Biography of Michael A. Fitts

 Michael Fitts at the podium during the press conference announcing him as Tulane's 15th president

President, Tulane University


  • JD - Yale - '79
  • AB - Harvard - '75

Michael Fitts’ vision for and support of interdisciplinary research and teaching is shaping the future of legal education. Under his leadership, Penn Law has become a national leader in cross-disciplinary legal education, with 30 degree and certificate programs offered in partnership with Wharton, the Medical School, and other schools on Penn’s campus. He has expanded the size and academic breadth of the standing faculty, recruiting more than 25 renowned scholars and promising young intellectuals. In addition, Penn Law has expanded its global connections and impacts through a range of international partnerships and programs.

Fitts served as a clerk to Third Circuit Judge Leon Higginbotham and as an attorney in the Office of Legal Counsel. He has written on questions of administrative law, presidential power and separation of powers, and has argued for improving the structure of political parties and executive-branch decision-making. Fitts is a member of the Law and Political Process Study Group of the American Political Science Association.

Research Areas

  • Presidential Powers
  • Separation of Powers
  • Law and the Political Process


Law Clerk to the Hon. A. Leon Higginbotham, Jr., U.S. Circuit Judge, U.S. Court Of Appeals, Third Circuit (1979-81)

Penn Law - Dean and Bernard G. Segal Professor of Law (2000- ); Robert G. Fuller, Jr. Professor of Law (1996-2000); Associate Dean for Academic Affairs (1996-98); Professor (1992-96); Associate Professor (1990-92); Assistant Professor (1985-90)

Visiting Professor - Swarthmore College (Political Science)

Office of Legal Counsel, Department of Justice, Washington, D.C. - Attorney Advisor (1981-85) The Office of Legal Counsel serves as outside counsel to the President, White House, and Cabinet



  • Administrative Law
  • Election Law
  • Legislative Process
  • Regulated Industries