Dean's Message: Fall 2017
Dean's Message: Fall 2017

As we begin our 113th year at Creighton’s law school, we look forward to welcoming 106 new first-year students into what will become the class of 2020. The profiles of this class are academically impressive. And with this class, the law school’s geographic reach has expanded, drawing heavy interest from California and Arizona and increased attention from the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic regions, the latter likely due to Creighton’s presence in the BIG EAST Conference.

We welcome this development and will respond with increased efforts by our admissions office, now led by assistant dean BarbaraKaye Miller – who joined us this spring from the law school at Arizona State University. Emily Beller, JD’05, previously with the Career Development Office, has taken on the role of interim assistant dean for students and special projects. Andrea Bashara, who was previously in this role, and served the law school for 20 years, has assumed a new role in the provost’s office. Also joining the ranks of the law school staff this year are Lisa Foster, BA’92, as our communications and marketing strategist, who came to us from the University of Washington; and Martha Lemar, BA’94, JD’11, as our alumni director, who previously worked as a staff attorney at the Milton R. Abrahams Legal Clinic.

There also have been several faculty transitions in 2017. Assistant professor Rachel Goedken has been appointed associate dean for academic affairs and Professor David Weber, who had served in the role, has returned full-time to faculty. Assistant professor Kelly Dineen joined us in July to lead a new programmatic and curricular emphasis on health law. Having taught previously at Saint Louis University School of Law, Dineen appreciates our shared Jesuit identity and is committed to exploring new areas of collaboration and enrichment for this important and developing area of law. Six new courses have been added to our curriculum to broaden student opportunities in this area.  

Professor Kay Andrus retired after 37 years of loyal service as director of our law library. We are indebted to him for the legacy of a strong research institution that he helped build. Troy Johnson has been named as interim law library director. Professor George Butterfield, who has been at Creighton law school for 10 years, is retiring at the end of August. Professor Nicholas Mirkay joined the faculty at the University of Hawaii at Mánoa’s law school after six years of dedicated service to Creighton. Professor Palma Strand has moved to a new position at the University’s Graduate School, where she continues to lead the 2040 Initiative and the important work done there. And we are happy to have former congressman and Creighton law graduate Brad Ashford, JD’76, join us this fall to teach state and local governments in a federal system.  

The Master’s program in Negotiation and Conflict Resolution (NCR) departed the Werner Institute and relocated to the Graduate School – which has always been its degree granting home. The law school will retain the dual JD/MS-NCR degree opportunity for those law students who wish to pursue it. A national search will commence soon to identify a new director for the Werner Institute.

And finally, Professor Paul McGreal, JD, LLM, stepped down as dean of the law school this summer. He is on sabbatical researching key U.S. Supreme Court papers, which dovetails with his passion for U.S. constitutional law. In the interim, I will serve as dean until the University conducts a search for a permanent dean. During that period, I will work with alumni, students, faculty and staff to continue the law school’s forward momentum. Creighton law school is and always has been a special place. That sense has defined us for the past century, and I am confident it will continue to do so for the next. 

Enjoy the updates in this alumni newsletter, watch for your issue of Creighton Lawyer to appear in your mailboxes in September and please let us know if you’ll be at Homecoming – we’d love to see you!




Michael J. Kelly, JD, LLM