President and Dean Alicia Ouellette to Complete Final Year of Contract, Step Down

By Ben Meyers
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After leading Albany Law School through some of its most difficult days, President and Dean Alicia Ouellette ’94 will complete the final year of her contract and then step down on June 30, 2023 after a nearly nine-year tenure.

Alicia Ouellette

“With the Law School moving in a positive direction on all fronts, I believe now is the time to begin a transition to new leadership,” Ouellette said in a letter to the law school community. “It’s an exciting time for Albany Law School, and I believe we will benefit when a new leader takes the helm with fresh ideas, energy, and inspiration to further elevate our school.”

Read more directly from the Dean here.

The law school is currently preparing to begin a formal nationwide search.

After a sabbatical, Ouellette plans to stay with the law school and return to full-time. 

“I love nothing more than working with our extraordinary students; I hope I can contribute meaningfully in that role,” she said.

“We are extraordinarily grateful to Dean Ouellette for her exemplary service to the entire Albany Law School community,” said Deb B. Treyz ’77, Chair of the Board of Trustees. “Dean Ouellette’s leadership of Albany Law School has been truly transformative.”

Ouellette took over as Dean in October 2014 before being officially named as President and Dean by the Board of Trustees as the 18th person to hold the position in January 2015. 

Dean Ouellette will continue to lead Albany Law for the next year and is pursuing several important initiatives including the launch of a new strategic plan, creation of new programs, and fundraising initiatives. Her time at Albany Law to date has been truly transformational. Her signature accomplishments include:

  • Creation a new Strategic Plan for the law school that led to historic growth in the size, diversity and quality of the student body 
  • Graduation of over 1,000 students who are now leading attorneys in public offices and private firms, presiding judges, CEOs, entrepreneurs, advocates, and serving clients around the world
  • Completion of the historic “We Rise Together” Campaign which brought $33 million to the law school (the most in the school’s history)
  • Navigation of the law school through a once-in-a-century global pandemic with a transition to fully remote teaching and back again
  • Successful completion of a Middle States Commission on Higher Education accreditation process in 2020 that began in 2016
  • Launch of the Online Graduate Programs which now has five academic disciplines and continues to grow
  • A bar passage rate for first-time takers routinely in the mid-80% (including a 14.5% jump in 2016) which outpaces the New York State average
  • An employment rate routinely around 90% for first-year graduates joining law firms, government positions, public interest work, businesses, and industry
  • A visit by sitting Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor in April 2017 for Kate Stoneman Day
  • Countless academic citations, leadership positions, and media appearances across the country 
  • Creation of a formal academic partnership with the University at Albany

“Given that we have so much work to do in the months ahead, I am not going to spend time now reflecting on the past eight years. There will be plenty of time for reflection this time next year. I will, however, take a moment to thank each one of you for the support and confidence you’ve shown me and our school.  We have accomplished an awful lot together. And we have much work to do ahead,” Ouellette said.

In recognition for her work, and among many other accolades, she was named the recipient of the 2022 Academic Laureate Award from the University at Albany Foundation.

Prior to her appointment as President and Dean, she served as Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and Intellectual Life and a Professor of Law. Before joining the law school in 2001, Dean Ouellette was an Assistant Solicitor General in the New York State Attorney General’s Office and a law clerk to the Honorable Howard A. Levine at the New York Court of Appeals.

As a scholar, Dean Ouellette focuses on health law, disability rights, family law, children’s rights, and human reproduction. Her book, BIOETHICS AND DISABILITY: TOWARD A DISABILITY CONSCIOUS BIOETHICS, was published in 2011 by Cambridge University Press. She has authored numerous articles published in academic journals such as the American Journal of Law and Medicine, American Journal of Bioethics, Nevada Law Journal, Hastings Law Journal, Indiana Law Journal, and Oregon Law Review.

She has presented to distinguished audiences around the globe, including at the Yale School of Medicine and the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland.

Dean Ouellette has served in leadership positions for numerous professional and community organizations, including as chair of the Association of American Law Schools (AALS) Section for Deans, secretary and a board member for the Commission on Independent Colleges and Universities (CICU), secretary and a board member for the Burdett Birthing Center in Troy, N.Y., and a board member for the University at Albany’s Institute for Health and Human Rights.

An alumna of Hamilton College, Dean Ouellette graduated magna cum laude in 1994 from Albany Law School, where she was editor-in-chief of the Albany Law Review.