Randy Rubin, professor of law, presented “My Last Lecture” at the Quay Davis Executive Boardroom on Tuesday at noon.
In his presentation, he reflected back on his time at the College of Law, presenting critiques on how the college was handled. The presentation comes as he prepares for his departure from the University, ending his 35-year tenure at the school.
Prior to coming to the University, Rubin worked as an attorney in Claremont, a lecturer at Cal Poly Pomona, and owned a restaurant in San Dimas.
He revealed that students from the University studied in his restaurant, and among those students was Eric Bishop, who is currently the interim vice president of enrollment management.
In the fall of 1988, he was approached to teach at the College of Law and in the spring of 1989, he began his career here at the University. The first course he taught was a sales class.
“I was so enamored with both the law school, and the students, and the commitment of the faculty, that I said, ‘Man, I like this, this is pretty cool,’” Rubin said.
He enjoyed his time teaching and continued with the University. Rubin felt that the students were dedicated to learning the law and found that the college produced successful practitioners.
In 1990, he became a full-time faculty member and soon after was granted tenure at the University. At the time, the College of Law had high passage rates and had a revenue surplus.
The turning point in his career was in 1996 when he was appointed as the Associate Dean of Academic Affairs. The dean at the time believed that the college having California Bar status was “unsustainable.”
Reflecting back, he found that it was the American Bar Association accreditation that was unsustainable for the college, not its California Bar status.
In 2006, the College of Law received its provisional accreditation. When a school receives provisional accreditation, the college has five years to be in full compliance with all ABA standards.
Donald J. Dunn, former dean of the College of Law, was instrumental in achieving provisional ABA accreditation.
Halfway through the five-year period, Dunn died. Rubin explained that the steps taken after Dunn’s passing was a mismanagement of the college.
“I like that he was able to share his dislikes when it came to the College of Law, because not many professors would come out with it,” Caroline Guzman, freshman honors child development major, said.
Following Dunn’s passing, there was an expedited search to find a new dean, which Rubin opposed as it would bring changes to the College while in the middle of the accreditation process.
“When he continued to talk about the college, I understood what he meant when he said that there was more to talk about,” Johanna Vargas, freshman honors criminology major, said.
With a new dean brought a change in the culture and new faculty to the College. Despite changes, the College lost its provisional accreditation in 2011.
Rubin believes that, though he spent a long time pursuing the ABA accreditation, having California Bar status was the best decision.
“I was surprised with the statistics about the college, I didn’t expect the college to be so diverse,” Elizabeth Hernandez, freshman honors political science and philosophy major, said.
Going into the spring 2023 semester, the College of Law had an enrollment of over 300 students and non-white students represented 71.5% of their student body. Due to the Cal Bar status, Rubin said that the College has a $3 million surplus.
“Teaching is a privilege and you should never be in it for the money,” Rubin said. “Not only do I get to teach, but they pay me to do it.”
Kael Matias can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.