Photograph: Eagle statue outside law school.

Fall 2011 Distinguished Practitioner in Residence

Photograph: Steve Minnis.Steve Minnis, '85, President of Benedictine College in Atchison, Kansas, spoke at Washburn University School of Law on Thursday, October 6, 2011, as a Distinguished Practitioner in Residence at the Business and Transactional Law Center. A native of St. Joseph, Missouri, President Minnis received his bachelor's degree from Benedictine College in 1982. He obtained his J.D. degree from Washburn University School of Law in 1985, and an MBA in 1993 from Baker University.

President Minnis began his legal career as an Assistant District Attorney in Johnson County, Kansas. From there, he moved into private practice and then to Sprint Corporation, where he worked for 14 years in the regulatory department, eventually becoming the Director for State Regulatory Policy. He began his service to Benedictine College while still at Sprint. He served as president of the Benedictine College Alumni Association from 1991 to 1995 and joined the Benedictine College Board of Directors in 1992, serving until October 2004 when he became president of the college. He was honored with Benedictine's Kansas Monk Award as an outstanding alumnus in 2001 and co-chaired the college's successful 2004 Scholarship Ball.

As a Distinguished Practitioner in Residence, President Minnis met with Washburn University School of Law students and faculty and discussed his unique experiences and perspective on leadership. During a noon-hour talk to students entitled "Law School: Not Just for Lawyers Any More," President Minnis talked about his interesting career of participating in eleven jury trials before he was out of law school, flying across the country cross-examining individuals for Sprint, and finally stepping up to the challenge of becoming a college president with no previous higher education experience as an administrator.

President Minnis also shared his approach to the duties and responsibilities of being a college president. He explained that a key to his success, in running a college or business, is having a strong foundation, vision, and mission, a goal against which all choices can be evaluated. President Minnis also noted the importance of working with strong leaders and individuals that share the same values and goals. He attributed these factors, among other things, to Benedictine's recent growth and success.