Welcome New Students, Faculty and Staff
I am pleased, speaking also for our faculty and staff, to extend a heartfelt welcome to our new first-year students and to all of our returning second- and third-year students. I hope you had a pleasurable and productive summer.
There are many new faces at the college, and I hope you will soon have the opportunity to meet them. We welcome our newest members of the faculty — Assistant Professor Shani King, and Assistant Legal Skills Professor Leslie Knight. We also welcome Thomas Ruppert, who will assist in the Conservation Clinic in our Center for Governmental Responsibility, and Gary Lucas, who will teach in our tax program as our visiting tax interim. We also welcome several new members of our professional staff. Many of you will work closely with Michelle Ocepek, our new Director of Student Programs in the Office of Student Affairs, and with Kimm Tyson, our new resource coordinator in the Office of Career Services. We also welcome Hedda Prochaska, our new Online Communications Coordinator, and Jake Henry, who joins the Office of Admissions as Assistant Director. In the Office of Development and Alumni Affairs, led by Senior Director Kelley Frohlich, we welcome Vince PremDas and Victoria Rudd to the team. Sara Grimm will join that office on September 4th and will be in charge of our annual giving programs, which she now manages for the law school at Ohio State. Last but not least, many of you already know our new Assistant Dean for Administrative Affairs John Plummer, who joined us this past spring.
We will share more information with you as our plans develop, but we expect to begin construction early in 2008 on the Martin H. Levin Advocacy Center. This free-standing building will be located adjacent to Bruton-Geer on the southwest corner of our facilities. There will be some disruption from this construction, which will last about a year, but far, far less than what we endured during the major renovation of our facilities in 2003-05. When completed, this will add a new state-of-the-art courtroom to our academic facilities.
Among our highest priorities for this year are to work with student leadership in LCC and JMBA to strengthen community, offer leadership-building opportunities, and improve the mechanisms through which students can offer suggestions, advice, and feedback on programs here at the college.
As we start this new year, I would like to stress that among the many benefits of being a part of a large and comprehensive institution is the opportunity we have to learn from the diversity of backgrounds and cultures that are represented in our faculty, staff, and student body. I urge you to take advantage of this richness through interaction with those whose life experiences differ from your own. After all, there is much we can learn from each other.
This newsletter is for you, and I hope you will speak through it by submitting your news and suggestions to our Office of Communications. You also will find much information online at our newly revamped website www.law.ufl.edu, which also contains policies and guidelines to which students and other members of our community are expected to adhere. You’ll also find details and updated information on support services, financial information, student organizations, centers and institutes, course descriptions, faculty and staff, maps, and other helpful information.
Again, welcome back to the Levin College of Law. I look forward to working with all of you again this year.