Dean Eastman steps down to make run for state office

John Eastman
Dean Eastman

John C. Eastman
, dean of the Chapman University School of Law, has announced that he is resigning as dean, effective Monday, Feb. 1, to seek the Republican nomination for the post of California Attorney General.  He will remain a member of the Chapman law school faculty.

Chapman criminal law professor
Scott Howe,
who formerly served for eight years as associate dean for academic affairs in the Chapman School of Law, has been appointed to serve as interim dean of the school.  A national search for a new dean will be conducted.

“I have been receiving a great deal of encouragement to consider a bid for Attorney General of California, and have decided to move forward with that endeavor,” Dean Eastman said in a letter he sent out to Chapman law students.  “I do so with mixed feelings, I must say. On the one hand, it is an exciting undertaking for me and my family, one that will, if successful, allow me to bring my particular constitutional expertise to bear in helping solve some of the many problems our state currently faces.  I will certainly miss my daily interactions with one of the most fun, most congenial, and most hard-working student bodies in higher legal education today. What we have accomplished together over the past three years has been nothing short of spectacular.  Mentoring relationships with a world-class faculty and the development of life-long friendships with your classmates make Chapman a very unique place.  Although I am stepping down, I will remain a member of the faculty, so I hope to see you on occasion.  Thank you again for your ongoing and enthusiastic support of Chapman University School of Law.”

Eastman, a noted Constitutional law scholar, joined the Chapman faculty in 1999 and became dean of the law school in 2007.

“John has been a very important dean in the history of our School of Law,” said Chancellor Daniele C. Struppa.  “In the last three years, he has significantly strengthened the scholarly output of the school, as well as the profile of its students. He has been able to raise financial support for a variety of activities, including visiting professorships and new clinics. As a result of these improvements, the School of Law now ranks in the upper half of the third tier, and has realistic hopes to move into second tier this spring.   So, while I wish him well in the forthcoming race, I know we will all miss his leadership and his energy.”

Dawn Bonker

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