Former MU law dean dies on MKT trail
Heinsz remembered as ‘one of the kindest people.’


Published Saturday, July 3, 2004

A former law school dean at the University of Missouri-Columbia died yesterday of an apparent heart attack while exercising on the MKT Nature/Fitness Trail.

Tim Heinsz collapsed on the trail yesterday morning while jogging, a university spokeswoman said. He was 56.

"He’s going to be sadly missed across campus," MU spokeswoman Mary Jo Banken said. "Everyone who knew him thought so highly of him."

An expert in labor law, Heinsz came to the MU School of Law in 1979 as a visiting professor. He joined the faculty in 1981 and became dean of the school in 1988.

As dean, Heinsz helped establish the law school’s now highly respected Center for the Study of Dispute Resolution. The center teaches lawyers and lawyers-to-be how they can settle cases through mediation rather than through conventional litigation. He specialized in arbitration.

After stepping down as dean in 2002, Heinsz remained on the faculty and became the director of the dispute-resolution center.

"Tim was a builder," MU law school Dean Larry Dessem said in a news release. "He devoted his professional life to building institutions like this law school, our center for the study of dispute resolution and, with his wife Susan, a wonderful family."

Heinsz was found at about 6:30 a.m. on the trail, near the Stadium Boulevard trail access.

He died on the same day his name was disclosed in a report to the NCAA. In MU’s response to the NCAA allegations against the men’s basketball team, the university said Heinsz was conducting a review of Head Coach Quin Snyder’s management procedures.

MU law professor Len Riskin said Heinsz’s death came as a shock to his colleagues. Riskin described Heinsz as being in perfect shape, saying he ran every morning and played tennis frequently.

"Tim Heinsz is one of the kindest people I’ve ever met," Riskin said. "He takes a genuine interest in all other people. Whenever he meets someone, he wants to be acquainted with them."

Heinsz received a bachelor’s degree from St. Louis University and a law degree from Cornell University. He was a law faculty member at the University of Toledo from 1975 to 1979 and during the 1980-81 school year.

Heinsz’s survivors include his wife and two daughters, Megan Heinsz and Jennifer Leparmentier.

Funeral arrangements were pending yesterday.


July 2, 2004                                                                   

MU Mourns Loss of Former Law School Dean

COLUMBIA , Mo. -- The University of Missouri family is deeply saddened by the sudden death of Timothy Heinsz, former dean of the School of Law and Earl F. Nelson Professor of Law and Director of the Center for the Study of Dispute Resolution. He died of an apparent heart attack Friday morning. Professor Heinsz was highly regarded as one of the University's outstanding academic leaders and a nationally respected legal scholar.  

"All of us at the Law School are shocked and saddened by the untimely death of Tim Heinsz," said Law School Dean Larry Dessem.  "Like Will Rogers, Tim never met a person he didn't like.  But no one ever met Tim without being touched by his own warmth and humanity and caring.  Tim was a builder.  He devoted his professional life to building institutions like this Law School , our Center for the Study of Dispute Resolution and, with his wife Susan, a wonderful family.  He touched every student he ever taught, every faculty member he ever mentored, every client he ever represented and every human being who was fortunate enough to cross his path.  As Tim said about one of his former teachers, 'He taught us about values, life and love.'  No one could have summarized Tim's own life better."

Professor Heinsz received his bachelor's degree from St. Louis University and his juris doctorate from Cornell Law School , where he was an editor of the Cornell Law Review.  He came to MU as a visiting professor in 1979, joined the faculty in 1981 and served as dean of the Law School from 1988-2001.  Before entering academics, he practiced with the firm of Lewis, Rice and Fingersh in St. Louis .  Professor Heinsz was a member of the National Academy of Arbitrators and published widely in the field of labor and employment law.  He had been a visiting scholar at the International Labour Organization in Geneva , Switzerland , and a visiting professor at the University of Auckland in New Zealand .  He served on the National Executive Board for the International Society for Labor Law and Social Security and was a Life Member of Clare Hall, Cambridge University .  He was a member of the American Law Institute and a recipient of the President's Award and Spurgeon Smithson Award from The Missouri Bar.  He also served as Missouri commissioner with the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws. 

In learning of Professor Heinsz' death, MU Chancellor Richard Wallace said, "I am saddened beyond comprehension at the loss of such a dear friend who meant so much to our University." 

Professor Heinsz is survived by his immediate family, wife Susan, daughters, Jennifer and Megan, and granddaughter Camille.  Notice of services will be posted when arrangements are final.