General Counsel

Position Details

Position Type Administrative Appointment Classification Title General Counsel Position's Functional Title General Counsel Position Start Date Position End Date (if temporary) Position Summary

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.

Minimum Qualifications

Required Experience:

  • A minimum of 5 years’ relevant experience as a practicing attorney.
  • Also requires admission to the practice of law in Illinois, or eligibility for admission via reciprocity and successful admission in the immediate future.

Required Education or Training:

  • A J.D. or LL.B from an accredited U.S. law school.
  • Demonstrated record of achievement in complex legal undertakings and positions requiring a high level of legal skill, judgment, ethical standards, interpersonal relations, and planning.
Preferred Qualifications
  • Prior participation as a member on a strategic leadership team.
  • Familiarity with applicable Illinois state laws and regulatory obligations, including, without limitation, the Illinois State Officials and Employees Ethics Act, the Illinois Freedom of Information Act, the Illinois Open Meetings Act, and the Governors State University Law.
  • Prior experience with legal issues in a public higher education environment.
Posting Date 07/27/2020 Closing Date Open Until Filled Yes Posting Number AP0241P Type of Search External Quicklink for Posting Employee ID Department Special Instructions to Applicants

To Apply:
Please submit a cover letter, resume and three (3) professional references. To ensure consideration for this position, please apply by 2020. Please include in your cover letter the date on which you would be available to commence employment if selected.

This position is designated as an officer of the university or senior administrator at the discretion of the president.

Affirmative Action Statement:
GSU is an AA/EO employer and educational institution and prohibits illegal discrimination against any individual. Minority applicants are encouraged to apply.

Background Check:
The successful applicant is required to complete a background check. Any offer of employment is contingent on the background check.

As an employee of Governors State University you are an at-will employee and your employment may be terminated for no reason or any reason.

Public Disclosure Statement:
Your application for employment with Governors State University is subject to public disclosure under the Illinois Freedom of Information Act.

Supplemental Questions

Required fields are indicated with an asterisk (*).

Required Documents
Required Documents
  1. Resume
  2. Cover Letter
  3. List of References
Optional Documents
  1. Transcripts
  2. Letter of Recommendation
  3. Other
  4. Other2
  5. Other3