Summer 2001
Vol 18 No. 2

Celebrating 160 Years, and a Bright Future

Overcoming Years of Bitterness

New Arts & Sciences Dean

Kelly Jones Claims Miss Alabama

The Business of Jets

Picturing Samford's History

Choir Pleases Russian Audiences

Exciting Swiss Winter Escapade

A Conference for All Sports

Bulldogs To Spread Field, Rely on Defense

Other Stories

Samford Names Brad Creed to be Associate Provost

Samford Gets $100,000 FIPSE Grant for PBL Project with Maastricht

Faculty Compendium: Ross Article Cited in Microsoft Ruling; Bass Book Nominated for Pulitzer Prize

New Arts and Sciences Dean Samford ÔAnything But SleepyÕ: Chapman Davis

Davis Proudest of Hiring Strong Faculty

Teaching Aspect of Nursing Has Always Attracted New Dean

Baur Steps Down as Nursing Dean, Will Continue to Teach

John Carroll Brings Breadth of Legal Experience to Role as Cumberland Dean

Early Edmund D. Pellegrino Medal Honors Namesake, Secundy and Fletcher for Bioethics Contributions

Biology Students to Map Nature Conservancy Properties

Cumberland Professor Ware Writes the Book on Alternative Dispute Resolution

Samford ODK Celebrates 50th Year, Recognizes 50 Leaders with Impact

Samford hosts Alabama GovernorÕs School

Halbrooks Inaugurated as President of Colgate Rochester Crozer

Frank Stagg Library Adds Greatly to Samford Baptist Collection

Student Callers Raise More than $137,000 in Phonathon Effort

Issue Photo: SCIENCENTER

 

John Carroll Brings Breadth of Legal Experience to Role as Cumberland

Many law deans take a traditional academic path to their post. Not so for John L. Carroll, newly named dean of Samford’s Cumberland School of Law. He comes to his position from the federal bench after a distinguished career as a public interest lawyer.

A 1974 Cumberland graduate with a master of laws from Harvard University, Carroll practiced civil and criminal law for 10 years, including a stint as legal director of the Southern Poverty Law Center in Montgomery. For the last 14 years, he has served as chief U.S. magistrate judge for the Middle District of Alabama and has served on several committees charged with shaping federal judicial policy.

When the opportunity arose to return to Cumberland as dean, Carroll and his wife, Susan, agreed it was time for a new challenge. "While I was here, I loved the school," he said. "And I couldn't pass up the opportunity to come back and serve as dean.”

A native of Washington, D.C., Carroll earned his undergraduate degree at Tufts University in Massachusetts. He was a Marine Corps flight officer during the Vietnam War, flying more than 200 combat missions. At Cumberland, he was a member of the Cumberland Law Review and the national moot court team, and was elected student bar president.

Cumberland grad John Carroll finds his niche as law dean.

"I came to law school to do public interest work," he said, adding that his dream took shape when Southern Poverty Law Center founder Morris Dees visited the school. "After hearing him speak, I approached him about working with him, and it turned out to be one of the greatest career opportunities I could have had. We handled class-action civil-rights litigation and capital defense cases."

Later, after two years on the law faculty at Mercer University School of Law, Carroll was appointed to the U.S. magistrate judge post, presiding over a full docket of civil trials. "A magistrate judge has a lot of flexibility, and it depends on the distÜict judges’ vision of how best to use it," he said. "I was fortunate to be in a district where those judges thought I should use the full range of jurisdiction, including dispositive authority over civil jury trials."

He was appointed by Chief Justice William Rehnquist to the Judicial Conference’s Advisory Committee on the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, and to the Magistrate Judge’s Education Committee of the Federal Judicial Center, which he chaired.

"Few law school deans in America have the breadth of experience of Judge Carroll," said Samford President Thomas E. Corts. “He has demonstrated a devotion to altruism and to service to others, along with his practice and teaching of law, and his judgeship. He has high principles and common sense that make Samford proud to call him an alumnus."

Carroll succeeds Barry A. Currier, who left after four years as dean in the summer of 2000 to become deputy consultant to the American Bar Association Section on Legal Education in Chicago. Law professor Michael D. Floyd served as acting dean during 2000-01.

Carroll has served as president of the board of Leadership Montgomery and is a member of the 2001 class of Leadership Alabama, which seeks to resolve issues affectingúthe state and region. "I am tremendously proud that the impetus for reforming Alabama's constitution comes from Samford President Thomas Corts," he said, "and that Cumberland is involved in that effort through the State Constitutional Law Project."

He describes himself as "a servant leader," adding that during his years in the Marines, he learned that "you can't command respect, only earn it. Leadership in these times depends on the ability to build consensus, to get people to sign on to the vision of where we need to go. I hope I can do that."

His vision for Cumberland is to continue to build on what he describes as the school's "obvious strengths: our faculty and our dedication to producing practicing lawyers who are leaders." The school’s greatest challenge, he adds, is financial. “That’s a problem facing all private law schools. We have to find ways to finance our program so that it is not so dependent on tuition."