UT Law Professor Lee Strang will deliver the John W. Stoepler Professor of Law and Values Installation Lecture Monday, Sept. 21, at noon, in the Law Center McQuade Law Auditorium.
The free, public lecture is titled “Public Universities as Places of Constrained Debate: A Home for People of Good Will, Including Religious People.”The lecture is one of a number of campus events taking place during the week of the inauguration of University of Toledo President Sharon L. Gaber.
Strang was named the John W. Stoepler Professor of Law and Values July 1. This fall, he is a visiting scholar at the Center for the Constitution at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C.
“Professor Strang is a wonderful scholar whose work has had a significant impact in the academy,” said D. Benjamin Barros, dean of the UT College of Law. “I have cited his work in my own scholarship. I am looking forward to his remarks about the role of the public university in our religiously pluralistic society.”
Americans deeply disagree about many important issues. From gun control to marriage, from the size and role of government to justice, Americans of good will see these issues differently. Public universities have traditionally been viewed as places where Americans of all stripes come together to debate and learn. The debate is vigorous, but respectful.
Strang will argue that this conception of the public university as a place of robust debate is threatened. He will show that public universities are under pressure to exclude religious citizens from their forums for debate. More precisely, he will discuss how recent shifts in politics, law and culture have caused some universities to marginalize and exclude religious Americans. He will explain why excluding religious Americans from public universities would be a mistake, both for the universities and for society.
He is the author of more than 20 law review publications, a multi-volume constitutional law casebook in its second edition, as well as several book chapters and book reviews. He has published in the fields of constitutional law and interpretation, property law, and religion and the First Amendment.
Among other scholarly projects, he is editing the second edition of his casebook, writing a book titled Originalism’s Promise and Its Limits, and authoring a book on the history of Catholic legal education in the United States.
Strang frequently presents at conferences and participates in debates at law schools across the country, and is regularly quoted in the media.
He served as the UT College of Law’s inaugural director of faculty research during the 2014-15 school year. At the UT College of Law, he teaches Constitutional Law, Property, Administrative Law, and other courses.
A graduate of the University of Iowa, where he was articles editor of the Iowa Law Review and a member of Order of the Coif, Strang also holds a master of law degree from Harvard Law School.
Before joining the UT law faculty, he was a visiting professor at Michigan State University College of Law and an associate professor at Ave Maria School of Law. Prior to teaching, Strang served as a judicial clerk for Judge Alice M. Batchelder of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit and an associate with Jenner & Block LLP in Chicago, where he practiced general and appellate litigation.
The professorship is named after John W. Stoepler, the seventh dean of the UT College of Law. Stoepler was an alumnus and longtime faculty member before being named dean of the college in 1983. He served as interim president of the University in 1988.
The Stoepler Professorship of Law and Values is funded out of a bequest by Eugene N. Balk, a former general counsel of The Andersons Inc.