Dear Members of the Barnard Community, 

On behalf of the Presidential Search Committee, I am thrilled to share that Laura A. Rosenbury, a distinguished scholar and currently the first woman dean of University of Florida Levin College of Law, has been enthusiastically elected by the Barnard College Board of Trustees to become president of Barnard on July 1, 2023. 

A leading women and gender legal theorist with a track record of groundbreaking leadership in higher education, Laura has led UF Law since 2015 and comes to us with over two decades of experience in academia. She will be Barnard’s ninth president in its 134-year history, succeeding Sian Leah Beilock, who announced last July that she will step down to become Dartmouth’s first woman president.

Laura’s election is the result of a rigorous national search process, informed by community input. The Search Committee, composed of trustee, student, faculty, and staff representatives, some of whom are alumnae and Barnard parents, considered hundreds of survey responses. The search began with eight in-person and virtual listening sessions spanning our community to include students, parents, alumnae, staff, and faculty voices and was aided by the leading global executive search firm Russell Reynolds Associates. I share in the Search Committee’s and the Board of Trustees’ sincerest gratitude to all who contributed to making this process a success. 

Laura’s willingness to take risks, perseverance in the face of adversity, focus on an equity-centered approach to leadership, and advocacy around the student experience are clear embodiments of the Barnard way. Since being elected dean of UF Law, Laura has transformed its national and international profile, elevating UF Law to one of the top 25 law schools in the country. Her numerous accomplishments include the building of a new student center to promote collaboration and raising historic levels of funding to support initiatives such as endowing a new Pathway to Law program with historically Black colleges and universities. She presided over a 200% increase in applications and enrolled seven of the most accomplished and diverse classes in the law school’s history. As Levin, Mabie & Levin Professor of Law, she taught courses on feminist legal theory, law and leadership, and the intersection of child, parent, and state. Throughout her career, she has risen to prominence as an expert in feminist legal theory, focusing on issues from reproductive and abortion rights to children’s and family rights and the intersection of gender and the law.

After graduating from Harvard-Radcliffe College with a Bachelor of Arts in women’s studies, she attended Harvard Law School, where she served as primary editor for the Harvard Law Review. Laura worked in New York City as a litigation associate for Davis Polk & Wardwell, in addition to clerking for Judge Carol Bagley Amon of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York and Judge Dennis Jacobs of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. She entered academia in 2002 as a professor of law at Washington University in St. Louis School of Law, where she taught such courses as Feminist Legal Theory, Children and Law, and Family Law, and was eventually named Vice Dean. She is the co-author of Feminist Jurisprudence and is frequently invited to speak at conferences, regional trainings, and meetings on issues related to diversity, implicit bias, gender and leadership, and sexual harassment. She has served as a visiting professor at Harvard Law School, Stanford Law School, and University of Chicago Law School, and her work has been featured in Yale Law Journal, Michigan Law Review, University of Pennsylvania Law Review, and Cornell Law Review

Laura’s appointment as our next president is the culmination of a lifetime dedicated to expanding opportunities for women. This is a time of historic momentum for Barnard, and as we continue to build on the College’s excellence, we invite into our community an inspiring leader who shares our belief in the transformative power of higher education, our passion for fostering an inclusive community, and our dedication to championing women’s issues in all their complexity. 

Today, we come together to welcome Laura A. Rosenbury as Barnard’s next president.


Cheryl Glicker Milstein ’82, P’14
Chair, Barnard Board of Trustees