General Counsel and Vice President for Legal Affairs
Position DetailsPosition Information Position TypeAdministrative AppointmentClassification TitleGeneral CounselPosition's Functional TitleGeneral Counsel and Vice President for Legal AffairsPosition Start DatePosition End Date (if temporary)Position Summary
Founded in 1969, GSU is a four-year state university currently serving 4,800 undergraduate and graduate students with degree programs that prepare them for success in business, industry, healthcare, the arts and education. GSU is a mission-oriented university committed to creating an intellectually stimulating community and model of academic excellence, innovation, diversity and responsible citizenship.
In 2019, GSU reported the largest freshman class in the university’s history. GSU also reported a 24% increase in new graduate students and a 20% increase in international students. This rise in enrollment serves to strengthen GSU’s commitment to its mission of offering an exceptional and accessible education to these students that often represent first-generation, students of color, returning adults and veterans. GSU’s mission is to prepare those students with the knowledge, skills and confidence to succeed in a global society.
GSU is proud to have recently celebrated its 50th anniversary of providing high-quality, accessible and responsible higher education opportunities to a diverse student body. The General Counsel position presents an opportunity for a skilled attorney to formulate and oversee legal policies and procedures that will have lasting impact on the ability of GSU to fulfill its mission to the community for many years to come.
The General Counsel is the chief legal officer of GSU and as such is directly responsible for overseeing the entire legal department and formulating legal solutions to issues impacting GSU while ensuring the University meets its commitment of remaining compliant with all legal and regulatory obligations. In addition to overseeing the legal department, the General Counsel provides day-to-day legal counsel for the GSU Board of Trustees and the President. As an officer of GSU, the General Counsel attends all Board meetings and is a member of the President’s Cabinet.
Essential Duties and Responsibilities:
•Provides legal and regulatory advice or consultation to the Board, President, administration and faculty and staff through administrative channels and reviews and recommends institutional policies, procedures, guidelines and other documents as needed.
•Reduces the likelihood for inappropriate, unnecessary or costly institutional liability in contractual agreements and terms or business arrangements by reviewing and/or preparing contracts and other legal documents for execution by or on behalf of GSU.
•Represents GSU during administrative or judicial proceedings by serving as the General Counsel, advising in the representation, or overseeing the representation of GSU.
•Facilitates the establishment and continuance of appropriate and cooperative relationships between GSU and external organizations by serving as GSU’s liaison with counsel for other universities and other relevant and appropriate contacts.
•Spearheads and oversees GSU strategies to ensure compliance with all applicable federal and regulatory obligations, including, without limitation, Title VI and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Title IX of the Educational Amendments of 1972, the Civil Rights Act of 1991, the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (“ADA”), the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 as amended (“ADEA”), the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (“FERPA”), the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1966 (“HIPAA”), and the General Data Protection Regulation (“GDPR”).
•Oversees compliance with all applicable state laws and regulatory obligations, including, without limitation, the Illinois State Officials and Employees Ethics Act, the Illinois Freedom of Information Act, the Open Meetings Act, and the Governors State University Act.
•Facilitates a work environment that encourages knowledge of, respect for, and development of skills to engage with those of other cultures or backgrounds.
•Remains competent and current through self-directed professional reading, developing professional contacts with colleagues, attending professional development courses, and attending training and/or courses as directed.
•Contributes to the overall success of GSU by performing other duties and responsibilities as assigned by the President or the Board.
As a university with a strong commitment to the principles of diversity and inclusion, GSU expects its General Counsel to help foster a legal environment in which all members of the GSU community may learn, live and work in an atmosphere of mutual respect and nondiscrimination. GSU further expects its General Counsel to maintain the highest possible ethical and professional behavior.Minimum Qualifications
The successful candidate must hold a Juris Doctorate from an ABA accredited institution and at least seven years’ professional legal experience practicing law; personal and professional integrity, excellent judgment, and exceptional communication and relationship-building skills. Specific experience with Illinois law is required.
Admission to the practice of law in Illinois is a condition of continued employment and is required within six (6) months of appointment.Preferred Qualifications
Experience managing complex legal issues, effective membership of a strategic leadership team, and prior experience with legal issues in a public higher education environment is preferred.Posting Date09/27/2019Closing Date10/27/2019Open Until FilledPosting NumberAP0226PType of SearchExternalQuicklink for Postinghttp://employment.govst.edu/postings/4822Employee IDDepartmentSpecial Instructions to ApplicantsSupplemental Questions
Required fields are indicated with an asterisk (*).
- Cover Letter