Elliott Milstein is calling it quits as dean of the Washington College of Law. A 22-year AU veteran in his seventh year as dean, Milstein will step aside at the end of the 1994-95 academic year for his as-yet unnamed successor. He will remain in WCL as a professor.
As the longest-serving dean in WCL history, Milstein said he has mixed feelings about leaving, but it was the right decision for himself.
“It’s time,” he said. “It’s definitely time.”
After serving as WCL dean for six years, Milstein served as Interim President for the 1993-94 academic year. After the conclusion of the official presidential search, Milstein resumed his stewardship of WCL with the arrival of President Ben Ladner July 1.
Milstein said that he came to the conclusion to step down on his own accord, and without outside pressure.
“The transition (from the interim presidency) gave me time to pause,” Milstein said. “It gave me insights into (projects) I could be doing and time to think about alternatives.”
WCL Director of International Legal Studies Claudio Grossman served as interim dean while Milstein was leading the university. Both he and Deputy Dean Andrew Popper said Milstein has accomplished a lot during his tenure as dean.
“The average life of a dean is three and a half years,” Grossman said. “Milstein will have served for seven years when he steps down ... What you are witnessing here is a success story. We are moving forward.”
According to Milstein and his colleagues, WCL has experienced tremendous growth and success during his stewardship. The international law program has flourished, Milstein said, and the school’s image as a whole has improved. The numbers of women and minorities in the school have increased as well, and, according to Grossman, LSAT scores have been steadily climbing over the past few years.
Milstein said that under his leadership the pool of applicants to the law school has increased to fifth in the country. Grossman underlined that the dean had brought in a tremendous amount of money for the law school during his tenure.
Milstein said he thinks his greatest success was the recent acquisition of the Spring Valley Center building to house the new WCL. The building will undergo extensive renovation before the WCL takes up residence for the 1995-96 school year.
According to university guidelines, a search committee comprised of students, faculty and administrators will be formed this fall to begin looking for Milstein’s successor. Milstein said he will not take part in the selection process.
After he leaves, Milstein said he plans to take a one-year sabbatical before returning to AU to teach.
“I’d like to find a project that is both intellectually stimulating and does some good in the world,” he said.