As the calendar year winds to a close, many of us at the University of Richmond are reflecting on the tragic death of a student that stunned our community last week. We send heartfelt condolences to all who knew and loved the wonderful young person who was taken from us.

I am grateful for the leadership of our Jepson Student Government Association (JSGA) co-presidents, who reached out to all Jepson School students, faculty, and staff to extend their sympathy and pass on information that may prove helpful to those who struggle with depression.

Now is also a time to reflect on the many reasons we have to be thankful at the Jepson School. We are enjoying another successful year, with continued strong students, staff, and faculty. Applications and admitted students continue to demonstrate growing interest in Jepson, and we are fortunate to be able to meet demand for our classes.

Our Forum series, Does Democracy Work?, is enormously successful, and we have begun to plan next year’s series, Digital Dystopias.

Marshall Center speakers, the Marshall Center visiting research fellow, the Richard L. Morrill visiting chair in ethics and democratic values, and our Zuzana Simoniova Cmelikova visiting scholar in leadership and ethics all contribute to our community. In January 2019, former Jepson School dean Kenneth P. Ruscio will return to the Jepson School classrooms as senior distinguished lecturer.

Beyond our usual activities this fall, the faculty and staff have undertaken several key initiatives involving academics, the renovation of Jepson Hall 120, ethics-related projects, profile raising, and Oxford scholarships. Each of these presents exciting opportunities for the School.

Academic (Curriculum/Students) – We have significantly revised our credit-bearing internship class to include two half units, a preparation class, and a follow-up class. The faculty is discussing ways to reintroduce data analysis to the curriculum. We were successful in recruiting a strong, more diverse incoming class in fall 2018.

Renovation of Jepson Hall 120 – The former lecture hall has been converted into an ethics suite, including offices, a small meeting space, and a state-of-the-art classroom. Stop by for a tour!

EthicsDr. Jessica Flanigan is serving as the University’s ethics fellow, available to lead discussions and give talks on demand to groups of faculty, staff, and students. The School plans to host a conference, open to faculty from all UR schools, on a broad ethics theme in 2020.

Profile Raising – In collaboration with UR colleagues and the Jepson School Executive Board of Advisors, we are helping potential employers better understand the skills and qualities of Jepson School graduates. Thank you to all who have supported this initiative. We are almost halfway to our fundraising goal of $250,000!

Oxford – While details remain to be worked out, we are forging a relationship with the University of Oxford, whereby two or three Jepson School graduates will enter a funded Oxford master’s program each year.

I am grateful to the Jepson and University communities and send good wishes to our alumni, friends, and supporters for a restful, happy, and healthy holiday season!

Reflecting on 2018

Sandra J. Peart

Dr. Peart is Dean of the School of Leadership Studies at the University of Richmond. She is an economist with special interests in leadership and economics and leadership ethics. More about her: Go to and see faculty information.

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