interim role. The transition comes as the College of Law continues the process of fully integrating with Michigan State University.

“I joined the MSU College of Law faculty in 2002 and am proud to call MSU home,” Jacobs said. “I am deeply committed to our students, faculty, staff, and alumni and feel privileged to lead our school during this period of transition. I am excited for the promise and opportunities the integration holds for our students and faculty.”

The integration process began in Fall 2018 and will support a high-quality education for students as well as enhance administrative services. The college currently is a private law school affiliated with MSU, but with a separate governing board and administrative practices. Full integration is expected to be complete in August 2020.

Ponoroff, who stepped down for personal reasons, served as dean of the college for the past three and a half years.

“Dean Ponoroff has been a great partner throughout the integration process,” said Thomas Jeitschko, dean of MSU’s Graduate School and associate provost who is overseeing the law school’s full integration into MSU. “He is stepping down just as the critically important transition of all staff and faculty to MSU is being successfully completed. All other aspects of the integration are on course, and we anticipate a successfully completed integration in August 2020.”

Faculty from the college will work with MSU’s provost office to hire a permanent dean.


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