Breakfast with the Dean
Being a dean is exciting and challenging — and for me, requires the developing and sharpening different skills than many I have honed as a classroom teacher for 20 years. Once I get settled in my position, I hope I will get back in the classroom again — at least occasionally. But one thing I do miss is the regular contact with students. Moreover, since I am new here at Brandeis, it is especially urgent for me to get to know our students.
For that reason, I have started “Breakfasts with the Dean” meetings. For these breakfast meetings, I invite up to three students to join me for breakfast at a local joint near my home in Old Louisville (Burger Boy, to be exact) — and the chance to chat and get to know one another better. (Note to the budget conscious: I am spending my personal funds and not UofL money for this purpose!)
I’ve started these breakfasts in the last week, and it has been a great window into the thoughts of our talented students. Thursday, March 22, was the first Breakfast with the Dean, and I enjoyed it completely. My breakfast was with second-year students Elizabeth Mosley and Macauley Campbell. The meal was an absolute pleasure. Both women are articulate, smart, funny, poised — I could go on about the strong impression they made. It confirmed for me how happy I am to be in this position. It also helped just a little to kill that sensation of missing the classroom and more regular student contact.
Monday, March 26, had me back at Burger Boy, this time with 3L Evan Wright and 2L Ilya Chernyavskiy. Both men shared their views that they would like to see the law school emphasize some of the corporate law skills and opportunities available in the Louisville market, as well as working with students from early on to think about job placements upon graduation. These are ideas I have heard elsewhere, and I hope that in coming months and weeks we can realize them. They also praised our faculty for their acumen and skill in the classroom — in our discussion singling out in particular Professors Les Abramson, Luke Milligan and Lisa Nicholson.
I hope the Breakfasts with the Dean will become a regular feature of my tenure and look forward to meeting many Brandeis students over breakfast in the weeks and months to come. The bad part? You have to be up and ready to order by 8 a.m.!