I've just been appointed this coming year's Laurie Silvers & Mitchell Rubenstein Distinguished Professor of Law. It's a one-year, rotating, appointment, and I'm the second person to have it, following in the large footsteps of my colleague Bruce Winick. Needless to say, I'm floored.
UM is unusual in that we don't have many chairs — at present only two us have permanent chairs. The rotating chair idea is also something new for us.
Here is the Dean's message to the faculty:
I am delighted to announce that during the 2010-11 [academic year] Michael Froomkin will be the Laurie Silvers & Mitchell Rubenstein Distinguished Professor of Law. As you know, Bruce Winick was the first recipient of this award and, given his great body of widely-praised work, set the bar quite high for subsequent recipients. Michael's projects, repeatedly exploring problems of internet governance, widely recognized not only nationally but internationally, plainly meet the standard. When we work out the details, we will invite all faculty to join us and other members of the larger university community in celebrating this award and, of course, the generosity of Laurie Silvers and Mitchell Rubenstein.
Among their other claims to fame, Silvers and Rubenstein are founders of the Sci Fi Channel, although the cable channel is now controlled by others (who changed the name to SyFy so they could trademark it). This should make watching Stargate Universe even more fun.
Admittedly, there's something slightly ironic about being so honored in the midst of the (involuntarily) fallowest period in my career, but I guess this is one more incentive to get well quickly and attempt to prove I deserve it.