Frederick G. Slabach joined the University of Mississippi School of Law as Dean in July 2023 following twelve years as President and University Professor at Texas Wesleyan University. He is an Ole Miss Law alum, clerked for Chief Judge William C. Keady (N.D. MS), practiced law with Akin Gump in Washington, D.C., and received his LL.M from Columbia University.
Slabach (SLAY-bok) has had a distinguished and successful twenty-five-year career in higher education that includes thirteen years in legal education and twelve years as university president.
His service in legal education and to the legal profession has included membership on the ABA Section on Legal Education Government Relations Committee and member and chair of numerous Sabbatical Inspection Teams; membership on the Board of Directors of the Central Mississippi Legal Services Corporation; service to the Mississippi Bar as member of the Board of Directors of the Young Lawyers Division, Chair of the Minority Involvement Committee of the Young Lawyers Division, and Chair of the Conference on the Future of the Profession. In 2006, the National Black Law Students Association inducted him into their Hall of Fame in recognition of his work to support minority law students.
He received the distinction of Master of the Bench of the Eldon B. Mahon Inn of Court in Texas as well as Master of the Bench of the Hunt / Ball Inn of Court in California.
In addition to higher education, Slabach served in a variety of positions in government in Washington, D.C. as Legislative Counsel to the President Pro Tempore of the U.S. Senate, Assistant Secretary for Congressional Relations and Counsel to the Secretary at the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and Executive Secretary (CEO) of the Harry S. Truman Scholarship Foundation.
His teaching history includes Constitutional Law, Legal Process, Professional Responsibility, Campaign Finance, Mass Media Law, Business Law, American Government, and History of Democracy. His research and publications focus on the intersection of politics and government and include topics on Constitutional issues in campaign finance as well as many aspects of the Voting Rights Act.
Slabach has been regularly recognized for his leadership and service, including the 2019 District IV Chief Executive Leadership Award from the Counsel for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE), and the Stevens Award in 2003 and Elmer B. Staats Public Service Award in 1995, both from the Harry S. Truman Scholarship Foundation.
He grew up in Fernwood, Mississippi and graduated from South Pike High School before earning his bachelor’s degree in political science with Highest Honors at Mississippi College where he received the Outstanding Pre-Law Graduate award. While in undergraduate school, Slabach became Mississippi’s first Harry S. Truman Scholar. At Ole Miss Law School, Slabach served on the Mississippi Law Journal and received the Phi Delta Phi Award, the faculty award to the outstanding graduate.
For Slabach, Ole Miss is a magical place where he not only earned his law degree, but met his future wife, Melany Neilson. Neilson is a twice-published author who was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize for her 1989 book, “Even Mississippi” (University of Alabama Press). She received her bachelor’s degree in English and her master’s degree in journalism at Ole Miss. Together, the two have three children.