Stuart Subotnick ‘68, Chairman of Brooklyn Law School's Board of Trustees, announced today that President Joan G. Wexler will be stepping down from her position as President on June 30, 2013, and will become Dean and President Emerita. President Wexler, who will remain a tenured faculty member, will begin a two-year sabbatical in July 2013, during which time she will continue to assist the Law School with regard to certain real estate matters.
“Joan Wexler has devoted her heart and soul for the past three decades to the Law School’s affairs, leaving it in much stronger condition – academically, physically, and financially – than it was when she began her extraordinary tenure,” Mr. Subotnick said. “Joan’s accomplishments as Dean and President have been transformational – perhaps unsurpassed in the history of the Law School. Every year that she was Dean and President was one of advancement for the institution.”
President Wexler was Brooklyn Law School’s first female Dean, and one of the first in the country. She served the Law School as Dean from 1994 until 2010, and for the last three years she has served as its President. “I count my leadership of the outstanding community that is Brooklyn Law School among my proudest accomplishments,” President Wexler said.
“Joan Wexler is a true pioneer and innovator and she deserves enormous credit for the Law School’s progress,” Mr. Subotnick added. “Over the course of her 16-year deanship, Brooklyn Law School achieved new heights in every key area. From the look of the Law School, to the richness of the curriculum, to the caliber of the faculty and students, her imprint is everywhere. I am confident that the Law School will continue to thrive under the current leadership team.”
President Wexler was a remarkable fundraiser and steward of the financial resources of Brooklyn Law School. Under her leadership, the school’s assets rose from $46 million to $262 million and its endowment grew from $20 million to $120 million while financial aid to students dramatically increased. She added 78 endowed scholarships, more than doubling the number created during the School’s previous 93-year history. She expanded the campus, increasing the number of students housed from 62 to 554 and the number of faculty housed from 5 to 17. She enhanced Brooklyn Law School’s academic reputation through the addition of its first 11 named faculty chairs, three new centers of excellence, seven study abroad programs, over 100 new courses, and four named lectures and symposia series. She was relentless in helping students obtain jobs and prestigious judicial clerkships. She developed a grant program to allow students to accept public service internships. She conceived, developed, and supervised the creation of Feil Hall, Brooklyn Law School’s award-winning 22-story residence building, designed by the world-renowned architect, Robert A.M. Stern. In addition, she was instrumental in building a strong administrative infrastructure for Brooklyn Law School, professionalizing the administrative offices, and creating new offices such as the Offices of External Affairs and Information Technology.
“Joan Wexler is an inspiration to legal educators everywhere and to me personally,” said Mr. Subotnick. “I want to underscore the Board of Trustees’ great appreciation for an extraordinary job well done. We are grateful for her singular dedication, innumerable contributions, and effective leadership.”