Governors State University seeks to fill the position of General Counsel. 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 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 primary function of the General Counsel is to provide legal advice and representation to Governors State University (GSU) through administrators acting in their organizational capacity on behalf of the university. A General Counsel provides effective legal advice, representation, and training in a complex operational context. Subject areas are numerous and varied, and include constitutional law, particularly speech and due process, accreditation, employment, benefits, student issues (including discipline, privacy, and welfare), utilities, facilities, procurement, real and intellectual property, construction, finance, insurance, tort liability, privacy of information systems, electronic discovery, export controls, immigration, labor relations, contracts, grants, public meetings and interactions with a board of trustees, personal injury, and increasingly complex compliance issues, particularly Title IX. Specific duties may include legal research, review of and drafting for transactional matters, interpretation and development of policy, drafting of legal documents as well as documents in support of administrative functions, preparation of public agendas and assisting in public meetings of the board of trustees, managing litigation, leading or participating in negotiations, establishing and maintaining effective communication and working relationships, providing effective and ethical leadership that ensures legal compliance, appearances in judicial and administrative fora, and other work as assigned by the president or board of trustees. Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities: * Ability to analyze complex legal problems and apply legal principles, facts and precedents to a broad range of issues; ability to effectively conduct complex legal research; ability to present statements of fact, law, and argument clearly and logically in written and oral form; ability to draft contracts, transactional documents, rules, regulations, and proposed legislation; * Ability to analyze situations accurately and take effective action; ability to plan, organize, and coordinate with the work of others; ability to analyze trends in legal interpretations; ability to effectively represent GSU in various legal forums including court and negotiations; ability to establish and maintain cooperative relationships, including with client representatives and colleagues; ability to quickly gain a working knowledge of the policies, programs, procedures, and problems unique to the academic community and particularly to public higher education. * Ability to understand and address legal issues confronting higher education and higher education administration which may include legislative processes; law enforcement; intellectual property law; real property law; construction industry practices; contract law; public procurement law and practices; federal regulations, employment law including public sector collective bargaining; tort law and risk management; state and Federal rules of civil procedure; and constitutional law. Ability to maintain a full professional level of skill as an attorney and advocate. Ability to maintain the highest level of ethical responsibility and accountability. GSU’s General Counsel office offers a challenging environment and a unique opportunity to play a strategic role in the life of an institution serving the needs of GSU’s students.
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