Marvin Krislov became the 14th president of Oberlin College in summer 2007. He came to Oberlin from the University of Michigan, where he had been vice president and general counsel since 1998. At Michigan, he was responsible for the university’s legal affairs, including establishing goals and strategies; serving as senior legal counsel to the Board of Regents, the university administration, and units, including the health systems; and supervising the professional staff and outside counsel required to carry out these activities. Mr. Krislov led the University of Michigan’s legal defense of its admission policies, resulting in the 2003 Supreme Court decision recognizing the importance of student body diversity. He was lauded by the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund for his “counsel and leadership” for his work on the cases. He also cochaired the university’s presidential initiative on ethics in public life and served on the athletics department’s transition committee.
Mr. Krislov received a bachelor’s degree, summa cum laude, from Yale University in 1982. A Rhodes Scholar, he studied at Oxford University’s Magdalen College, where he earned a master’s degree in modern history in 1985. He served as editor of the Yale Law Journal and earned a doctor of laws degree from Yale Law School in 1988. He then worked as a law clerk for Judge Marilyn Hall Patel of the U.S. District Court in San Francisco.
Prior to entering academic life, Mr. Krislov served as acting solicitor from 1997-98 in the U.S. Department of Labor, managing more than 700 employees and an annual budget of $70 million, and as deputy solicitor of national operations from 1996 to 1998. In those capacities, he was primary legal advisor to the Secretary of Labor and supervised litigation, legal enforcement, regulation, and policy activities. Previously, he served as associate counsel in the Office of Counsel to the President.
As a trial attorney in the Criminal Section of the U.S. Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division from 1989 to 1993, Mr. Krislov prosecuted racial violence and police brutality cases in grand jury investigations and at trials throughout the country. He taught political science and law at the University of Michigan Law School. In 1982-83, Mr. Krislov sat on the Board of Aldermen for New Haven, Connecticut. He also taught law at George Washington University from 1991 to 1993.