Wednesday, April 9, our new Chancellor-Elect Dave Gearhart paid a visit to the law school for an informal meeting and tour. He visited with a number of folks in the law school community and got a sense of our new physical facilities, some of the challenges we still have, and my visions for the future. I really appreciate him taking an hour of his day to come to visit. We were delighted to see him, and he was a gracious visitor stopping to meet and visit with everyone who stopped to talk with him.

Lunch that day with Carolyn Allen was a highlight. We went to Taste of Thai and had a pretty good (but not overfilling) lunch. In this job as you can tell from the blog there are many meals, so it’s good once in a while to have a light one. Carolyn and I caught up each other on what’s new. We shared some of the challenges of administration. Our lunches are relaxing – two women supporting each other in their roles. I appreciate you, Carolyn, and I really enjoy our conversations. I’m glad you’re there.

It was a day for deans I guess, because at 2:30 p.m. I went over to visit with Dean Shannon in Vol Walker Hall. For those of you who regularly follow the blog, you know that it’s been my goal to visit each of my fellow deans on campus this semester. I’m doing pretty well. So far I’ve talked with Collis Geren and Greg Weidemann, and Carolyn Allen and I regularly have lunch. I’ve also visited with Dan Worrell, so I’m making my way through the list. I have an appointment to see Ashok Saxena, the Dean of Engineering next week.

But Wednesday was the day to visit with Dean Shannon of the Architecture School. He has a lovely office in an even more spectacular building. If you haven’t been to Vol Walker, the architecture building, you should check it out. I learned a lot about how the architecture program works. For example, many of the studio classes are team taught, not that both teachers teach together, but over the course of the semester each teacher teaches a specific segment of the course. Dean Shannon also spoke about how he misses Professor Emeritus John Watkins who taught a Law and Architecture class. He’s actually been thinking about recruiting John to come back and we hope he will. It would be good to see him on campus again.

We also chatted about the challenges of managing and how upon becoming dean, unless you’ve been an associate dean, you really don’t know all the things you needs to know. For that reason it helps to have close relationships with other deans. I appreciate Dean Shannon for taking time to visit with me, to share his goals for his unit, and to offer his assistance and vice versa. I really have to say that this has been a wonderful undertaking. I can’t help but think that the law school is better off because of the strength of our relationships with other units on campus.

Afterwards, I dashed off to a reception with Sherece West who is the president of the Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation. One of our alums, Baxter Sharpe, had previously introduced to me to her via e-mail. It was good to meet Sherece in person. (I have a number of pictures of that event) (P:Law School CommunicationsDean NanceDean Nance photos from TOMPro bono event, reception for Sherece West, and Inn of Court jpgs 2765-91) A number of folks from around campus were able to attend her reception. Sherece was very warm and from her remarks it’s clear she’s a visionary. We are very fortunate to have her as the new President of the Foundation.

The Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation (WRF) provides seed money to support efforts to improve the quality of life for all Arkansans and to promote systemic change. In committing itself to this mission, WRF continues the progressive, cutting-edge, visionary work that Governor Rockefeller undertook in his political life and philanthropy from 1954 until his death in 1973. The Foundation’s three goals — education, economic development and economic, racial and social justice — are highly interdependent. WRF views education, for example, as the fundamental strategy in pursuing not only economic development but also economic, racial, and social justice. None exists in isolation from the others. The Foundation will therefore place a premium on programs, projects and initiatives that serve more than one goal and that employ and/or integrate multiple strategies.


Once the reception wrapped up, I took advantage of the still and quiet of the law school to catch up on e-mails, to draft some correspondence, and to follow up on phone calls. With such a busy schedule, it’s nice to have a quiet moment or two to catch my breath.

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