Law School News

President and Dean Michael F. Barry Updates STCL Houston Alumni Community at Virtual Town Hall

South Texas College of Law Houston alumni from across the nation gathered this month for a virtual town hall with President and Dean Michael F. Barry.

He updated graduates on the many accommodations the school has made to help ensure the safety of the South Texas community amid the ongoing pandemic. He underscored the three foundational priorities from which STCL Houston has operated since the outbreak of COVID-19 in March:

  • The safety of our students, faculty, and staff;
  • Continued excellence in education and instruction; and
  • Continuity of our exceptional South Texas community.

Barry told alumni that, with this framework in place, STCL Houston established an internal Emergency Operations Management Team (EOMT) — comprised of the SBA president, and more than 20 members of the faculty and staff — to assess potential health concerns related to COVID-19 and best practices for instruction, bar preparation, gathering as a community, and other key considerations for the 1,200-person institution.

Another main priority for Barry in the past nine months has been a commitment to frequent and transparent communication with the South Texas community. As part of this commitment, members of the school’s administration and faculty remained available to answer questions from the STCL Houston family, including alumni interested in helping students weather the unprecedented academic year.

Barry shared that — by remaining flexible and creative over the past several months — the school has enhanced campus safety precautions, accommodated student needs as soon as they have arisen, and helped students overcome technological barriers.

In the virtual gathering, Barry updated alumni on the school’s progress and growth, including the recent creation of the Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, and the newly established Legal Writing Center. He also encouraged alumni to engage with the school and students through the new Career Support Network, providing 3Ls the guidance they need to jump-start their legal careers, especially during the unpredictable COVID-19 pandemic.

Finally, Barry provided an update on STCL Houston’s future plans, including a high-level overview of the school’s Second-Century Strategic Plan built of the following foundational principles:

  • Delivering Excellence in Legal Education;
  • Engaging with the Larger Community in Houston;
  • Enhancing STCL Houston’s Strong Community;
  • Reinforcing Our Diversity — Our Mission and Our Future; and
  • Maintaining and Growing Our Financial Strength.

At the conclusion of the town hall, Barry encouraged attendees to get involved with the STCL Houston Alumni Association by mentoring students, funding programs and scholarships, and donating their time and talents by coaching advocacy and ADR competition teams.