Former Dean Orin Slagle Remembered Fondly by Faculty and Alumni
L. Orin Slagle, a former dean and a 1957 graduate of what is now the Michael E. Moritz College of Law at Ohio State University, passed away December 26, 2006. This professor and administrator, remembered as kind, eloquent, and approachable by those he taught, touched the lives of many students while dean of the College from 1974 – 1978. He died at his home in Sedgwick, Maine.
A native of South Charleston, Ohio, he attended Bowling Green State University and earned his bachelor’s degree at OSU prior to law school. Upon graduation, he took a job as an associate with Mudge, Stern, Baldwin and Todd in New York City before moving to England to serve in the U.S. Air Force’s Judge Advocate General Corps where he eventually attained the rank of captain. He returned to OSU in 1961, starting as an assistant professor, before rising through the ranks to professor and associate dean.
Dean Slagle left the school to join the firm of Dargusch and Day, but was called back to his alma mater in 1974 to become dean of the law school, a position he held until 1978. He resigned from the post that year to become president of the National Law School Admission Council and resume full-time teaching at OSU. He would spend 1980 to 1984 as dean of Florida State University’s law school, after which, he returned again to teaching. He most recently served as a legal ethics consultant and as a board member of Families and Children Together, a Bangor, Maine-based organization.
Professor John Quigley recalls working with Dean Slagle. “He was very easy-going, a pleasure to have as dean,” he said. “He set a good tone for the school. He was tolerant of different backgrounds and different views. He ran the school well.”
Louis Recher ’77 said Dean Slagle was his evidence professor and remembers him as a “gentle professor” with “good spirit.” “Dean Slagle was always available to answer my questions and address my concerns after class,” Louis said. “I appreciated how approachable he was, another indicator of his kindness.” Kathy Hayes Ransier ’74 noted that “he was an exceptional administrator and professor. I enjoyed being in his presence, whether it was in his office, a classroom, or the BLSA office.”
Ray Farris ’75 fondly recalls an encounter with him in the fall of his third year of law school. Ray said he had petitioned Dean Slagle, also chairman of the executive committee at the time, to be released from the three-hour seminar requirement. Ray was a member of the school’s National Moot Court Team, a time-consuming commitment. “Dean Slagle denied my petition; however, he explained it to me in such an eloquent way that I wasn’t all that upset,” Farris said.
Orin Slagle is survived by Lois, his wife of 50 years; his three children,
Jennifer (John) Naab, Jeanine Slagle, and Jeffrey Slagle; as well as five
grandchildren and eight sisters, in addition to numerous nieces and nephews.