Bio


Thomas Ehrlich is a Adjunct Professor at the Stanford University School of Education. He has previously served as president of Indiana University, provost of the University of Pennsylvania, and dean of Stanford Law School. He was also the first president of the Legal Services Corporation in Washington, DC, and the first director of the International Development Cooperation Agency, reporting to President Carter. After his tenure at Indiana University, he was a Distinguished University Scholar at California State University and taught regularly at San Francisco State University. From 2000 to 2010 he was a Senior Scholar at the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. He is author, co-author, or editor of 14 books including Preparing Undergraduates for Business: Liberal Learning for Professional Education (2011), which won the Ness Prize for the best book of the year on liberal education; Reconnecting Education and Foundations: Turning Good Intentions into Educational Capital (2007); Educating for Democracy: Preparing Undergraduates for Lives of Responsible Political Engagement (2007); and Civic Work, Civic Lessons: Two Generations Reflect on Public Service, with Ernestine Fu (2013). He has been a trustee of Bennett College, of Mills College, and of the University of Pennsylvania. He is a graduate of Harvard College and Harvard Law School and holds five honorary degrees. He is also member of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences.

Academic Appointments


  • Lecturer, Graduate School of Education

Administrative Appointments


  • Law professor and dean, Stanford Law School (2019 - Present)
  • Visiting Professor of Education, Stanford University (2009 - Present)

Boards, Advisory Committees, Professional Organizations


  • Board chair, Commission on National and Community Service (1990 - 1994)
  • Board member, Corporation for National and Community Service (1994 - 2004)
  • Board chair, American Association on Higher Education (1990 - 1994)
  • co-founder, American Democracy Project (2003 - Present)
  • Board Chair, Campus Compact (1989 - 1995)
  • Member, American Academy of Arts and Sciences (1994 - Present)
  • Board member, National Youth Law Center (2014 - Present)
  • Member, American Academy of Arts & Sciences (2019 - Present)
  • Trustee, Bennett College (2019 - Present)
  • Trustee, University of Pennsylvania (2019 - Present)
  • Trustee, Mills College (2019 - Present)
  • Senior Scholar, Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching (2000 - 2010)
  • Educator, San Francisco State University (2019 - Present)
  • Distinguished University Scholar, California State University (2019 - Present)
  • Director, International Development Cooperation Agency (2019 - Present)
  • President, Legal Services Corporation, Washington, DC (2019 - Present)
  • Provost, University of Pennsylvania (2019 - Present)
  • President, Indiana University (1987 - 1994)

Professional Education


  • Five honorary degrees, .
  • law clerk, United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, law clerk to Judge Learned Hand
  • Latin honors, Harvard Law School, magna cum laude (1959)
  • Latin honors, Harvard College, magna cum laude (1956)

Research Interests


  • Civic Education
  • Higher Education
  • Legal Issues
  • Lifelong Learning

Current Research and Scholarly Interests


He has just finished a book, written with a Stanford undergraduate as his co-author, about how and why young people should be involved in public service.

2019-20 Courses


All Publications