Director’s Letter – Fall 2011

Sep 15, 2011 | Stegner Center

As we all know, the winds of change are constantly afoot, and that well worn maxim holds true for the Stegner Center too. With this issue of the newsletter, we introduce our new electronic format, which will replace the annual paper copy newsletter that we have produced for the past seven years. We believe this new version of the newsletter will enable us to bring up-to-date programming news and other information about the Center and its faculty and students to our friends and supporters in a more timely and readily accessible format. We intend to produce three somewhat shorter but still informative newsletters each year highlighting the Center’s most recent activities and achievements.

We are also thrilled to announce the creation of a new Stegner Center Alternative Dispute Resolution Program that has just been funded by an extremely generous five year grant from the Alternative Visions Fund at the Chicago Community Trust. The new ADR program will have a broad agenda that includes educating key constituencies about collaboration and mediation options, bringing diverse parties together to find common ground on environmental issues, and producing cutting-edge research on environmental conflict management. We will be moving forward to hire a Program Director who has the requisite background, skills, and experience to launch the Alternative Dispute Resolution Program and establish it as a highly respected resource in this rapidly growing area of the law.

Change is also occurring within the Center’s faculty. After 47 years on the College of Law faculty, Professor Bill Lockhart is beginning a well deserved but quite active retirement, as he explains in his personal reflections piece–an essay that we envisioned summing up his career, but one that he characteristically chose to write with a focus on the future. For those who know Bill and his deep personal and professional commitment to social and environmental justice, this will come as no surprise. His extraordinary career has been about law reform from the outset, and it is clear that his passion for working to make the world a better place will not recede. Since Bill will be maintaining an emeritus office at the law school, we expect him to remain engaged with the Stegner Center as he pursues his latest projects promoting environmental legal reform in India.

Other faculty changes are underway. Professor Amy Wildermuth has moved from the College of Law to the Park Building following her appointment as the University’s new Associate Vice President for Faculty. Though Amy will be focusing most of her attention on university matters, we still expect to see her in the classroom at the law school and involved with Center programs as time permits. To help fill these faculty gaps, Professor Robin Craig from Florida State College of Law will be visiting the law school in the spring semester. A prolific and highly respected scholar in environmental law, Robin has already been actively involved with the Stegner Center as a speaker at our 2010 annual symposium, where she addressed sustainability and marine resources.  In addition, former College of Law graduate Jamie Pleune has been appointed associate clinical professor to supervise students in the Environmental Law Clinic.

And though the faces of our students change annually as one class graduates and gives way to another, the steady stream of student accomplishments continues to mount. We recount in this issue our students’ success in garnering scholarships and participating in the annual Pace University Environmental Law Moot Court competition. Finally, change has come on another front, as reflected in the new name for the student-edited journal formerly known as JLREL (or the “Journal for Land, Resources, and Environmental Law”), which will now be known as the Utah Environmental Law Review. The new name should better identify the journal with the College of Law, the Stegner Center, and our extensive environmental program, and it will be much easier to say and remember–important attributes in this time of change.

As always, we appreciate your support for and engagement with Stegner Center programs and activities. If you have any questions, concerns, or suggestions, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

-Bob Keiter.