Joel Seligman became the tenth president of the University of Rochester in July 2005. Since then, he has led a strategic planning process to chart the University’s future. Notable milestones have included the openings of the Robert B. Goergen Hall for Biomedical Engineering and Optics, the James P. Wilmot Cancer Institute, the Ambulatory Surgery Center, and the Del Monte Neuromedicine Institute. The renovated Kodak Hall at Eastman Theater and a new wing at the Eastman School of Music have significantly expanded educational and performance spaces. The Saunders Research Building is providing state-of-the-art space to scientists exploring new treatments and cures for neurological disorders, cancer, and cardiovascular disease. Raymond F. LeChase Hall, the new home of the Warner School of Education, opened in January 2013, and the Ronald Rettner Hall for Media Arts and Innovation opened in October 2013. The new Golisano Children’s Hospital, the largest construction project in the University’s history, opened in 2015. Wegmans Hall, the new home of the Goergen Institute for Data Science, is under construction and will open in 2017.
Under Seligman’s leadership, in 2011 the University launched The Meliora Challenge: The Campaign for the University of Rochester, with the goal of raising $1.2 billion by June 2016. The Meliora Challenge is the largest comprehensive capital campaign in the University’s history and the first comprehensive campaign since 1924. In March 2015, the University surpassed the initial $1.2 billion campaign goal.
Seligman actively works with government and neighborhood leaders on a variety of community enrichment projects and programs, including completing two major redevelopment initiatives that have helped revitalize different areas adjacent to the University. Brooks Landing is a hotel, retail and student residential development, joined to the University by a footbridge over the Genesee River. Today, 570 undergraduate students are housed in student apartments in Brooks Landing. College Town is a $100 million shopping, dining, business and residential district in the Mt. Hope neighborhood in the city of Rochester, near the University’s River Campus and its Medical Center. Dedicated in October 2014, College Town is bringing to the area new retail stores and eateries, a grocery store, a hotel, office space and loft apartments.
In the Greater Rochester community, Seligman serves on the boards of the Greater Rochester Enterprise and the Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce. He and Wegmans CEO Danny Wegman have served as co-chairs of the Finger Lakes Regional Economic Development Council since its inception in 2011.
Seligman came to Rochester from the Washington University School of Law, where he was dean and Ethan A. H. Shepley University Professor from 1999 to 2005. He had previously been dean and Samuel M. Fegtly Professor of Law at the University of Arizona, and had served on the law faculties at Michigan, George Washington, and Northeastern.
He is one of the nation’s leading experts on securities law. He coauthored, with the late Louis Loss and with Troy Paredes, the 11-volume Securities Regulation, the leading treatise in the field, and is author of The Transformation of Wall Street: A History of the Securities and Exchange Commission and Modern Corporate Finance. He also is the author or coauthor of 20 books and more than 40 articles on legal issues related to securities and corporations. He served on the board of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority from 2007 to 2015.
Seligman is a graduate of the University of California at Los Angeles and Harvard Law School.