Eric J. Schmertz was appointed a charter member of the Faculty of Law at Hofstra Law School in 1969. Founding Dean Malachy Mahon recruited Professor Schmertz from Hofstra Business School when he was already, in Malachy’s words, "a very prominent labor arbitrator-mediator and a highly valued asset of the University." Professor Schmertz was appointed to the Law School’s first endowed chair, the Edward F. Carlough Distinguished Professorship in Labor Law, in 1981, and served as Dean from 1982 to 1989.
Dean Schmertz had a long and distinguished public-service career including senior labor relations appointments by New York Governors Rockefeller, Cuomo and Spitzer, New York City Mayor David Dinkins and President George H.W. Bush. He played pivotal roles in resolving high-profile labor disputes including the New York City nursing home strike of 1978, the strike of the Radio City Music Hall Rockettes in 1967 and the strike by New York City sanitation workers in 1991.