Law school bucks enrollment trends

Wilson-NickThe number of incoming first year JD students at The University of Akron School of Law rose 26 percent this fall in comparison with the previous year. This increase goes against a national trend of substantial declines in law school enrollments.

The American Bar Association (ABA) reported that in 2014 the number of first year law students reached its lowest national level since 1973, even with 53 more ABA-approved law schools in existence. The Law School Admission Council reports that law school applicants declined again this year. At this pace, the number of people who applied to law school for the fall 2015 semester will hit its lowest level in 15 years, according to Bloomberg Business.

But that’s not the story at UA. Dean Matthew Wilson, with just one year at the helm, is proud that the school is bucking that trend.

“Interest in Akron Law has grown across Ohio, the nation, and even the world over the past year,” says Wilson, pictured above with first-year law student Nick Kappra. “Solid career prospects, cutting-edge programs, innovative offerings, and increased focus on international matters contributed to a significant increase in resident and non-resident students for 2015.”

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2014-15 performance reviews need to be submitted

The Office of Talent Development & Human Resources reminds supervisors that the annual employee performance reviews for contract professional and staff employees were due on Aug. 31. To date, the office has not received a large number of the review forms.

As a reminder, the review period was from July 1, 2014, through June 30, 2015. You can obtain the 2014-2015 Performance Review Form online. Completed forms should be submitted to the Office of Talent Development & Human Resources (+4732) as soon as possible.

The employee performance planning tool for fiscal year 2015-2016, as well as other useful guidance, is available online at Performance Review Program.

For questions about the performance review process, please contact Barbara Funk at ext. 6583. 

Photos of the day: Meet and greet launches new certificate

Certificate in Museum and Archive Studies meet and greet

This fall, the Institute for Human Science and Culture at the Cummings Center for the History of Psychology is launching the first class in the first course in the first cohort of its new undergraduate Certificate in Museum and Archive Studies. The 18-credit-hour certificate offers an introduction to museums and archives to provide students with a basic set of skills to prepare them for work in museum and archives professions.

MeetandGreet2On Tuesday, a meet and greet was hosted for a number of the community partners where nine UA students will spend time during the semester. Among those on hand were representatives for the Akron-Summit County Public Library, Akron Art Museum and Summit County Historical Society.

At top left is one of the instructors, Dr. David Baker, the Margaret Clark Morgan Executive Director of the Center for the History of Psychology and professor of psychology.

What's your best idea for the arts in Akron?

You are invited to a Q&A session to learn about a $1 million arts contest being offered by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. The competition is open to everyone, including UA students. The application is short — 150 words. No idea is too big or too small.

The Q&A session for the Knight Arts Challenge will be held Tuesday, Sept. 8, from noon to 1:30 p.m. on the E.J. Thomas Performing Arts Hall stage. Lunch will be provided. Just enter through the blue stage door on Hill Street at Buchtel Avenue. You can RSVP online.

The contest rules are simple:

  • Your idea must be about the arts.
  • Your project must take place in or benefit Akron.
  • If your idea is selected, you will need to find matching funds. Help will be provided.

“This contest is about ideas,” said Kyle Kutuchief, Akron program director for the Knight Foundation. “We’re looking for innovative, authentically Akron ideas. Dream big and send in your best ideas for our community.”

Applications are online and due by midnight Monday, Sept. 14, at

World champion Shawn Barber to embark on professional career

Pole vaulter Shawn Barber running toward jump

Pole vaulter Shawn Barber has announced he will forgo his final year of eligibility and turn professional after capturing the gold medal at the International Association of Athletics Federations World Track and Field Championships in Beijing, China, on Aug. 24.

"I'm honored to have been a part of such a distinguished group of athletes at The University of Akron," notes Barber. "We created many memories during my three years, including winning three Mid-American Conference titles. The opportunity to continue my professional career training along side Dennis Mitchell and the Akron Zips this year, while completing work on my degree is very exciting for me."

Barber has signed a professional contract with Nike and will be represented by the Doyle Management Group and former Olympic pole vaulter Jeff Hartwig.

He will continue work toward completing his degree this year while training on campus in preparation for upcoming Diamond League meets and the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Additionally, he will serve as a volunteer assistant coach for the Zips this season.

"We are very proud of Shawn's many accomplishments," says Mitchell, head track and field coach. "He has meant so much to our program and to The University of Akron. We support him 100 percent in his new venture and his plans to finish school at the University. We are glad to have him still a part of our program in a new role."

Retirees to learn about Cuba and People to People program at Sept. 9 luncheon

“Cuba: A Bridge Between Cultures” is the title for a travelogue that will be presented by Mel Vye, professor emeritus of electronic engineering technology, at the Association of The University of Akron Retirees' meeting on Wednesday, Sept. 9. Vye will talk about Cuba and the People to People program that he and other Akron travelers participated in this past January – just weeks after it was announced the U.S. would move toward resuming diplomatic relations with Cuba.

This session of the Dr. Robert E. Ferguson/AUAR Luncheon Series will be held from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Quaker Station. The buffet lunch is $13 per person and will feature meatloaf, salad, macaroni and cheese, a vegetable, rolls and butter, assorted cookies or brownies, and beverages. Lunches must be ordered in advance by contacting Chris Franz in the Alumni Office at or ext. 7271 no later than noon on Friday, Sept 4.

Payment is due upon your arrival at the luncheon. If you order and do not attend, you are still responsible for payment. You are welcome to bring a brown bag lunch; but please RSVP to Franz for an accurate count for seating purposes. Those bringing lunches are asked to pay $1 for beverages.

Parking is available in Lot 70, located between Quaker Station and both north and south of Mill Street. Guests are welcome.


Click the headlines to read the articles in their original publications

Special polymer science seminar to feature Tufts University professor

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This article originally appeared on 9-01-2015

Join us for a Caribbean Day festival 

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This article originally appeared on 8-28-2015

Softball Top Prospect Camp set for Sept. 20

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This article originally appeared on 8-11-2015

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