President and Dean Michael F. Barry Hosts Virtual Town Halls to Update Community, Share Spring 2020 Plans
Over the past two weeks, STCL Houston President and Dean Michael F. Barry has united the law school community for virtual town halls for students and staff.
In the online forums, he noted his plan to attend the upcoming October board meeting to share his positive impressions and gratitude for the South Texas family’s creativity and tireless work to accommodate students during the coronavirus pandemic. He noted, “Basically, I’m going to the board meeting on Wednesday to brag. With the great efforts of our students to comply with unique COVID-19 challenges, the willingness of our faculty to meet and exceed student expectations in the virtual classroom, and the dedication of our staff in supporting students from afar, I will have much to report.”
He shared that — while most law schools are struggling to maintain operations this fall — STCL Houston is thriving and deep into planning for the spring 2020 semester. Barry shared that the school’s Curriculum Committee is working to evolve the school’s spring 2020 curriculum to meet changing business, law firm, and legal industry expectations. In early October, the entire STCL Houston faculty met virtually for a retreat to begin reimagining the curriculum. South Texas is planning to convene focus groups of employers, students, and alumni to advise on this important course update.
He reported on this year’s exceptionally strong 1L class, noting that only 5 out of the more than 300 students accepted elected not to enroll.
Barry also updated the community on the school’s finances leading into STCL Houston’s centennial celebration in 2023, as well as South Texas’ goals for its future capital campaign to support student success at the outset of the school’s second centennial.
Barry answered many student and staff questions pertaining to the school’s ongoing COVID-19 protocols; plans for October’s 13 separate, graduate hooding ceremonies amid coronavirus challenges; and resources for mental health support as the pandemic lingers in Houston.
He concluded the town halls with expressions of gratitude and encouragement for attendees’ dedication and flexibility. “Thank you, South Texas,” he said. “The way you’ve responded throughout this unique period of uncertainty and hardship truly is remarkable. Don’t let your guard down, be safe, and keep up the good work.”