Tribute to Dean Timothy J. Heinsz, A
Journal of Dispute Resolution
Tribute to Dean Timothy J. Heinsz, A
Robert G. Bailey 0
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Timothy J. Heinsz, Earl F. Nelson Professor of Law, and Directorfor the
Center for the Study of Dispute Resolution, received his undergraduatedegree
from St. Louis Universityand his law degreefrom Cornell University. He came to
the University of Missouri-ColumbiaSchool of Law as an associateprofessor in
1979, and became a full professorin 1981. Between 1988 and 2001, he was dean
of the law school. He became Director of the Centerfor the Study of Dispute
Resolution in 2002.
On July 2, 2004, Dean Heinsz had a heart attack while jogging on the MKT
Trail near his home and died. He was 56 years old. In the days following his
death the School of Law received an outpouring of kindness and supportfrom
alumni andfriends, the legal community, law schools nationwide, and citizens of
Columbia. In recognition of his commitment to this law school the editors re
spectfully dedicatethis issue to the memory of Dean Timothy J. Heinsz.
A Tribute to Dean Timothy J. Heinsz
Robert G. Bailey*
I am deeply grateful to the Journalof Dispute Resolution for inviting me to
express my profound respect, love, and admiration for my best friend and the law
school's esteemed colleague, Dean Timothy J. Heinsz.
Teaching, scholarship and service-the cornerstones of the University of
Missouri's mission-were also the cornerstones of Tim's academic career. A
strong law faculty is the sum total of its many parts. Strong faculties have gifted
teachers, gifted scholars and gifted administrators. Together the faculty's
achievements give the institution life, but only a few of us enjoy the versatility to
achieve in all three roles. Tim was one of the select few.
Tim relished teaching. He reveled in the give-and-take of classroom
discussion. He was a thoughtful, demanding, rigorous teacher, but his rapport with the
students enabled them to digest difficult concepts. Tim's students remembered
him fondly and often called him after graduation with legal questions or just to say
* Assistant Dean and Academic Counselor, University of Missouri-Columbia School of Law.
hello. It was not uncommon for former students to ask Tim to meet them at
Booches for a burger and a beer.
The students' actions speak louder than my words. Before he assumed the
deanship, Tim's teaching prowess earned him three "Outstanding Professor"
awards, voted by the students. Tim never lost the knack.
Tim dedicated his academic career to service. In an era when most law
school dieans last no more than a few years, Tim thrived as our dean for thirteen.
In 1993, after five years as Dean, he announced his retirement so he could return
to the classroom and pursue other academic endeavors. When faculty chose a new
dean, Tim's return to the full-time faculty seemed assured until the dean-designate
accepted another offer at the last minute and left us in the lurch. True to form,
Tim sacrificed his own ambitions for the good of the law school, stepped up to the
plate, and continued as dean for another seven years during often financially
troublesome times for the law school. He never regretted the decision, which was
driven by his deep and abiding loyalty and respect for the institution, and by his
sense of honor and commitment to his colleagues. For a faculty that never really
wanted Tim to step down so soon, the 1993 dean search had a happy ending.
Tim's deanship was marked by more than longevity. Tim earned our respect
for his work ethic, for his close relations with alumni, faculty and staff-and for
his success. On his watch, the law school nearly doubled the size of the faculty,
enhanced the breadth and depth of its course offerings, and fashioned a dispute
resolution program that wins frequent recognition as the finest in the nation.
But Tim's energies extended beyond the entrance of Hulston Hall to the noble
cause of law reform. He was a recognized leader in the National Conference of
Commissioners on Uniform State Laws (NCCUSL), and in the National Academy
of Arbitrators (NAA). He served as reporter for NCCUSL's Revised Uniform
Arbitration Act (RUAA); he devoted every Saturday from 1996-2000 to working
on this project. He also served as chair of NCCUSL's Public Information
Committee. He served on the NAA's Committee on Professional Responsibility and
Grievances, Committee on Research and Education, Nominating Committee, and
the Legal Representation Committee. He also served as Vice President of the
NAA and as a member of the NAA's Board of Governors.
Tim's public service did not stop him from answering the University's calls,
which came frequently. He served as Chair of the University's Vice Chancellor
for Development search, as a member of the Provost Search Committee, and a
member of the Athletic Department's Professional Sports Counseling Panel.
People knew Tim was a team player who left every endeavor better than he had found
As busy and involved as Tim was with teaching, the deanship and service, he
always found time to conduct research and to stay current with labor law and
arbitration law. He co-authored one of the nation's leading labor law casebooks. He
also wrote eleven law review articles, three book reviews and six bar journal
cles during his law school tenure. Tim truly enjoyed the intellectual challenge of
research and writing. He delighted in tackling complex legal issues and rendering
them understandable through painstaking research and analysis and clear, cogent,
and persuasive writing.
D. The Man
Tim's three professional cornerstones-teacher, scholar and servant-do not
tell the whole story. Tim's personal warmth and character endeared him to
everyone he met and simply made people feel good about themselves. Because I am
hopelessly partisan, I will speak through others about his profound influence.
Administrative Assistant Cheryl Poelling, for example, describes Tim as
[A man with] twinkling eyes, a mischievous smile and a heart of gold.
Tim lived his life as a shining example of harmony, of family, faith and
fellowship. He was an optimist, mentor, leader, and an intellectual with a
gift for creating life long friendship with everyone he met. He was the
kindest person I have ever known.
Professor Jim Westbrook, a former dean, speaks of his lifelong colleague this
One of the reasons I admired Tim was because he achieved a balance
between qualities that are very difficult to balance. He was highly efficient
but seemed relaxed and unhurried; he saw people's weaknesses but was
invariably kind; he took his responsibilities seriously but proceeded with
humor and even a sense of mischief; he took care of details but he saw
the big picture. The more you learned about Tim, the more you admired
Tim's long time Executive Staff Assistant, Mary Kempf, remembers him this
When I think of Tim I first see his twinkling clear blue eyes and sweet
grin. His eyes take me on a journey through kindness, thoughtfulness,
honesty, and most of all I feel so good about myself because he is sharing
all his priceless gifts with me. I feel Tim around me all the time. I only
wish he was still here with all who loved him.
Professor Jim Devine and Tim both began teaching at Mizzou in 1981. Jim
writes that "for the first seven years I knew him, Tim and I were colleagues
teaching Trial Practice. For the next 13 years, Tim was my boss. For the last years,
Tim was again a colleague. But, from the day I met him, mostly Tim was just my
Professor Wilson Freyermuth, whom Tim hired in 1992, recalls "three things
I most loved and valued about Tim, as a friend, colleague, and role model":
(1) How very modest he was. Although Tim was incredible
accomplished, he always tried to draw attention to other people's
accomplishments; (2) How much joy Tim took in ordinary things-playing tennis or
cards, sneaking off to Booches for lunch, playing practical jokes-and
how much fun this made it to be around him; and (3) How thoughtful
Tim was of others. I was always grateful for the encouragement he gave
me as a young teacher, and how unselfishly he gave of his time in
reading my work.
Ken Dean, Associate Dean during Tim's entire deanship, says that:
It is simply not possible to overstate the quality of Tim's character and
the richness of his life. He was first an acquaintance, then a colleague,
then a boss, then a mentor, and finally a good close friend. Every day,
Tim taught me how to become a better person both professionally and
personally. He constantly modeled behaviors that I hoped to emulate. He
was smart, fair, scholarly, practical, confident, self evaluative,
compassionate, firm, funny, thoughtful, content, hard working, a careful listener,
a doer, and generous with his time, money and spirit. In short, Tim had
balance and harmony in his life and exuded an inner peace and
marvelous good humor.
Professor Doug Abrams, Tim's colleague since 1989, says that:
Even as dean, Tim never stopped teaching. The faculty learned from the
example he set. He taught us how to inspire students in the classroom.
He taught us how to write about law and its place in society. He taught
us how to devote our professional talents to the public good. Most
important, he taught us how to live.
Tim died too soon, and we miss his leadership, teaching, service, and
scholarship. He guided the law school for thirteen years with skill, dedication,
thoughtfulness, and care that made it a much better place for the generations of alumni
who will serve our profession. Tim's personality brought an unparalleled joy to
the law school he cherished because he exuded goodness, kindness, loyalty, and
love of life.
II. EXPRESSIONS FROM ALUMNI AND FRIENDS'
Dean Heinsz was a dear friend throughout my many years in Columbia and
beyond. He was the reason I ended up at Mizzou for law school. After getting
accepted to Mizzou, I called Leslie Marklin in the Admissions Office and while I
was talking to her about the benefits of going to Mizzou, Dean Heinsz, who just
happened to be in her office, grabbed the phone and we had a couple of minutes of
discussion regarding the friendliness of the school and community. He made me
promise there and then that Mizzou would be at the top of my consideration list.
1. This section has been reprinted with permission from The Transcriptwith minor modifications.
In Memory ofDean Timothy J. Heinsz
While I was at Mizzou, Dean Heinsz was always accessible for anything from
academic advice to just shooting the breeze. I cannot count the number of times I
visited him in his office just to talk sports. He also touched my family. At
graduation, he took a few minutes on an otherwise extremely busy day to meet my
parents and other relatives who came in from California and share some memories of
my law school achievements with them.
Dean Heinsz will be truly missed by myself and the many, many other alumni
and current students who have had the fortune to encounter him.
IAN S. TOPF, '95
In April 1993, our firm started. We started with three lawyers and two
excellent legal secretaries. Our original location was across the street from the
Governor's Mansion, in the basement of a very old building. We had no windows. Our
office walls were the original stone foundation of the building. It was damp. We
were excited, eager and wide-eyed to start a law practice.
I believe that it was in the summer of that first year that I received a phone
call from Dean Heinsz. He wanted to stop by, visit and congratulate us on our new
venture. So he came to Jefferson City during the course of the business day and
visited with us for approximately an hour. We met in our one and only conference
room around a compressed particle board and inexpensive oblong table. My two
law partners and I were honored that the dean of the law school would come to
our small new firm and grace us with his presence. It was not a solicitation call for
funds for the law school, but of encouragement and celebration. The visit as I
remember fondly was like a family meeting where we shared stories and many
laughs. My partners and I were on "cloud nine" immediately after he left. I can
still see in my mind Dean Heinsz on that occasion as he showed a sincere interest
in how we were doing and he wanted us to know that he and the law school stood
ready to help in any meaningful way. I will never forget that visit.
STEPHEN G. NEWMAN, '80
I will never forget something Dean Heinsz did for me while I was a law
student. I think it speaks volumes for who he was. At 5:00 a.m. during finals week,
our first son was born. I had a final that morning at 8:00 a.m. I contacted the
professor about rescheduling the final; he said no. I contacted Dean Heinsz. Later that
morning, he called me and said congratulations first. He then said that I did not
need to worry about the final exam. He would let me take it in a couple of days by
coming to his office. In the next couple of days, I contacted Dean Heinsz and
made an appointment to go to his office to take the exam. Again, when I got to his
office, he said congratulations on the birth of our first child. He gave me the exam
and let me take it in the conference room outside his office. I have never forgotten
his kindness and concern during that time. His actions spoke loudly about who he
was as a person.
Dean Heinsz also gave me some very sound and wise advice about my legal
career. Heeding his advice was one of the best career decisions I ever made.
THOMAS D. RODENBERG, '89
When I became the dean at UMKC in 1995, I benefited more than I had any
right to expect from Tim's open and collegial approach to dealing with the dean at
the University of Missouri system's other law school and, more importantly, to
life. He understood that we were not rival deans, but two human beings engaged
in a common struggle to continue to move the legal profession forward and to
educate the next generation of lawyers. Whether the matter involved admissions
policies, sexual orientation, bar passage, tuition raises, or any of a dozen or so
tumultuous items that were most appropriately wrestled with behind closed doors
in tandem with another dean, I came quickly to appreciate that what made him
effective as dean was what also made him commendable as a person: he tried to
deal with issues in relation, first, to the people that they affected, and then only in
terms of the politics of the matter. It was one of the traits that made me an admirer
and is one of the reasons why he will surely be missed by us all.
BURNELE V. POWELL
Dean andMiles & Ann Loadholt Professorof Law
University of South CarolinaSchool of Law
Recently I got to see and hear Tim just the day before his passing in bar
review. I was having a problem understanding one of his examples, so I went up
afterwards for an explanation. Tim was so approachable, down-to-earth and
humble. He understood why I was confused, looked at it from my point of view and
agreed that the question could be read my way. He took the time to re-explain the
issue, wrote out another problem and made sure I understood it. Not many other
lecturers would have taken this amount of time or effort just to make sure that one
student understood. I am disappointed I never had Tim as a professor. From my
short session with him after bar review, I can say Tim was not just a scholar, but a
true teacher in every sense of the word.
NEVADA M. SMITH, '04
I consider myself fortunate to be among those who knew and loved Tim. He
touched my life and I will always feel his influence and support, even if his
physical presence is now missing. Clearly, my life is richer and fuller because of my
In Memory of Dean Timothy J. Heinsz
dealings with Tim. From time to time I would simply pick up the phone or send
Tim an e-mail. I'll miss not being able to do that and I'll miss his counsel. When I
think of persons I know who serve as models for how I strive to live my life, Tim
is right at the top of the list. I never saw Tim being flamboyant or boastful. He
simply led everyone by example with his solid, quiet, self-assured, calm, yet
powerful, presence which I saw as his fundamental true nature. It was my observation
that he never felt any need to impress others, yet the paradox was that because of
his fundamental nature people recognized and honored him as a gifted and
powerful person in their lives. Simply put, Tim was an extraordinary person.
FRED A. RICKS JR., '81
Some twenty years ago, I was fortunate enough to have had Professor Heinsz
for trial practice, one of the most important classes in law school. Then a
thirtysomething law professor who had left private practice to enter the academic
world, he was the epitome of class and coolness, tempered with the precisely
correct dose of humility. And, over the years, as a number of outstanding professors
at the law school were lured away by big bucks to places like UCLA and
Michigan, Professor Heinsz remained a fixture. He was a source of comfort and pride of
area alumni. In fact, just after my graduation, our very outstanding dean was so
lured away, something that left myself and others a tad forsaken. Such concerns
were obviated, however, when Professor Heinsz became the new dean. And all
was right in Columbia again.
KENDALL R. GARTEN, '85
My first encounter with Tim Heinsz was in 1994. He and Jim Salmo
interviewed me to be Jim's assistant in the Development Office. When Jim called me
to say that I qualified for the second interview and it would be with the dean and
himself, I almost said, "forget it," but I thought I would just have to make the best
of this adventure. When Tim walked into the room and looked at me with his blue,
kind and loving eyes, I thought to myself, this man is truly an instrument of our
Through time, my first impression proved to be so true in so many, many
ways. You see, I am not a law student, a lawyer, a faculty member, or judge, I am
just a clerical person trying to make my "guy" look good. He always knew how
hard all of his staff performed to help make "our" Law School look the best. If
you happened to walk past someone's office and see a vase of fresh-cut flowers,
you knew Tim had stopped by to deliver them just to let that staff person know
how thankful he was to have her/him at the Law School.
The next time I see Tim, he will be standing there with a brief case in one
hand, his dazzling bow tie, big blue eyes, and a bouquet of flowers (with the stems
JOURNAL OF DISPUTERESOLUTION
wrapped in aluminum foil) to greet me and help me feel the gentleness of the Lord
MARY M. KEMPF
Executive Staff Assistant, Office of the Dean,
University of Missouri-Columbia,School of Law
More Than Words2
2. Reprinted with permission of The Transcript. Originally published in The Examiner.
In Memory of Dean Timothy J. Heinsz
Tim embodied love and possessed a gentle, loving and caring spirit. He loved
life and lived it fully and richly. He loved his work and he worked tirelessly on
every project he ever undertook. Despite his tremendous capacity and competency
for work, he did not seek the spotlight. Tim personified a quiet, calm, effective
leadership which endeared him to everyone. He loved the University of Missouri
and his many functions with the University. But most of all, he loved his family,
playing the role of the doting family patriarch for them. He loved his daughters,
Jennifer and Megan, with a depth of love rarely seen. He adored his
granddaughter, Camille. And he had the storybook love affair with his childhood sweetheart
and wife of thirty six years, Susan.
Tim exemplified kindness and thoughtfulness. He always had a smile on his
face and always had time for every person he met or who sought him out for
guidance and counsel. Tim's acts of kindness were daily, but a few memorable ones
include his constant bringing of flowers from Susan's garden to the law school
staff or his yearly sending of flowers to his mother on his own birthday. This
kindness brightened our lives and made each of us better. People have asked me
what made Tim so kind, and I believe it was because of the love and support of his
family and his deep, abiding and profound faith in God.
But as exceptionally gifted, wise and talented as Tim was, beneath his
professional exterior and numerous achievements and accomplishments laid the impish
spirit of Bart Simpson and Dennis the Menace. Tim loved to play practical jokes
with his family and friends. Just one such act was that he would switch the cereal
from one box to another so that his girls ended up with a breakfast surprise.
Tim was my best friend and I choose to remember him as the friend who
always had a smile on his face, an impish act to impart, a kind gesture to give, and a
heartfelt love beyond measure for those he encountered.