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My Move to the Hoover Institution

Next year, I’ll become a Professor of Law Emeritus at UCLA School of Law, after 30 years of teaching, and move (effective July 1, 2024) to the Hoover Institution at Stanford, where I’ll be a Senior Fellow—essentially like a permanent, tenured research faculty position, but with no teaching obligations.

Technically, I’ll be “retiring” from UCLA. But at the ripe old age of 56, I will not be at all retiring from scholarship—I’ll just be doing the same sort of research, public commentary (of course, including blogging), and occasional litigation as I have been doing at UCLA, but with more institutional support. Until June 30, 2024, I will be a Visiting Fellow at Hoover, while I finish my full-time obligations to UCLA.

Hoover is a think tank on the Stanford campus; it is a unit of Stanford University, but has a great deal of independence, as well as its own Board of Overseers (and its own endowment). Its current director is Condoleezza Rice, who is a Stanford professor and former Stanford provost, National Security Advisor, and Secretary of State. Past Senior Fellows have included the Nobel-winning economists Milton Friedman and Gary Becker, as well as George Shultz, who had been a professor at MIT and Chicago before serving as Secretary of Labor, of the Treasury, and of State. Hoover Senior Fellows today include, among others, many leading economists, historians, political scientists, national security scholars, and other academics, including law professors Richard Epstein, Jack Goldsmith, Daniel Kessler, and Michael McConnell.

I will continue to have complete academic freedom and security of employment (provided for expressly by the Hoover faculty contract, the same way as it is by Stanford for its tenured faculty members). As to this blog, this of course also means continued editorial independence, which I care about very much.

I expect I’ll probably feel pretty much at home ideologically at Hoover, which is on balance an institution of the center-right. Naturally, I’m sure that there will be much my colleagues and I will disagree on, as there of course has been at UCLA—but that is the nature of a healthy academic institution. (For whatever it’s worth, my sense is that the median ideological views at Hoover are much closer to the median American voter than are the median ideological views at the median top 20 U.S. law school.)

The important point is that I’ll be able to write and say what I think is right, regardless of whether I’m mostly, partly, or not at all in step with my colleagues or the administration. I much look forward to this next chapter of my academic life.


September 2023