Paul Finkelman named Gratz College’s new president

Paul Finkelman brings decades of academic and legal experience to Gratz College. (Image courtesy Gratz College)

After a months-long, nationwide search, Gratz College has named Dr. Paul Finkelman as its new president.

The 11th president in the institution’s 122-year history, Finkelman succeeds Joy Goldstein, who resigned in December 2016.

Finkelman brings decades of academic and legal experience to Gratz. He has published in a wide variety of areas, including American Jewish history, religious liberty and separation of church and state, American legal history, constitutional law, slavery and race and legal issues surrounding baseball, according to a press release from the college.

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“Finkelman is a renowned scholar with a wide range of interests and expertise,” said Michelle Portnoff, chairwoman of the board of governors. “We are particularly pleased with his work in civil rights and social justice because it dovetails with one of Gratz College’s biggest and fastest growing programs, Holocaust and Genocide Studies. Finkelman has a national reputation and network, which will help us expand our online programming in this field, as well as in the other degrees we offer.”

A native of Watertown, N.Y., Finkelman received his B.A. in American studies from Syracuse University in 1971 and his Ph.D. in history from the University of Chicago in 1976. He was later a fellow in law and humanities at Harvard Law School. He has held a number of endowed chairs as a tenured professor or as a visitor, including the Ariel F. Sallows Chair in Human Rights Law at the University of Saskatchewan, the John Hope Franklin Chair in American Legal History at Duke Law School and the Chapman Chair at the University of Tulsa Law School.

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