Stetson University selects Michèle Alexandre as first African-American dean of the College of Law

Michèle Alexandre

Following a nationwide search, Stetson University Executive Vice President and Provost Noel Painter, Ph.D., announced the appointment of Michèle Alexandre, a noted civil rights, gender and race scholar, and author of “The New Frontiers of Civil Rights Litigation,” as the next dean of Stetson University College of Law in Gulfport, Florida. Alexandre is the College of Law’s first African-American dean. The appointment is effective June 2019.

“Dean Alexandre brings an extraordinary wealth of vision and expertise to this position,” said Painter. “Her work in civil rights and gender equity fit hand in glove with Stetson Law’s emphasis on social justice and global citizenship, and our ongoing work for veterans, the elderly and the environment.”

“I am thrilled to join the Stetson family,” Alexandre remarked. “Stetson’s commitment to training global citizens and practice-ready lawyers represents a galvanizing vision for legal education in the twenty-first century. The College of Law’s priorities regarding social justice, academic rigor and student engagement are dear to my heart. I am eager to work with all aspects of the law school, the university and with its amazing alumni to help the law school continue to grow and reach new heights.”

Stetson University College of Law is ranked No. 1 in Trial Advocacy and No. 3 in Legal Writing in the nation by U.S. News & World Report, and is Florida’s first law school.

Alexandre is currently serving as the associate dean for Faculty Development and Intellectual Life, professor of law, and the Leonard B. Melvin, Jr. Lecturer at the University of Mississippi School of Law. Her broad expertise and commitment to justice is evidenced in the organization of a biennial national conference on sustainability and social justice for poor populations in the rural South, occurring since 2011. Alexandre has experience that allows her to be laser-focused on excellence in legal education while leveraging Stetson’s commitment to the core aspects of the liberal arts. At the University of Mississippi, she chaired the undergraduate Honors curriculum committee, led the Honors College faculty, and taught courses in the undergraduate international studies program. She has a J.D. from Harvard Law and was Colgate University’s first black valedictorian.

“Michèle Alexandre will lead Stetson Law in educating the next generation of outstanding Stetson lawyers,” said Stetson University President Wendy B. Libby, Ph.D. “She is the right person to affirm and build on our reputation for excellence.”

Michèle Alexandre Biography

Professor Michèle Alexandre joined the University of Mississippi in 2008 as an associate professor, from the University of Memphis School of Law. Professor Alexandre is the first black valedictorian of Colgate University. She earned her Juris Doctor (J.D.) from Harvard Law School. Her teaching and scholarly areas include constitutional law, international law, civil rights law, disability law, critical race theory, human rights, and gender.

Professor Alexandre is the author of the civil rights textbook, “The New Frontiers of Civil Rights Litigation” (Carolina Academic Press), and “Sexploitation: Sexual Profiling and the Illusion of Gender” (Routledge, 2014). She 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 has received Fulbright and Watson Fellowships.

Alexandre also works on issues of sustainability and economic independence for small farmers in Mississippi’s Delta and other areas of the rural South. Since 2012, she has organized the Race and Sustainability Conference hosted by the University of Mississippi. This conference is a national conference focused on issues of sustainability and social justice for poor populations of the rural South.

Alexandre has published numerous law review articles, book chapters and op-eds. She has published law review articles in the Washington and Lee Law Review, the Duke Journal of Gender Law and Policy, the UCLA Chicano/a-Latino/a Law Review, the Hastings Women Law Journal, 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, the American University Journal of Gender, Social Policy and the Law, the UMKC Law Review, the University of Pennsylvania Journal of Law and Social Change, the Indiana Law Review (spring 2013) and the Oregon Law Review (spring 2013). In addition, she has published book chapters with Carolina Academic Press (Law, Property, and Society), Ashgate Publishing (Race to Injustice: Lessons Learned from the Duke University Lacrosse Players’ Rape Case) and Routledge (Transcending Boundaries of Law).

Alexandre received the Ben A. Hardy Faculty Excellence Award for outstanding teaching, scholarship, and service in 2016. In 2017, she was selected as an SEC-U Academic Leadership Development Program Fellow for 2017-18.