From the Dean
Tue Mar 31 2015 23:53:14 UA Law | From the Dean | Main Page  
Reading the list of neologisms started me musing about the way words come into being, have variable meanings, sometimes take on new meanings, or even fall out of favor. One word comes to mind as I write this because it has multiple, often context-specific meanings that are very relevant to our work here: “ambition.”

We are undeniably a school with great ambition. Our ambitions are specific to our history of leadership, our academic mission, and our public service and community outreach values. To me, “ambition” at Arizona means a Robert Browning desire to reach beyond our current grasp in each of these domains, to provide something larger, something better, for the good of those we serve. Indeed, such ambition is our duty.

So it is that we recently announced an ambitious plan for the next phase of our school: to construct a Law Commons that will add needed student work and study space, allow us to upgrade our computer and library resources and physical plant, and offer a state-of-the-art model of support for legal research. Our Law Commons Building Committee, composed of students, alumni, and faculty representatives, will determine what shape this next phase of constructing our physical environment will take. I expect them to think not only of what we must do now, but what we might need to do in years to come, in a world we now can barely imagine. Although I cannot tell you precisely what the new Law Commons will look like, I can assure you that our team is thinking ambitiously and creatively about the long-term needs of the school and the often dynamic meanings of several more words: “library,” “study space,” “legal research,” “legal education,” and “information technology.” (Click here for details of the project.)

One thing is clear: we need the new Law Commons and our alumni, students, and faculty have earned it. (This is not bloviating.) Our national network of well-regarded alumni, our highly employable students, our superb faculty, our solid and rigorous core curriculum and clinical opportunities, and our cutting edge programs all have earned the Rogers College of Law a national reputation as an exciting, collegial, and innovative venue for the study of law. The proposed Law Commons will enhance our current ability to advance our mission and will enable us to reach – once again – beyond our current grasp to achieve even more in the years to come.

We have already raised $12.5 million towards our goal. But make no mistake about it, a Law Commons worthy of Arizona’s best ambitions cannot be built without your help. We need more leadership gifts, more ‘roof raisers,’ and a significant increase in the number of alumni and law firm donors in order to take the Law Commons project forward.

I encourage you, in this still-fresh year, to join us in this ambitious undertaking of the very best kind.
May this find you well,

Toni M. Massaro
Dean & Milton O. Riepe Chair in Constitutional Law


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