LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – UA Little Rock has a new law school dean and a new interim dean of the College of Business, Health, and Human Services.

In this edition of Education Matters, we introduce you to Colin Crawford, who will be the newest face of the Trojan William H. Bowen School of Law.

Thrilled to be in Little Rock, Crawford said UA Little Rock is “a terrific law school, [that is] getting better every year.”

Crawford comes from the University of Louisville where he served as dean of the Louis D. Brandeis School of Law. Before that role, he spent years at Tulane and Georgia State University.

Wherever there is a need, Crawford said he looks to accommodate it to grow the school of law.

“I’m not really the kind of leader that comes with an agenda of ‘Here are the things we have to do,’” he said. “I need to serve the place and not demand that it do what I want it to do.”

He said he also desires to enhance the already strong areas, one being UA Little Rock’s clinics, saying the university can compete with those throughout the nation.

“The number of clinical services that are really important that serve low-income populations are a real hallmark of the school,” Crawford said. “So, I’d like to continue to strengthen those to see if there are other place that need to be improved.”

One of the challenges Crawford and higher education as a whole are bracing for is what’s being called the demographic cliff, which is leading to fewer students enrolling into college.

This cliff is a result of a dramatic decline in the U.S. birthrate that began during the Great Recession in the early 2000s.

“Law schools are going to have to be creative in creating new pathways for people who maybe don’t have the time or money for a three or four-year degree to be able to get the training to get some legal services because demands for legal services are still very high.”

Crawford succeeds Theresa Beiner who has served in the position since 2018. She joined Bowen in 1994 and is stepping down to return to faculty.

Crawford’s first day at UA Little Rock was July 1.