Professors

Ruth Colker

Distinguished University Professor and Heck Faust Memorial Chair in Constitutional Law
Contact Information:

(614) 292-0900 colker.2@osu.edu Drinko 305

Scholarship:

Curriculum Vitae Publications

Education:
  • A.B., Harvard University, Social Studies, 1978 (cum laude)
  • J.D., Harvard Law School, 1981

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Areas of Expertise:
  • Civil Rights and Civil Liberties
  • Constitutional Law
  • Disability Law
  • Education Law
  • Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Rights

Professor Colker is one of the leading scholars in the country in the areas of Constitutional Law and Disability Discrimination. She is the author of 16 books, two of which have won book prizes. She has also published more than 50 articles in law journals such as the Boston University Law Review, Columbia Law JournalGeorgetown Law Journal, Harvard Law Review, Michigan Law Journal, University of Pennsylvania Law ReviewUniversity of Virginia Law Review and Yale Law Journal.

Her work has been cited by the United States Supreme Court. See Tennessee v. Lane, 541 U.S. 509, 527 n.15 (2004) (citing Colker & Milani, The Post-Garrett World: Insufficient State Protection Against Disability Discrimination, 53 Ala. L. Rev. 1075 (2002).)

In 2014, she was appointed as a disability expert to help resolve a consent decree between the United States Department of Justice and the Law School Admissions Council. Her work helped change the way the LSAC determines whether applicants are entitled to testing accommodations on the LSAT. She has also served on the National Board of the ACLU since 2013.

Despite her heavy scholarly output and pro bono work, Professor Colker is also an innovator in the classroom. She has studied the effectiveness of an ungraded formative assessment in first-year classes and often provides her students in small classes with an opportunity to write short response papers with quick feedback.

Before joining the faculty at Ohio State, Professor Colker taught at Tulane University, the University of Toronto, the University of Pittsburgh, and in the Women’s Studies graduate program at George Washington University. She also spent four years working as a trial attorney in the Civil Rights Division of the United States Department of Justice, where she received two awards for outstanding performance.

In 2009, Professor Colker was designated a Distinguished University Professor, the university’s highest academic honor. The Distinguished University Professor title is awarded permanently to no more than three exceptional faculty members a year. The title recognizes accomplishments in research, scholarly or creative work, teaching, and service that are both distinguished and distinctive.

Professor Colker was also a recipient of the University’s Distinguished Lecturer Award in 2001, the University’s Distinguished Diversity Enhancement Award in 2002, and the University Distinguished Scholar Award in 2003.