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After spending more than 20 years in the Arizona desert, Hanna Arterian is finally coming home to New York. This fall, Arterian, a former associate dean at Arizona State University College of Law, will begin her tenure as the new dean of Syracuse University’s College of Law. “I was born in Manhattan and I grew up on Staten Island,” said Arterian, explaining her willingness to move across the country for her new job. “I think you are drawn back to areas you were drawn to when you were younger.” While Syracuse is still a long way from Staten Island, Arterian also has ties to the state outside New York City. She graduated magna cum laude in 1970 from Elmira College upstate. Arterian’s sister, Susan Arterian Chang, lives in White Plains and is the founding editor of White Plains Watch, a community newspaper. Arterian, 51, was chosen to replace Dean Daan Braveman, who will return to full-time teaching at Syracuse following a year-long sabbatical. Braveman, who started as dean in 1994, is best known for instituting an applied learning program where students are taught practical lawyering skills beginning in their first year. “After eight years I’m ready to go back to full-time teaching or to try some new challenges. I’m ready for a change,” said Dean Braveman. Though he was not part of the committee that chose Arterian, Dean Braveman nevertheless endorses his successor wholeheartedly. “In my mind Hanna’s experience was one of the distinguishing features,” he said. “Her experience both at Arizona State and in national legal issues. She’s served on a number of [American Bar Association] accreditation committees.” After graduating third in her class from the University of Iowa College of Law in 1973, Arterian became a corporate tax associate in the New York office of Dewey Ballantine, which was then known as Dewey, Ballantine, Bushby, Palmer & Wood. She worked at Dewey until 1977 when academia came calling. “When I graduated from law school there were not a lot of women who had graduated recently and I think a lot of schools were looking for women on their faculty,” Arterian recalled. “When I got a call from my own law school, I said ‘If you’re ever going to try this now is the time.’ “ Arterian taught a tax seminar and constitutional law during her semester as a visiting professor at the University of Iowa in 1977. The following year, she became an associate professor before accepting the same position at Arizona State in 1979. In 1982, Arterian became a full professor at Arizona State and was appointed associate dean in 1992. She remained at that position until taking a sabbatical this year. SELF STUDY Aware that it will take time before she adjusts to the position of dean, Arterian said she will be careful not to push a new agenda too soon. Because she will be arriving at Syracuse at a time when the school has to go through a “self study” to prepare for an ABA site inspection, Arterian expects the faculty will be enthusiastic about planning for the future. One of the things she intends to encourage is having the law school engage in interdisciplinary scholarship with the other departments at Syracuse University. A proponent of the idea that well-rounded attorneys make the best practitioners, Arterian plans to involve her future students in a wide variety of educational opportunities. At Arizona State, Arterian saw the effects interdisciplinary classes had on her students. One class in geology at Arizona that was co-taught by law professors discussed legal issues, including how a geologist would testify as an expert witness. “Everything is too complex to sit in our blinder disciplines,” Arterian said. “I’m sure most law schools are moving in that direction, and I think [Syracuse] is well conditioned to do that.” Admittedly a person who likes extremes, Arterian is looking forward to moving from the steamy desert temperatures of Arizona to Syracuse, where sub-zero temperatures and snow storms dominate the winters. A divorced mother of four children whose ages range from 12 to 21, Arterian takes comfort in the fact that her new job will bring her closer to her roots. “I was with a group of [Syracuse] alums and one of them said she grew up on Staten Island before the [Verrazano Narrows] bridge,” recalled Arterian. “I can’t explain how that feels. To many people here [in Arizona,] Staten Island doesn’t mean anything.”

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