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Sunday, October 01, 2006

Outside boards and law school governance

During the last few weekends -- that is, the last few Notre Dame home games -- my law school has hosted the board of its alumni association and its "advisory council."  I wonder, what do people think the role, or the point, of bodies like these is or should be?  Should entities like these have actual governance roles?  How should they be selected / constructed?  How are they used at your schools, and how do you think they could be better used?

Here is what we have to say about our advisory council:

The Law School's advisors understand the philosophy, plans and objectives of the Notre Dame Law School. As members of Notre Dame's official family, they share this understanding with others by serving as representatives of the University in cities where they reside and in their respective business and professional communities. In addition to acquiring and transmitting to others this understanding-in-depth of the school, Advisory Council members, by their attendance and active participation in meetings, assist with the identification of problems and offer solutions as well as help chart the school's growth. They also help generate the financial resources which such growth demands.

The Advisory Council does not determine academic policy, but drawing on the knowledge and experience of the membership, it advises the dean on matters in which he seeks their counsel. Council members also have access to the President of the University, communicating with him at meetings or informally on matters concerning the Law School and its development.

And, here is the mission of the alumni-association board:

The mission of the NDLA is to further the mission of the Notre Dame Law School through the following activities:

  • advising the Dean and such members of the faculty and administration as the Dean may designate in matters respecting the students, curriculum, finances, programs, facilities, resources, capabilities, strategic planning,  management and operations of the Law School, and such other areas as the Dean may specify in requesting
    assistance of the NDLA;
  • recruiting, advising and promoting the candidacies of excellent students for the Law School;
  • mentoring, advising and promoting students and graduates of the Law School in their efforts to secure employment opportunities;
  • conducting such activities and programs as are designed to promote or contribute toward the mutual support of NDLA members;
  • fostering a spirit of solidarity, friendship and dedication among NDLA members and friends of the University of Notre Dame and the Law School;
  • encouraging perpetuation of the ideals that all students are taught to uphold and value while attending classes at the Law School;
  • sponsoring, directing and participating in such charitable, educational, religious, social, athletic and other activities as may advance the interests of the NDLA and its members or the interest of the University of Notre Dame as determined by the board of directors of the NDLA and the Dean;
  • raising funds and soliciting contributions to the University of Notre Dame for use by the Law School;
  • recognizing and publicizing the talents and professional contributions of members of the NDLA in serving their profession and communities in ways that serve as examples of the fulfillment of the mission of the Law School; and
  • establishing fellowships, scholarship funds and such other programs as may assist worthy and needy students and prospective students to make it possible for them to attend and complete their course of study at the Law School.

Do these sound, more or less, like the analogous entities at other schools?

Posted by Rick Garnett on October 1, 2006 at 09:46 PM in Life of Law Schools | Permalink


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