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The Center was named for Dean A.A. White, the founding Dean of the University of Houston Law Center. Dean White and his wife, Ersie Kern Ator White, established the Ator Award now awarded every three years to an individual or organization. Judge Frank G. Evans was the 1988 recipient of the Ator Award and designated a portion of the award to the creation and financial support of the Center.

Purpose of the Institute:

I. To foster public awareness & understanding of coflicts and conflict resolution, and the impact of interpersonal disputes on society;

II. To encourage broader understanding, development, and use of alternative means of dispute resolution;

III. To study, analyze, and recommend dispute resolution procedures that will provide less costly and more expeditious access to justice;

IV. To provide assistance to the courts in encouraging the early settlement of pending litigation;

V. To provide assistance to educational institutions, including law schools, in the development and use of alternative dispute resolution concepts and procedures;

VI. To assist other organizations whose activities further, accomplish, foster or attain any of the above-mentioned purposes.