“Naming a school is among the highest honors a university can bestow – something reserved for those who have demonstrated extraordinary commitment and dedication to an institution. There are few people who fit that description better than Maurice Deane,” said Hofstra University President Stuart Rabinowitz, former professor and dean of the School of Law. Dedicating the school in Deane’s honor is a natural extension of the long history shared by the man and the institution. A brilliant law student and mentor, Deane was an active member of the class who graduated with awards in both constitutional law and evidence. The award currently bestowed on the Law School valedictorian each year is named in his honor.
After graduating, Deane deepened his commitment to the school in many ways. He was a member of the Hofstra Board of Trustees from 1982 to 2007, serving as its chair from 1989 to 1991 and then named chair emeritus in 2008. In these roles, Deane guided the University with particular attention to academic excellence and provided financial support to ensure this excellence, including endowing a Distinguished Professorship in Constitutional Law and a Law School scholarship. “Maurice has been among the strongest advocates for Hofstra and our Law School,” said Marilyn B. Monter ’76, then-chair of the Hofstra Board of Trustees. Deane has advocated not only with his financial resources, but also with his time and insight as a member of the Alumni Mentor Program and a committee member for several key events, including the University’s 75th anniversary and annual gala.
Deane and his wife, Barbara, have been active volunteers and generous benefactors to many causes and organizations beyond the Hofstra community. The family has been involved with Mount Sinai Medical Center, where the Barbara and Maurice A. Deane Prostate Health & Research Center is named in their honor. Deane has been a trustee of North Shore University Hospital and supported numerous organizations, including Hebrew Union College and Temple Beth-El in Great Neck.
“Dedicating the school to someone who has clearly made his mark on the community, an individual with such a deep commitment to academic and professional excellence, seems a fitting way to close out the Law School’s 40th anniversary year,” noted Dean Nora V. Demleitner. “This naming serves as the perfect bridge between a proud past and a promising future.”
Professor Eric Lane has been named interim dean of the Maurice A. Deane School of Law at Hofstra University. Lane, who is also the Eric J. Schmertz Distinguished Professor of Public Law and Public Service, has taught at Hofstra Law for more than three decades.
“Eric is a dedicated and longtime member of the Hofstra community who is well-respected on campus and beyond as a teacher, scholar, public servant and consensus-builder,” said Hofstra University President Stuart Rabinowitz. “For more than 30 years, he has been a contributor to, and caretaker of, the reputation of Hofstra Law, and his knowledge of the school’s history and vision for the future make him ideal for this position.”
Lane is well-known beyond the Hofstra University campus for his public service, particularly in New York City government. He is also the author of three books. The Genius of America: How the Constitution Saved Our Country and Why It Can Again (with Michael Oreskes) has been called a “must read” about the origin of the Constitution and its modern applicability. Lane’s two textbooks (with the Honorable Abner A. Mikva) on the legislative process and statutory interpretation have been used at law schools nationally. He is also the author of often-cited articles on the legal framework for governmental decision-making. “Hofstra Law is an extraordinary law school, and I am delighted to have the privilege to work with its distinguished faculty, dedicated administrators and exceptional students and alumni,” said Lane.