UA notebook

Posted: March 4, 2018 at 3 a.m.

Law dean finalists plan public talks

FAYETTEVILLE -- Four finalists for the job of University of Arkansas, Fayetteville law dean will give public talks at the law school at 3 p.m. on the dates they visit.

Asmara Tekle, professor at Texas Southern University Thurgood Marshall School of Law and previously an associate dean for research and faculty development at the school, will visit Tuesday. Tekle, 44, last year was a finalist for law dean at Wayne State University Law School. When asked about her experience since 2015, she said it was the only time in that period she's been a dean finalist.

Robert Ahdieh, professor and director of the Center on Federalism and Intersystemic Governance at Emory University School of Law, visits March 13. Ahdieh is also a finalist for law dean at Texas A&M University.

Temple University, the University of Oregon, the University of Minnesota, the University of North Carolina and the University of Illinois previously named him as a law dean finalist since the beginning of 2015.

Ahdieh, 46, said that since 2015 there have been "at least five places where I was a finalist in every sense of the word," including taking part in searches until "either I was offered the job and turned it down or someone else was chosen instead."

Brooke Coleman, professor and co-associate dean of research and faculty development at Seattle University School of Law, will visit March 28. Coleman, 43, said this is her first time to be a dean finalist.

Margaret Sova McCabe, professor at the University of New Hampshire School of Law, visits April 5. Sova McCabe, 47, previously was the school's associate dean for academic affairs. When asked, she said she has not been a law dean finalist elsewhere since 2015.

Planning official to retire this year

FAYETTEVILLE -- A longtime planning administrator at the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville will retire May 31.

Kathy Mandrell Van Laningham, 66, joined UA in 1992 and has been the school's vice provost for planning since 2000.

"She took on the job of vice provost for planning during a time when the university experienced incredible growth in enrollment and construction," Dan Ferritor, former UA chancellor, said in a statement. Yearly enrollment has grown by more than 12,000 students since 2000, with UA reporting 27,558 students this past fall.

Before joining UA, Van Laningham worked as a senior assistant for education in the administration of Gov. Bill Clinton.

In a statement, she cited work to establish UA's New Arkansan Non-Resident Tuition Award Scholarship program as a career highlight. Based on grades and college entrance exam scores, the scholarships are for up to 90 percent of the difference between in-state and out-of-state tuition.

"I may be proudest of the work I did with different chancellors and provosts over a period of several years to help the public understand the [program's] importance," Van Laningham said.

Van Laningham earns a yearly salary of $184,576, UA spokesman Steve Voorhies said. A search will be done to fill the position, UA provost Jim Coleman said.

Grants will allow materials sharing

FAYETTEVILLE -- Combined grants of $25,500 will help four University of Arkansas, Fayetteville faculty members create or adopt educational materials to be shared freely at no cost to students or teachers.

UA's University Libraries and Global Campus began last year offering grants to support what are known as open educational resources.

"This is a very time-consuming project that I probably would not have undertaken if it wasn't because of this incentive," said Julio Gea-Banacloche, a physics professor awarded $7,500 to develop materials to replace an introductory physics course textbook now costing about $150.

Others awarded $7,500 are Daniel Barth, a clinical assistant professor of science, technology, engineering and mathematics education, and Adam Rex Pope, a visiting assistant professor of English.

Luis Restrepo, a professor for the Department of World Languages, Literatures and Cultures, will receive a $3,000 award.

Barth said he's written 320 pages of open educational resources and uses this for a UA course. He's working on illustrating the text and making it available for free to primary and high school teachers to help them develop space science and astronomy lesson plans.

"I taught in high-poverty [school] districts for years. If I said I wanted a $400 textbook, my principal would have laughed at me," Barth said. Once his project is finished, at no cost "the whole school can download it," he said.

Metro on 03/04/2018