Notice & Comment

The Administrative Conference of the United States Mourns the Passing of Anna Williams Shavers

The members and staff of the Administrative Conference of the United States (ACUS) mourn the recent passing of Anna Williams Shavers, the Associate Dean for Diversity and Inclusion and Cline Williams Professor of Citizenship Law at the University of Nebraska College of Law.

Professor Shavers was affiliated with ACUS for nearly nine years—first as a liaison from the American Bar Association’s Section of Administrative Law and Regulatory Practice (2013– 17) and then as a public member (2017–present). “She served ACUS with great distinction and contributed important expertise and insights to its work,” said Mathew Lee Wiener, ACUS’s Acting Chair, Vice Chair, and Executive Director.” “And she always did so,” added Mr. Wiener, “with her characteristic humility, graciousness, and kindness.”

ACUS is pleased to share the following tributes from its members and staff.

Statements by ACUS Members and Staff on the Passing of Professor Anna Williams Shavers

From Reeve T. Bull, ACUS Research Director

I’m deeply saddened to hear about Dean Shavers’ passing. Anna was one of the most kind, insightful, and gracious people I’ve ever had the privilege of working with. I first got to know Anna during her time chairing the ABA Section of Administrative Law and Regulatory Practice. Anna appointed me to my first leadership position in the Section, co-chairing one of the committees. To be honest, I was a little reluctant at first, not feeling as if I had much to contribute, but Anna’s reassuring approach and infectious enthusiasm for the Section and administrative law made it an easy decision. Since then, I’ve had the honor of continuing to work with Anna in both the ABA and Administrative Conference. Anna’s contributions to both institutions have been enormous and will be impossible to replace. We all will miss Anna’s extraordinary insight, her unending enthusiasm, her great sense of humor, and her unfailing kindness.

From Cary Coglianese, ACUS Public Member

Professor Shavers’ insight, knowledge, and leadership made the field of administrative law better and wiser. She inspired us by her great example and cheerful nature. Her contributions to deliberations always elevated them. She will be dearly missed.

From Neil R. Eisner, ACUS Senior Fellow

Anna was a good person, well liked and respected by all. She will be missed.

From Cynthia R. Farina, ACUS Senior Fellow

For many years, regulatory law was largely a male field, particularly in academia. Anna was a constant source of inspiration, grace, and good humor to young women entering the field through law teaching, government, or private practice. She was kind and strong and dedicated and savvy—one of our foremothers. We were lucky to have had her.

From William Funk, Liaison Representative to ACUS

I’ve known Anna for over 30 years, since we offered her a position at Lewis & Clark, but she chose Nebraska instead. I may even have been instrumental in her joining the Adlaw Section. In any case, over all those many years, she was a warm, understanding, and wonderful person. Of her many accomplishments, you would have to have heard from others, because she was never one to blow her own horn. Her passing comes all too soon, and we will miss her.

From Jeremy S. Graboyes, ACUS Director of Public and Interagency Programs

Dean Shavers was an incredibly kind person and so giving of her knowledge and experience. I recall her deep sense of purpose, her powerful compassion for others, and her talent for fostering meaningful dialogue.

From Jeffrey S. Lubbers, Special Counsel to ACUS and Former ACUS Research Director

I’m really saddened by the news of Anna Shavers’ passing. I had the pleasure to work with Anna on many matters for the ABA Administrative Law Section, and she was unfailingly diligent, generous, knowledgeable, funny, and an all-around pleasure to work with.

From Randolph J. May, ACUS Senior Fellow

I had the good fortune to have known Anna Shavers for a very long time, and her passing is such sad news. While our paths crossed in other contexts, most of my work with Anna (and socializing too!) was through the ABA Section of Administrative Law and Regulatory Practice. When I chaired the Ad Law Section in 2004–2005, and then the Nominating Committee the following year, I made a concerted effort to get Anna more deeply involved in our activities and Section leadership than she previously had been. I’m really glad I did.

Anna subsequently became chair and our delegate to the ABA House of Delegates, among other positions. Aside from her contributions to administrative law and other professional contributions, Anna was kind, gentle, and caring, and she will be sorely missed.

From Shawne C. McGibbon, ACUS General Counsel

What a terrible loss to the administrative law community and, well, humankind. You only had to meet Anna once to feel her warmth, grace, and humility. My first encounter with her came in 2011 after I was elected to serve on the Council of the ABA Administrative Law & Regulatory Practice Section. She served the Section in various capacities with dedication and distinction, and she did the same throughout her 9-year affiliation with ACUS. My admiration for her grew year after year. In my experience, she rarely invoked the word “no,” and she repeatedly stepped up to share her gifts and exceptional talents with every organization she served. There was no “ask” too great or too small when it came to her administrative law family. We lost an angel on earth and a stalwart voice in the field of administrative law.

Aaron L. Nielson, ACUS Public Member

Anna was devoted to trying to improve administrative law through meaningful discussion and careful, detailed analysis. She will be greatly missed.

John M. Vittone, ACUS Senior Fellow

All the reactions to Anna’s passing have been heartfelt and warm and so true. Anna was a warm and gracious person who was a joy to be with and talk with. She had a smile for all and was a joyful presence at all of our meetings. You always wanted to say hello to her. Did anyone ever have a bad meeting with her? I can’t imagine that to be so. Also her insights and advice to our discussions were invaluable. Always on point and stated in clear and concise terms. Her advice will be missed, but Anna as a friend and associate will be missed more. God bless her.

This tribute originally appeared on the website of the Administrative Conference of the United States on January 26, 2022.

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