The week of October 14–20 was certainly busy—it seems like there was a ton going on. One of the highlights was going to the Chancellor’s Executive Retreat Oct. 17th at the Alumni House. Chancellor White updated us on the state of the University, and shared his ideas about his priorities for coming year.

Later that evening, KUAF supporters were able to have dinner with the President of National Public Radio, Kevin Klose. He was here to help kick off the KAUF fundraising drive for its new building, and his remarks were both interesting and witty. It was fun to be able to have dinner with so many KUAF/NPR junkies.

The very next day Malcolm McNair and I took off to visit some of our alumni at the Southeast Arkansas Legal Institute which constitutes Desha, Drew, Chicot, Lincoln and Ashley counties. The trip was wonderful and the weather was great (luckily enough, we’d missed the storm the day before). Priscilla Copelin Neeley, one of our alumna, was our hostess—she’s expecting her first baby soon. Malcolm and I were able to visit with about 20 of our alumni. I gave a CLE on spoliation of evidence for an hour of ethics credit and followed up with an update about the State of the Law School. A few of our alums who were present included Sheila Farmer (’02), Bruce Switzer (’68) and B. Kenneth Johnson (’69) and, of course, Priscilla (‘05). It was great to seem them all, and they seemed excited about all the great things happening here in Fayetteville.

For the “foodies” out there, I haven’t forgotten you. The meal at the Legal Institute was pretty fantastic. There was huge prime rib, and I believe there was a chicken option for those who weren’t too keen on red meat. There were some really good green beans cooked in the way that’s bad for you—you know, complete with bacon and onions—cheese potatoes and wild rice. It was delicious and came complete with desserts like cheesecake and molten chocolate cake, but I actually had to skip those treats to give the presentation on the update of the law school.Mitchell Lunch

The next day Malcolm and I traveled to Little Rock to go to the Mitchell Williams Scholarship Luncheon. We had a delightful lunch where Jason Boyeskie, a 3L from the University of Arkansas, was recognized as the Chair of the Board of Advocates and received a scholarship from Mitchell Williams.

After returning to Fayetteville, there wasn’t a moment to rest. That night several members of the university community had dinner with the former President of India, Dr. A.P.J. Abdul-Kalam at the University House. Dr. Kalam served as President from 2002 to 2007, and is known for his expertise as a rocket propulsion scientist and for his dedication to the students who will help him achieve his vision for India’s future. In addition, he is working to lead his country toward a robust knowledge-based economy by creating the Technology Vision 2020 plan. This plan serves as the road map that India will follow in its quest to become a developed nation. As if being a President and rocket scientist (literally!) isn’t enough, he’s also written four books and received 30 honorary doctorates. He’s the very embodiment of a Renaissance man.

Dr. Kalam’s remarks were warm and very poignant, and it was a great opportunity to meet such an outstanding leader who is a populist as a politician, a rocket scientist and a person who very much cares about the plight of folks who are left behind by the economic boom. It was truly a wonderful event.Dr. Kalam

Meeting with Dr. Kalam was great, but for a foodie like me, the spread was an additional plus. The meal was prepared by a caterer from Oklahoma City, and it was all authentic Indian food. There was a variety of tasty fare: naan (Indian breads), lemon rice (lemon flavored basmati rice), palak paneer (curried spinach and homemade cheese), vegetable jalfrezi (fresh garden veggies with Indian herbs and spices), aloo dum (baby potatoes in saffron gravy), wada-sambhar (a south Indian delicacy made with lentils and vegetables), kala jamboon (sweet dumplings), rasgulla (a sweet delicacy made with cheese), pappad (Indian wafers) and raita (yogurt dressings). It was delicious.

The next day—how many days has this been again? I’ve certainly lost track. The Environmental Law Society had its Environmental Law and Policy Conference, and it was fairly well attended. I got to sit in on one session that was extremely interesting. We had a speaker from Wal-Mart, Nancye Bethurem, who talked about sustainability and some of the initiatives that the corporation is undertaking to assure that the oceans are not overfished and that farmed fish are raised in a way that is sustainable and environmentally respectful. I know that both the conference attendees and I appreciated the efforts of Josh Bailey, who put on the entire event.

Sunday finally rolled around, but there was little rest. It was off to the Renaissance Hotel in Chicago for a one-day meeting of the LSAC Work Group on Membership Issues. During the meeting, I got to see Chuck Goldner, the dean of the UALR School of Law. He was at the Mitchell Williams Scholarship Lunch as well, and we joked about the fact that usually we only see each other when we’re both out of Arkansas. Since we usually just run into each other out of town, so it was kind of fun to see him twice in one week. The other members of the Work Group are Ellen Rutt, Chair of LSAC; Joan VanTol, General Counsel for LSAC; Ken Kleinrock, Admissions Director at NYU Law School and Patty O’Hara, the Dean at Notre Dame Law School. We finished our business at about 4:30 p.m., and I flew back to Fayetteville to begin the next week.

As you can tell, this is definitely an exciting (and also very busy) time at the Law School. Thank goodness the cool weather is energizing.