Seligman to become Rochester president

Joel Seligman, J.D., dean of the School of Law and the Ethan A.H. Shepley University Professor, has announced his intention to step down effective June 30, according to Chancellor Mark S. Wrighton.

Seligman, who came to Washington University in 1999 to serve as dean, will become president of the University of Rochester.

“Joel Seligman is an accomplished academic leader and will be a wonderful president for the University of Rochester,” Wrighton said.

Joel Seligman
Joel Seligman

“During his tenure as dean of the Washington University School of Law, he has contributed significantly to the progress of the school and has served the University in many ways. His dedication to students and faculty is a genuine strength, and he inspires the entire community he serves. He has the ability to develop a strategic plan and to lead its execution.

“His departure from Washington University in St. Louis is a loss for us, but he is destined to make contributions to American higher education as the president of a major research university, and I welcome the opportunity to work with him in his new capacity as a fellow leader of a member university in the Association of American Universities.

“I will look forward, too,” Wrighton added, “to friendly competition when the Washington University Bears take on the University of Rochester Yellowjackets in University Athletic Association play!”

Seligman is a nationally renowned author and expert on legal issues related to securities and corporations. His book, The Transformation of Wall Street: A History of the Securities and Exchange Commission and Modern Corporate Finance, is widely regarded as the leading history of the commission.

Seligman said he has enjoyed his time at the University.

“Washington University School of Law has been the finest community any law school dean could enjoy,” Seligman said. “It has been an honor and a joy to work with Mark Wrighton, wonderful administrators, an outstanding faculty, terrific students and loyal alumni.

“Friederike (his wife) and I will always consider ourselves part of the School of Law and hope the friendships that began here long endure.”

While at the University, Seligman has served as a reporter for the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Law, the chair of the Securities and Exchange Commission Advisory Committee on Market Information and a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants Professional Ethics Executive Committee.

Additionally, he sits on the National Association of Securities Dealers Board of Governors.

Seligman earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of California, Los Angeles, in 1971 and a law degree from Harvard University in 1974.

His teaching career began at Northeastern University. After faculty appointments at George Washington University and the University of Michigan, Seligman was named dean and the Samuel M. Fegtly Professor of Law at the University of Arizona College of Law.