“Mark Cordes is ideally positioned to take on this interim leadership role,” said NIU Executive Vice President and Provost Lisa Freeman. “As a result of his 32 years of service to the college in faculty and administrative roles, Mark understands the law school’s history, challenges and opportunities.”
Cordes served as associate dean for the college from 1996-98, and in 1999 he earned the College of Law Alumni Council’s Outstanding Professor Award for support of alumni activities. In 2001, he was selected the college’s professor of the year.
“I’m excited about the opportunity to serve as interim dean. I have a passion for NIU law and take enormous pride in the accomplishments of our students, faculty, and alumni,” Cordes said.
Cordes—who teaches courses in property, land use controls, constitutional Law, First Amendment and environmental law—is the author of more than two dozen book chapters and law review articles in these areas. He was a significant contributor to the revision of Thompson on Real Property, a leading multi-volume treatise on Property Law. In addition to his law review articles, Cordes also contributed five entries to the recent Encyclopedia of American Civil Liberties.
“Dean Jennifer Rosato Perea has done an excellent job the past six years moving the school forward on a number of fronts, including curricular reform, opportunities for experiential learning, and working with other disciplines across campus,” Cordes added. “I look forward to continuing those efforts, working with the college’s excellent faculty and staff to seek student career success.”
Most recently, Cordes has been a faculty associate with NIU’s Institute for the Environment, Sustainability, and Energy, where on occasion he has co-taught an undergraduate course on environmental law, policy and economics.
“He will support NIU’s diverse and inclusive community of legal scholars as they advance curricular reform and expand experiential learning opportunities,” Freeman added.
Prior to coming to NIU, Cordes was a teaching fellow at Stanford Law School for two years, where he earned his master of the science of law.
Cordes earned his juris doctor degree at Willamette University, where he was editor-in-chief of the Willamette Law Review. He served as a law clerk to Justice Thomas Tongue of the Oregon Supreme Court after graduation from law school.
He earned his bachelor’s degree in history and psychology from Portland State University before earning a master’s degree at Fuller Theological Seminary.
Cordes served in the U.S. Army from 1970-72, including a tour in Vietnam, where he earned the Combat Infantry Badge and the Purple Heart.