Wednesday, April 04, 2012

R.I.P. Gary Hartman

I just heard about Gary Hartman's passing (here) and my heart goes out to Susan and the rest of his family and friends. 

Gary was one of the first people I met at UHLC, and what I loved most about him was his ability to tell me the truth, even when he knew I wasn't going to like hearing it.  He cared passionately about the school and his colleagues. 

He was especially good during emergencies.  In the aftermath of Tropical Storm Allison, when Houston was hard-hit and our law school was among the hardest-hit, he was there, on the ground, making sure that things were working and solving the problems that come with every natural disaster.  But for the work of Gary and a few others, not only would we not have had a physical site for the school but we would also not have had a way of communicating with each other.  Many people might have been discouraged to the point of giving up, but Gary used his creativity and his wicked sense of humor (the obituary says that better than I ever could) to keep up morale and give us perspective.

Deans have very few people whom they can trust, and few in whom they can confide.  Gary was a trusted confidante.  For those who knew him, their lives were the better for it.  R.I.P., Gary.

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