Michael Slinger Aims to Help Students and Faculty Succeed
Web Editor - Published: October 9, 2008
Michael Slinger, the new Associate Dean for Information Services and Technology and Director of the Legal Information Center, came to Widener Law this past July after thirteen years at Cleveland State University’s Cleveland-Marshall College of Law. A native of Pittsburgh, PA, he received his B.A from the University of Pittsburgh before earning an M.L.S from the University of South Carolina and his J.D. from Duquesne University School of Law.

Slinger300x266Faculty_deAssociate Dean Slinger worked for six years at the University of Notre Dame Law School’s Kresge Law Library before moving on to serve as the director of Suffolk University Law School’s Law Library. He spent five years at Suffolk before moving on to serve as Law Library Director at Cleveland State University’s Cleveland-Marshall College of Law. Married to Cheryl Blaney Slinger, Michael’s family includes two daughters - Becky, who is a senior at St. Mary’s College at Notre Dame, and Sarah, a freshman at St. Joseph’s University in Philadelphia – and a Miniature Schnauzer named Rugby.

Eager to assist students and faculty and get to know the community, Michael sat down to answer a few questions:

Q: How long have you been at Widener law? Why did you choose to move to come to Widener?

A: I am brand new to Widener School of Law only arriving this past July. I came here for a variety of reasons: I worked with Dean Linda Ammons at Cleveland-Marshall for ten years and really enjoyed it. She is a fantastic person. I knew she was going to take Widener in a great direction and I wanted to be a part of it. My wife and I decided we might want to live someplace different and I had enjoyed my past visits to this region. I enjoyed the people I met here at Widener and decided this would be a good place to be.

Q: What are some of the specific tasks that you perform as Associate Dean for Information Services and Technology and Director of the Legal Information Center?

A: I am the Director of the Legal Information Center or Law Library, and work with our staff in both Delaware and in Harrisburg. We are blessed with great people on both campuses. Mary Marzolla and Pat Fox ran the operation on an interim basis, and they are both excellent senior level law librarians I am blessed to have on my management team. I also expect to play a major role in supporting technology at the Law School, and I participate on the Dean’s Administrative Management team for the Law School.

I am also a full Professor and participate in faculty governance and other issues that come before the faculty. Like other Professors I research and write and have several projects in development. I teach a class called Legal Issues of the American Civil War. It is amazing how the Civil War and the issues that surrounded it decided so many important questions of constitutional law, established the role of a strong President in war-time, and introduced concepts like the military draft, the federal income tax, and so much more.

Q: What are some of the challenges unique to your position as Associate Dean for Information Services and Technology and Director of the Legal Information Center?

A: One of the unique challenges is I have so many different responsibilities. This is a job for someone who doesn’t mind not being able to concentrate exclusively on one or two tasks. You definitely must be able to multitask.

Of course, something at Widener School of Law that is unique to only a few schools is the responsibility of directing an operation on two campuses. This is very different from what the traditional law library director experiences and presents the challenge of thinking more broadly and dealing with issues in two places.

Q: What aspect of your job or specific task that you perform excites you the most?

A: I love to work with the Law Library staff to create new services that will benefit the work of our students and faculty. People really appreciate the help a Law Library can provide, and I really enjoy providing new and exciting support to the community.

Q: Can you recall a specific job-related accomplishment that makes you proud?

A: Having the Law Library staff recognized as one of the most essential and strongest aspects at all of the law schools I have worked at is certainly at the top. Creating the technology support operation from scratch at Cleveland-Marshall is also a highlight. Helping the staff win a national award for the use of PR in the service of our law school is another. On a personal note, being selected as Faculty Member of the year in 1999 by the Cleveland-Marshall Law School Alumni Association is something I will never forget.

Q: Do you have any future goals related to your position or the law school that you are either actively pursuing or hope to pursue?

A: I have many goals in mind, all involving working with our staff to help the students, faculty and staff of the law school to be successful. I want to have a law library and technology operation that everyone is happy with. Playing a vital role in the success of the law school is something I very much look forward to being a part of.

Q: Is there anything else that you would like to add about what your experiences at Widener?

A: I am honored to be at Widener Law and very excited about the direction of the School under Dean Ammons. I also think the University is doing great things under President Harris, and I look forward to getting to know the entire community and becoming a valued part of our success.