Joseph A. Matson Dean and Professor of Law G. Marcus Cole has been reappointed to lead Notre Dame Law School for another five-year term.
John McGreevy, the Charles and Jill Fischer Provost of the University of Notre Dame, announced Cole’s reappointment as dean on Tuesday in an email to Law School faculty and staff.
Cole is the 11th dean in the history of Notre Dame Law School. His first term as dean began on July 1, 2019, and will conclude on June 30, 2024.
In less than four years at Notre Dame Law School, his list of accomplishments includes establishing the groundbreaking Religious Liberty Initiative and Religious Liberty Clinic, opening the Exoneration Justice Clinic, and expanding the Law School’s international programs through his Global Lawyering Initiative.
He has also overseen the enrollment of the most-diverse classes ever at Notre Dame Law School — 33% of the students who enrolled in fall 2021 are people of color, and 36% of the students who enrolled in fall 2022 are people of color.
An eight-person committee consisting of four Law School faculty members, two faculty members from other academic departments on campus, one law student, and one representative from the provost’s office conducted a review of Cole’s first term as dean. The committee completed its review at the end of the spring semester and submitted their recommendations to the provost, who consulted several other constituencies such as the Law Advisory Council and additional Notre Dame leaders. McGreevy then recommended to University President Rev. John Jenkins, C.S.C., that Cole be reappointed.
“I’m happy to report that Fr. Jenkins approved my recommendation, and Marcus has accepted our offer to serve another term as dean,” McGreevy wrote.
“The committee highlighted Marcus’s many achievements, including work on religious liberty, invigorating our global lawyer program, and hiring and tenuring faculty of high quality,” McGreevy added. “He’s been an eloquent spokesman for the Law School and its distinctive vision, and he’s recruited diverse student classes.”
Cole taught and researched at Stanford Law School from 1997 to 2019 before coming to Notre Dame to serve as dean. At Stanford, he held two endowed chairs and taught courses in the areas of bankruptcy, banking, contracts, and venture capital.
He earned his bachelor’s degree in applied economics from Cornell University and his juris doctor from Northwestern University, where he served as editor-in-chief of the Northwestern Journal of International Law and Business. He clerked for Judge Morris Sheppard Arnold of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit and was an associate with the Chicago law firm of Mayer Brown prior to joining the Stanford faculty.
After his reappointment as dean was announced, he said, “I am the most blessed man in the world that I get to be part of this amazing community as we strive to be a force for good in service to God, His people, and Our Lady’s University.”