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April 22, 2013

Chris Eisgruber and Lawyer-University Presidents

Congratulations to Chris Eisgruber--a fellow member of the law and religion guild--upon his election as the 20th President of Princeton University. Eisgruber's book (co-authored with Larry Sager) Religious Freedom and the Constitution (Harvard, 2010) has been a formidable contribution to the field (especially for those of us who disagree with aspects of it), and Chris has been a generous conversation partner at many law and religion gatherings.

This also continues an interesting story about lawyers being tapped for university presidencies. With some notable exceptions (Robert Maynard Hutchins and Kingman Brewster come to mind), it seems to me there was a longtime bias against JDs (or LLBs in a bygone era) serving as presidents of elite institutions, but there is a trend over the past few decades in the other direction--Lee Bollinger, James Freedman, and Derek Bok are just a few examples. Why? My guess is that it's a significant marker of the acceptance of legal scholarship as a research field in the wider academy and the skills that lawyers often bring to such administrative positions--and, of course, the talents of the individual candidates.

Posted by Michael Moreland on April 22, 2013 at 01:30 PM in Moreland, Michael | Permalink

Comments

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And don't forget John Garvey of the prestigious Catholic University of America...

Posted by: CLS | Apr 22, 2013 2:21:55 PM

And Joel Seligman, University of Rochester

Posted by: Timothy | Apr 23, 2013 8:11:46 AM

Chris Eisgruber of course has been a high-level university administrator for some years, but he regularly attends and contributes to the Annual Law and Religion Roundtable-- unusual and impressive for someone with heavy administrative duties, I think.

Posted by: Steve Smith | Apr 23, 2013 7:48:01 PM

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