Faculty and Staff

TU boasts a number of faculty members with recognized expertise in Indian law. The Center faculty publish and speak regularly in their areas of specialization, and all were involved in the revision of Felix S. Cohen's Handbook of Federal Indian Law, the premier treatise in the field.

No other law school can match the quality and experience of these professors. That, combined with TU's tradition of small classes and extensive faculty/student interaction, means that students are able to work closely with all members of the Center faculty.

As is demonstrated below, our faculty include nationally recognized experts, including an attorney who won an Indian law case before the Supreme Court.

Center Faculty:

Judith Royster

Professor of Law

Co-Director, Native American Law Center


Professor Royster is a nationally recognized expert in the areas of Indian environmental law, water law, and mineral development; as such, she is regularly sought after to speak at conferences. She co-authored the leading textbook on Native American natural resources law and is published extensively on a variety of Indian law topics. In addition to her role as a contributing author of Felix S. Cohen's Handbook of Federal Indian Law, she also serves on the editorial board for the treatise.  Her article in the Tulsa Law Review entitled Mineral Development in Indian Country: The Evolution of Tribal Control Over Mineral Resources was cited by Justice Souter in his dissent in the 2003 U.S. Supreme Court case of United States v. Navajo Nation.

Professor Royster received her B.A., M.A., and J.D. (cum laude) from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where she was elected to the Order of the Coif and served on the Wisconsin Law Review. She clerked for Chief Judge Barbara B. Crabb of the Western District of Wisconsin and was the Natural Resources Law Institute Fellow at Lewis and Clark Law School. She was a visiting assistant professor at Tulsa in 1990-91 and joined the TU faculty as an associate professor in 1992. She has also taught at the law schools of Stetson University and Chicago-Kent.

Professor Royster teaches Federal Indian Law and Native American Natural Resources Law, as well as Civil Procedure and Administrative Law.

G. William Rice 

Associate Professor of Law

Co-Director, Native American Law Center


Professor Rice successfully argued on behalf of the Sac and Fox Nation in the Supreme Court of the United States in the case of Oklahoma Tax Commission v. Sac and Fox Nation, 508 U.S. 114 (1993), has participated in the meetings of the United Nations Working Group on Indigenous Populations, the Working Group on the Draft Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, and has spoken at the United Nations conference on Indigenous Children and Youth.  He has spent more than 20 years representing Indian tribes and entities, and serving in various capacities with tribal governments.

Professor Rice is a member of the United Keetoowah Band of Cherokee which he formerly served as Assistant Chief and judge.  He has also served as the Attorney General for the Sac and Fox Nation, Supreme Court Chief Justice for the Citizen Potowatomi Nation, Supreme Court Justice for the Sac and Fox of Kansas, Election Appeals Judge for the Otoe-Missouria Tribe of Oklahoma, and in other capacities with various Indian tribal governments. He served a term on the Enforcement Subcommittee of the EPA's National Environmental Justice Advisory Council. Professor Rice taught at Antioch School of Law's Indian Paralegal program, visited at the University of Oklahoma and Cornell Law Schools, and served as the Director of the Northern Plains Tribal Judicial Training Institute at the University of North Dakota School of Law.  He is the author of the first law school casebook on Tribal Governmental (Indian) Gaming Law, and contributed to the last two revisions of Felix Cohen’s classic Handbook of Federal Indian Law.

Professor Rice earned his B.A. from Phillips University and his J.D. at the University of Oklahoma College of Law in 1978.

Professor Rice teaches Tribal Government, Native American and Indigenous Rights, Indian Gaming Law, and Constitutional Law.  He has also taught Jurisprudence and Criminal Law.

Vicki J. Limas 

Professor of Law

Co-Director, Native American Law Center


Professor Vicki Limas is the leading national expert on labor and employment law in Indian country. She has published articles on the juxtaposition of tribal sovereign rights and individual civil rights in suits by employees and on the applicability of federal labor and employment laws to Indian nations. She is a contributing author to the 2005 Revisions of Cohen's Handbook of Federal Indian Law.

Professor Limas is an adjunct settlement judge in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Oklahoma and an arbitrator for the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority.

Professor Limas teaches Employment Law, Employment Discrimination Law, Mediation and Introduction to Alternative Dispute Resolution.

NALC Fellows:

Credit for TU's depth of expertise rests on the University as a whole, and in recognition of the University-wide commitments, the Native American Law Center instituted a NALC Fellows Program. NALC Fellows are those whose primary emphasis is not Indian law, but who incorporate Indian issues into their work.

President Steadman Upham

became the seventeenth president of The University of Tulsa in June 2004. Prior to entering administration, he was a professor of anthropology and archaeology, with a specialty in the sociopolitical and economic structure (AD 1250-1600) of late prehispanic Puebloan populations of the American Southwest.

Gary D. Allison, Professor of Law

Teaches environmental law, regulated industries, hazardous waste control, and water law. He is a fellow of the National Energy-Environmental Law and Policy Institute, and Director of the Sustainable Energy & Resources Law Program.

Garrick Bailey, Professor of Anthropology

Has served as a member of the Indian Health Advisory Committee, Department of Heath, Education and Welfare and as a consultant to the Indian Claims division of the Department of Justice. Professor Bailey is presently a member of the National NAGPRA (Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act) Review Committee, Department of the Interior.

Marianne Blair, Professor of Law

Teaches family law and is co-author of a textbook on international family law. She has incorporated Indian and indigenous law into her courses.

John Coward, Professor and Chair of the Communication Department

Is the author of The Newspaper Indian: Native American Identity in the Press, 1820-1890 (Univ. of Illinois Press 1999). Dr. Coward has also published articles on twentieth-century representations of Indians and on the Native press itself.

Janet Koven Levit, Dean

writes about international finance and international human rights issues, and she teaches international law, international commercial law, international human rights, contracts, and administrative law.

Marla E. Mansfield, Professor of Law

serves as editor of the Year in Review for the ABA's Section on Natural Resources, Energy, and Environmental Law and as Associate Director of NELPI. A former attorney with the Dept. Of Interior, Mansfield teaches in the area of energy law and has written a textbook in that field.

James P. Ronda, H. G. Barnard Chair in Western American History

is a past president of the Western History Association. A specialist in the history of the exploration of the American West, he is the author of many books and essays as well as a consultant for several national museum exhibitions. Much of Dr. Ronda's work centers on relations between Euro-American explorers and native people.