Hal Bruff
Dean, School of Law
Activities and Accomplishments, 1996-2000

The accomplishments of any dean are collaborative in nature. Here are some highlights of the past four years:

  1. The Building Project. We did not have an active building project in 1996. Within two years, the shortest possible time, we arrived at a plan for a new building (after considering renovation alternatives) and obtained the necessary approvals from the campus, the University, the Regents, and CCHE. Meanwhile, we obtained legislation creating the permanent differential tuition that will support $5.6 million in loans for the building. Between the original CCHE approval of our project in late 1998 and the sudden reversal last November, we put together most of the fundraising package for the project, about $5.7 million of the $7 million then needed. (During part of that period, I had no development staff.) During the renegotiation with CCHE, we worked with legislators and our alumni to put the legislative appropriation in place and to gain CCHE's assent. Meanwhile, we completed a third party architectural review, which reaffirmed our judgment that a new building is more cost-effective than a renovation. We also held together our existing donors in the face of this uncertainty. CCHE's approval is the final hurdle; the new building should open its doors within four years from today.
  2. The Capital Campaign. We are in sight of our original capital campaign goal of $9.75 million (currently at $9.4 million). In FY '99-00 we raised about $4 million of this total, despite the uncertainties caused by CCHE. The building campaign has not foreclosed other gifts, such as the $1.5 million chair we are receiving and some large scholarship donations.
  3. Faculty Hiring and Retention. During my deanship we have lost some faculty, two to a deanship (Nichol/George), and others laterally (Smith, Bradley, and perhaps Estin). We have hired seven entry level tenure-track faculty. The qualifications of our new faculty are very strong, and they are quite diverse. Four are women, one an African-American male, and the other two meet urgent curricular needs in telecommunications and alternative dispute resolution. We have also hired able new faculty directors for the Indian Law Clinic and the Natural Resources Law Center. Our faculty salaries are 1.3% below the AAU median, and would be much worse without endowment funding. (US News rated our resources 43rd in the nation a year ago.) I have increased the faculty's summer research grants from $7500 to $10,000 in the past four years. In 1999-2000, we worked with CDR Associates in an effort to improve relationships within the faculty.
  4. Academic Programs and Support. I proposed and eventually created a new Associate Dean for Research. The Entrepreneurial Law Center and the Silicon Flatirons Telecommunications program are new. We have acquired one Distinguished Professorship and one President's Teaching Scholar. All of our promotion and tenure cases have been successful. We have upgraded our publicity, including a faculty publications brochure and a forthcoming faculty profiles issue of Amicus. We spent our own funds last year to make our classrooms and courtroom "smart."
  5. Students. We have held the quality of our student body constant. They are ranked 22nd in the nation for selectivity by US News. Their diversity is impressive. The student body was majority female last year for the first time. Ethnic diversity is at 20%, about where it has been for the last few years. We are supporting a new minority summer program that Denver law firms have created. Our bar passage rate has been high for the last four years: last July it was 92% overall, 97% for first-time takers, against state averages of 76% and 82%. Placement rates for our graduates have risen sharply: the class of 1999 was almost 95% employed after nine months (92% for '98).
  6. Library. Our library provides excellent service notwithstanding its severe space and funding limitations. We have reduced but not eliminated the Lasky faculty library for combined cost and space reasons. Last year the Law Library had 240,000 patrons. It has installed a wireless LAN, created a homepage (with almost 55,000 visits last year), and doubled the size of the computer labs (by absorbing a clinical classroom).
  7. Budget and Administration. In 1996, the campus began a five-year program of budget cuts. During that time, we have received two special opportunity faculty lines, which, together with permanent funding for the Indian Law Clinic, have offset almost all the permanent cuts we absorbed. We also took some temporary cuts; the process is now complete. I have selected several of our principal administrators, all of whom are very able. Jean Kline is a very fine budget officer. Tony Bastone and Connie Zubler have revived a dormant career services office. Carolyn Moore Whitehead has galvanized fundraising. Alice Madden has been our first alumni relations director, hired with funds provided on my arrival. We hired a fourth legal writing instructor on soft money, and are seeking permanent funding. Our budget is otherwise sound, although strained.
  8. My Teaching and Service. I teach Administrative Law each year, to an average of about 60 students; FCQ's are always at least B. I served on the Council of the ABA's Administrative Law Section and am a reporter for its project to restate the Administrative Procedure Act. On campus, I have served on three search committees, chairing one, and on the task force to revise the master plan. I am on the Board of Governors of the Colorado Bar Association and am a member of the Judicial Advisory Council, which advises our state courts.


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