Joshua Fershée, JD, dean of the Creighton University School of Law, wrapped up his first semester with the University. Fershée, who comes to Creighton after serving as a professor of law and director of LLM programs in energy and sustainable development at the West Virginia University College of Law, officially began as dean on July 1.
Here, Fershée reflects on his first semester with the law school and speaks about his priorities moving forward.
Generally speaking, how has your first semester been?
It’s been a great first semester. I have had the opportunity to meet so many wonderful people. Our students, our faculty and staff, and our extraordinary loyal alumni create an incredible Creighton community. Beyond that, the broader Omaha community has been welcoming to me and my family, and I am glad we’re here.
What were your first impressions of Creighton and the School of Law, and how have they changed?
My first impressions of Creighton and the School of Law have largely proven accurate. I saw an institution with a strong foundation that was in a state of evolution and transition. All schools in higher education, especially law schools, are evolving and in need of transition, but not all schools have the foundation we have at Creighton. I saw, and still see, a tremendous amount of opportunity for the University. One thing that has changed, though, is my understanding of just how complex our University is. That creates some additional challenges, but it also increases our opportunities.
What has been the most rewarding part of your role as dean?
I have the opportunity to engage with people every single day who are making a difference, and that is the most rewarding part of my job as dean. I am inspired by our students, faculty and staff, and all they do. Their stories about what they have done, who they want to help and where they’re trying to go make me proud to be connected with them.
What are the priorities of the School of Law moving forward?
Although we’re working toward a bigger plan for the future, we have three initial priorities for the School of Law. We are working:
- To build a strong and trusting community, embracing the Jesuit value of assuming positive intent of others;
- To achieve a bar passage rate and post-graduate employment rate of 90% within five years, in pursuit of the Jesuit value: magis;
- To increase service and training opportunities for our students as we pursue our Jesuit values of cura personalis and being men and women with and for others.