Loyola University Chicago

Office of the President

Appointment of Michèle Alexandre, JD, as New Dean of Loyola’s School of Law

January 27, 2022

Dear Loyola Community,

We are pleased to announce that Michèle Alexandre, JD, has been appointed dean of the Loyola University Chicago School of Law, effective July 15, 2022.

A recipient of Fulbright and Watson fellowships, Dean Alexandre has devoted her career and scholarship to civil rights law, including issues of sustainability, economic independence, gender equity, and social justice. Her service for and with those on the margins is in alignment with Loyola’s Jesuit, Catholic mission and values.

Dean Alexandre will play a critical leadership role in preparing our students in the School of Law to be ethical advocates for justice and equity in an increasingly diverse and interdependent world.

She brings to Loyola two decades of higher education experience from several institutions including Stetson University College of Law, where she serves as dean and professor of law. Prior to her leadership and academic roles at Stetson, she worked at the University of Mississippi, where she launched the Race and Sustainability Conference addressing issues affecting the livelihood of poor populations in Mississippi and the Southern region.

Dean Alexandre previously taught at the University of Memphis Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law, American College of Law, the University of Baltimore School of Law, the University of Houston Law Center and Seton Hall University School of Law’s Cairo Summer Program.

She has authored numerous law review articles, book chapters, op-eds, and textbooks including “The New Frontiers of Civil Rights Litigation” and “Sexploitation: Sexual Profiling and the Illusion of Gender.” Among others, her publications appear in the Duke Journal of Gender Law and Policy, the UCLA Chicano/a-Latino/a Law Review, the Oxford Round Table’s Forum on Public Policy, the Boston College Journal of Environmental Affairs Law Review, the William and Mary Journal of Women and the Law, and the University of Pennsylvania Journal of Law and Social Change. As an expert in her areas of research, Alexandre has lectured nationally and abroad on topics including poverty, race, gender, and disability.

Her professional background also includes serving as a civil rights attorney with Chestnut Sanders Sanders Pettaway Campbell & Albright L.L.C. in Selma, Alabama, where she litigated discrimination cases, including both iterations of the historic Black Farmers’ class action litigation. She has also held positions as an associate attorney in the Corporate Real Estate Department of the Debevoise & Plimpton law firm and a law clerk for the Hon. John P. Fullam, U.S. Eastern District Court of Pennsylvania. 

A respected leader and change agent in the community, Dean Alexandre was named one of Ebony Magazine's Top 100 influential African Americans of 2013 and one of the 50 “Most Influential Minority Law Professors 50 Years of Age or Younger” by Lawyers of Color Magazine. She received her Juris Doctor from Harvard Law School and her Bachelor of Arts, summa cum laude, from Colgate University—where she was the first-ever Black valedictorian.

In addition to welcoming Dean Alexandre to our Loyola community, we extend our deep appreciation to School of Law Dean Search Committee members. In particular, we thank Search Committee Chair Stephen Rushin, JD, PhD, the Judge Hubert Louis Will Professor of Law at Loyola’s School of Law, and the Committee members who demonstrated dedication and care in helping us arrive at this important appointment for Loyola’s School of Law.

SEARCH COMMITTEE MEMBERS

  • Samuel Brunson, JD, professor of law, School of Law
  • Maya Crim, MEd, assistant dean for JD admissions and scholarships, School of Law
  • Lindsay Dunbar, JD, assistant dean for graduate and online education, School of Law
  • Le’Loni English '22, candidate for JD, School of Law
  • Cynthia Ho, JD, research professor and director, intellectual property program, School of Law
  • Patricia Lee, JD, professor of business law; director, Business Law Clinic; executive director, Business Law Center 
  • Markeda Newell, PhD, interim dean, associate professor of school psychology, School of Education 
  • Steven Ramirez, JD, professor of law, director, Business Law Center, School of Law
  • Stephen Rushin, JD, PhD, professor of law, School of Law
  • Nadia Sawicki, JD, professor of law, co-director of the Beazley Institute for Health Law and Policy
  • Tanya Woods, JD '13, executive director, Westside Justice Center

We are also grateful to a wide range of faculty, staff/administrators, students, and alumni across the University community who provided feedback and participated in listening sessions. Loyola’s School of Law received many applications from highly qualified candidates across the country, resulting in a strong, competitive, and diverse applicant pool. Dean Alexandre impressed the search committee with her enthusiasm, vision, published research and lifelong dedication to civil rights. Her career embodies Loyola’s School of Law’s dedication to social justice.

Until Dean Alexandre’s arrival, Zelda B. Harris will continue to serve as interim dean of the School of Law and will transition back to her academic role this summer. A Mary Ann G. McMorrow Professor of Law, Interim Dean Harris joined our School of Law faculty in 2012 as director of the Dan K. Webb Center for Advocacy and was appointed associate dean of academic affairs in 2018. We extend our community’s deepest appreciation to Interim Dean Harris for her numerous contributions and service to the University and our law school and for the exemplary care she has shown to our students, faculty, staff, and alumni during this important time.

Please join us in congratulating Dean Alexandre on her appointment to this significant position. As a teacher, administrator, advocate, and expert, she has been a person for others throughout her life. We trust that these qualities, combined with her experience and passion for excellence in education, will further the School of Law’s ambitious commitment to transformation, intersectionality, and anti-subordination in teaching, research, scholarship, and public service.

Sincerely,

Jo Ann Rooney, JD, LLM, EdD
President

Margaret Faut Callahan, CRNA, PhD, FNAP, FAAN
Provost and Chief Academic Officer