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Professor Susan E. Hauser, Resident Scholar, Fall 2012

Prof. Susan E. Hauser teaches civil procedure, bankruptcy and business associations at North Carolina Central University School of Law in Durham, N.C. She received the University of North Carolina Board of Governors Award for Excellence in Teaching in 2013, and was named Professor of the Year by her students in 2011 and 2008. In the fall of 2012, Prof. Hauser served as ABI's Robert M. Zinman Resident Scholar, and that October she received the American Bankruptcy Law Journal Editors' Prize and was elected to the American Bankruptcy Law Journal's Editorial Advisory Board in 2013 (she was an ABLJ Fellow in fall 2005). Prof. Hauser publishes and presents on the treatment of student loan debt in bankruptcy, predatory lending, bankruptcy procedure, and the intersection of constitutional law and bankruptcy law, and co-authored Graduating with Debt: Student Loans under the Bankruptcy Code (ABI, 2013). She is a member of the North Carolina State Bar and is admitted to practice before the U.S. Supreme Court, as well as the U.S. District Courts for the Eastern, Middle and Western Districts of North Carolina. Prior to practicing law, Prof. Hauser clerked for U.S. Bankruptcy Judge J. Rich Leonard and U.S. District Judge W. Earl Britt, both of the Eastern District of North Carolina, then began her legal career as an attorney for Legal Aid in Robeson County, N.C. She is a graduate of Wake Forest University and the University of North Carolina School of Law.

Resident Scholar Letter

I had the privilege of serving as the Robert M. Zinman Scholar in Residence in the fall of 2012. My time at the ABI was one of the best experiences of my career, and I am genuinely honored to join the group of outstanding academics who have preceded me as Resident Scholars.

Like my predecessors, I served as a media liaison and handled press inquiries. My time with the ABI coincided with election season, however, and this added a distinct flavor to the media inquiries I faced. The ABI's educational mission makes the ABI a prime resource for reporters with questions about bankruptcy, and I quickly learned that almost any question posed by a reporter in the months leading up to a national election could have political overtones.

These interactions with the press gave me a front-row seat to political contests from around the country with unexpected connections to bankruptcy. In addition to press inquiries, I had the fun "currents events" job of developing Quick Poll questions for the ABI's website.

As the Resident Scholar, I had the opportunity to host three podcasts - two on commercial topics and a third consumer-oriented piece. Because my scholarship has a consumer focus, I found the opportunity to work with cutting edge commercial topics particularly rewarding. In the first podcast, I interviewed Professor Vidhan K. Goyal and Professor Wei Wang about their controversial paper "Provision of Management Incentives in Bankrupt Firms," which concludes that key employee retention plans do not benefit managers at the expense of creditors. Next, I had the opportunity to interview three of the authors of the ABI's new book Interrupted! Understanding Bankruptcy’s Effects on Manufacturing Supply Chains. The authors, John T. Gregg, Deborah L. Thorne, and Patrick E. Mears, are seasoned attorneys, and I enjoyed learning about the implications of their topic and speaking with them about lessons they have learned working on large bankruptcies within the auto industry and manufacturing sector. Finally, I hosted a podcast with Jason Iuliano, the author of "An Empirical Assessment of Student Loan Discharges and the Undue Hardship Standard." This well-timed article examines the incidence of § 523(a)(8) proceedings in bankruptcy, concluding that these actions are likelier to succeed than is generally thought and could productively be filed by a larger subset of bankruptcy debtors.
I also presented at three ABI conferences: the Midwest Nuts and Bolts program in Kansas City, the Chicago Consumer Bankruptcy Conference, and the Detroit Consumer Bankruptcy Conference. These presentations enabled me to work with judges, scholars, and leading attorneys from these areas, and gave me concentrated time to develop my interest in several of the covered topics. I will carry several of these presentation manuscripts forward and expand them into larger published works in the coming year. Finally, along with Alane Becket (ABI Board Member and Executive Editor of the ABI Journal), I had the privilege of editing a new ABI publication, Best of ABI 2012: The Year in Consumer Bankruptcy. This reference book collects the best material on consumer hot topics published in the ABI Journal or developed for one of the ABI's conferences during the prior year.

I would like to sincerely thank Sam Gerdano and the ABI staff for welcoming me into their offices for four months. Not only did I get to enjoy life in Alexandria, I was invited to go running on the Mt. Vernon Trail (thank you John Hartgen!), down the hall for birthday cakes, to dinner with ABI professionals at conferences, and - best of all - to the ABI's Christmas party! As a long-time member of the American Bankruptcy Institute, I enjoyed meeting the wonderful
people who work at the ABI. It was great fun to finally match faces to names I have known for years. Thank you for a great experience!

It was my great pleasure to serve as ABI's Resident Scholar during the fall of 2011. I am deeply honored to have been invited to follow in the footsteps of many of my academic heroes who previously served as Resident Scholar, and it was a real joy to meet the faces (and personalities) behind the names of the absolutely top-notch ABI staff. My activities ranged broadly during my semester stint in Alexandria, as I both continued the traditional tasks of the Resident Scholar position and added some new ones.

Susan E. Hauser