Harvard Law Faculty tapped Stephen L. Ball, a senior vice president at Wells Fargo, as its new dean of learners final month. Ball is the initially Black male to maintain the title at HLS.
Ball, who also served as an adjunct professor at Pace College and a contributing author for Black Enterprise Journal, is accountable for selling the very well-staying of the virtually 2,000 learners attending HLS. He took business office March 7 and oversees student help and programming, preparing for the Bar software process, and significant campus situations this sort of as orientation and graduation.
He succeeds former Dean of Students Marcia L. Sells, who stepped down from the write-up in February 2021.
Ball explained his mother, who worked as a legal secretary, inspired him to enter the regulation profession. He credits his mother with serving to him master how to compose and communicate properly.
“I consider a good deal of instances when you happen to be expanding up, people today cite an argumentative streak as indicative of upcoming strengths and skills in terms of getting to be an legal professional,” Ball stated. “I recall her citing that a little bit early on, especially in my adolescent many years. So she type of planted the seed.”
Just after graduating from Harvard Legislation College in 2010, Ball labored throughout the non-public sector. In the course of his time at Wells Fargo, he designed a cross-company, integrated method to help historically Black faculties and universities and Hispanic-serving institutions, which he stated ready him for his new position at HLS.
“This notion of empathetic management, and currently being equipped to disagree respectfully with no personalizing points — all these matters, to me, product management,” Ball explained. “The HBCUs do a great work of constructing that in just their pupils.”
Ball explained the Law College can glimpse to the resources HBCUs give their pupils and integrate comparable procedures on HLS’ campus.
“We will not have any business programs around this yet, but I know that HBCUs, for instance, quite a few of them give a campus closet to their students to use for interviewing for work,” Ball mentioned. “Maybe there are aspects of that approach that so quite a few of the HBCUs have and have carried out properly. Perhaps there are components that we could replicate below on a smaller sized scale.”
Reflecting on his hopes for his tenure, Ball claimed that he would like to enrich the “user experience” at HLS and boost the amount of money of assist and selection of gatherings offered by the Dean of College students Workplace.
He also claimed he is eager to get started “rebranding the Dean of Learners Workplace as additional than a destination for disciplinary issues.”
“When you also have individual problems, and you require assist — maybe you need to have to take a personal leave, maybe there are any variety of other issues — in which you might be seeking for guidance and guidance as a college student, that is when we demonstrate up,” he mentioned.
For Ball, Harvard’s mission has constantly been intertwined with general public assistance, his personal lengthy-time own passion. On his admissions letter for legislation university, Ball been given a personalized take note about his dedication to general public assistance through his youth, which he wrote about in his software.
“I really appreciated just the diversity of occupation paths that Harvard affords,” Ball explained.
“My profession has meandered a little bit, in a very good way,” he stated. “For the very last, I would say, couple of legs of the journey I have had, they’ve been very a great deal aligned with that community service ethic that I commenced with.”