jeff harrison and julie mcconnell

Top scholars

January 16, 2023


Management professor Jeffrey Harrison and law professor Julie McConnell recently earned outstanding faculty awards from the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia.

The Outstanding Faculty Awards are the highest honor for faculty at Virginia's public and private colleges and universities and recognize superior accomplishments in teaching, research, and public service. Nominees are selected by their institutions, reviewed by a panel of peers, and chosen by a committee of leaders from the public and private sectors. Harrison and McConnell are two of 12 recipients out of 74 nominees.

Harrison, who has worked at the University of Richmond for 18 years, is a University Distinguished Educator, University Distinguished Scholar, and the W. David Robbins Chair of Strategic Management in the Robins School of Business. Harrison’s primary research objective is to infuse strategic management with stakeholder theory. 

“My success can be attributed to the quality of the people I work with, excellent administrative leaders who support everything I do, the undeviating support of a companion who has let me work long hours without complaint, and great blessings that consistently exceed my expectations,” Harrison said.

In addition to his many books and articles, Harrison has co-authored more than 20 business cases with his students and added them to the Robins Case Network, a website he created in 2010. These cases have been used free-of-charge worldwide, including in Botswana, Pakistan, Hong Kong, Indonesia, and the U.S. He has supervised 68 student consulting projects, which provide help to large, small, and non-profit businesses with operations in Virginia, including the Multiple Sclerosis Society, St. Joseph’s Villa, Richmond Symphony, and the International Hospital for Children. 

Julie McConnell is a professor of law and has served as the director of the University of Richmond’s Children’s Defense Clinic since 2011. She has represented children and families for more than 25 years. She specializes in advocating for children by taking into account their past trauma and experience with the justice system when it comes to defending them in court. She previously served as an assistant public defender and child abuse and domestic violence prosecutor.

“It is profoundly meaningful to have the work my students and I do in the Children’s Defense Clinic championed in this way,” McConnell said. “It has been the privilege of a lifetime to have the opportunity to simultaneously serve students and the community. Every year, Richmond’s law school clinics, externships, and pro bono programs provide thousands of hours of pro bono legal representation to the least fortunate among us. I am deeply grateful to the University of Richmond for their support of our efforts.” 

McConnell is co-editor of Juvenile Law and Practice in Virginia and consults as a juvenile legal system expert in criminal cases. McConnell is currently chair of the Virginia Advisory Committee on Juvenile Justice and the Virginia Bar Association Commission on the Needs of Children. She also serves on the boards of the Mid-Atlantic Gault Center and Housing Opportunities Made Equal.

Harrison and McConnell are the latest UR faculty to receive a SCHEV Outstanding Faculty Award. Chemistry professor Mike Leopold was honored last year.