ORANGE, Calif., September 2, 2015 — Tom Campbell, dean of Chapman University’s Dale E. Fowler School of Law since 2011, has made the request to step down at the end of this academic year and return to teaching, Chapman Chancellor Daniele Struppa has announced.

“It is truly with mixed emotions that I would like to announce that Tom Campbell has asked to return to the faculty at the completion of his term, which expires this coming spring,” said Chancellor Struppa in announcing the news to the Chapman campus community. “I say mixed emotions, because Tom has been an invaluable partner, a wonderful colleague, and a trusted friend for the last several years. I wish he had decided otherwise, but I respect and appreciate his desire to go back to his faculty role, and to enjoy his research and share his passion for teaching.”

A search committee has been formed to seek a new dean for the Fowler School of Law.

Tom Campbell, a former five-term Republican U.S. Congressman and former member of the California State Senate, arrived at Chapman as a visiting professor of law in January 2009, after having served as dean of the Haas School of Business at the University of California, Berkeley, and on the faculties at Berkeley and at Stanford Law School. He became dean of the then-Chapman University School of Law two years later, in February 2011.  Almost immediately, he engaged the law faculty and board of advisors in the development of a strategic plan for the law school. Over a year in the making, that plan focused on a practice-ready initiative, to provide law students with practical skills training. In this, the Fowler School of Law was ahead of the California State Bar and the American Bar Association, each of which subsequently established requirements for enhanced skills training.  The Fowler School of Law has initiated laboratory skills training courses for all first-year students in the process of civil litigation and for all second year students in transactional law.

In addition, five upper-level courses have practitioners teaching a laboratory part of the doctrinal course. With the help of the Advisory Board, Dean Campbell was able to endow a fund to pay for these practicing attorneys to be a regular part of the law school curriculum. The practice-ready approach has also helped open doors for employment for Fowler graduates, as the local practicing attorneys teaching the laboratory sections become familiar with our students.

The LL.M. program at Fowler School of Law grew under Dean Campbell’s leadership, offering advanced training for California attorneys, but expanding even more the number of foreign attorneys and law professors pursuing their master’s in law at Fowler. This has provided an international component to many courses, as the LL.M. students add a perspective from different legal practices in other countries.

Another of Dean Campbell’s priorities was the closer integration of the Fowler School of Law with the rest of Chapman.  More law professors are now teaching Chapman undergraduate courses than ever before; and, over a two-year process, the formal documents governing the law school have been integrated more closely into those of the university. Campbell was also an excellent fiscal manager, coming in under budget each of the five years he was dean.

As the only law school dean in the country who was formerly a business school dean, Campbell established the business law emphasis program in the Fowler School of Law, preparing those students who wish to pursue a career in corporate law. The advisory board for that program includes general counsels of many prestigious companies, including Paramount Pictures, the Irvine Company, the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, the Los Angeles Dodgers, the San Diego Padres, Newegg, VIZIO, Toshiba America Information Systems, Hyundai Capital America, Golden State Foods, Jack in the Box, CoreLogic, Edwards Lifesciences, Taco Bell and the California State University system. Business law is one of six emphases offered in the law school.

Dean Campbell also organized the successful 20th anniversary dinner celebration of the law school earlier this year. The celebration earned additional funds for scholarships and the law school clinics, while celebrating the transformational $55 million naming gift for the law school from Chapman alumnus Dale E. Fowler and his wife Ann, made in 2013 — the second greatest single gift to a law school in American law school history.

Chancellor Struppa said, “While I will certainly miss Dean Campbell as a leader of the school, I am very happy that, upon the end of his fifth year as dean, Tom will rejoin the faculty of the law school and economics department as a full-time faculty member. I very much look forward to Tom’s intellectual contributions to our community, and I ask you to join me in thanking him for his commitment to Chapman, and in welcoming him back among the faculty.”