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Vice President and General Counsel

Wayne State University
Michigan, United States
Salary Not specified
Posted Date
Mar 28, 2022

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Position Type
Administrative, Business & Administrative Affairs, Chief Business Officers & Vice Presidents, Legal Affairs
Employment Level
Employment Type
Full Time
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Vice President and General Counsel
Detroit, Michigan

Wayne State University (Wayne State), a premier public research University in the heart of Detroit invites nominations and applications for the position of vice president and general counsel.

Wayne State University, founded in 1868, is a nationally recognized public, urban research university in Detroit, Michigan. Committed to educational opportunity, research and community enrichment, Wayne State serves a critical role in Michigan’s higher education landscape. It holds the highest Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching designations in both research and community engagement. Just as the city of Detroit is undergoing a renaissance, the University itself is in a time of significant transformation, strengthening its ability to serve students from Michigan and around the world. As Michigan's most diverse public University, Wayne State has long prided itself on being an institution of access and opportunity for students, no matter their background. Now, the U.S. News & World Report 2022 Best Colleges rankings has identified Wayne State as one of the top-performing schools in the nation — and the best in Michigan — at helping economically disadvantaged students succeed and graduate. Wayne State is particularly known for faculty research in biomedical and health sciences, automotive safety, alternative energy and the nanosciences. Wayne State is a member of the University Research Corridor, along with the University of Michigan and Michigan State University.

Wayne State has a strong focus on health sciences that includes the School of Medicine, College of Nursing and Eugene Applebaum College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences. Wayne Health has created an innovative platform for population health accountability that brings together clinical care, academics and community partnerships. Wayne State's goal is to further strengthen and integrate the health sciences and health professions to serve the local community and become a center of excellence for urban environments to overcome the impacts of health disparities.

The vice president and general counsel (GC) of Wayne State provides executive and administrative direction over the University's legal affairs as a member of the president’s senior leadership team. Reporting to the president, this executive serves as the chief legal officer, providing legal support, advice and guidance to the Board of Governors and the President, and also to senior leaders, faculty and staff on all legal matters affecting the institution. As a highly visible member of the senior leadership team, this executive is responsible for a wide range of legal, transactional, regulatory, compliance, and litigation matters and manages the legal resources in a manner that supports the overall priorities of the organization. The GC is expected to provide a proactive and collaborative approach to the legal issues associated with a dynamic organization committed to redefining the future of higher education and healthcare delivery.

The individual selected for this position will be a highly strategic, forward thinking attorney who is well-versed in the business dynamics and regulatory environment of higher education and healthcare. The GC will be innovative and entrepreneurial, capable of creating solutions that facilitate the University's initiatives to assure the success and growth of the organization. Working with the board of governors, president and members of the senior leadership team, and with the legal and Title IX teams, the GC will constantly be thinking of better ways to operate, structure and support Wayne State objectives and opportunities.

The GC is expected to develop and lead a high performing legal team, ensuring their accountability while also effectively mentoring this group and building a positive, open and responsive team environment. Simultaneously, the GC will serve as a thought leader and advance initiatives in workload distribution, legal processes and case management serving the legal needs of a responsive and agile organization. The GC will be an actively engaged leader with mature interpersonal skills who adds broad legal experience in higher education to the team and remains active in the practice of law. It is important that the GC be a credible and visible University-wide leader who exhibits high integrity and the skills of listening effectively and partnering collaboratively. This is an outstanding opportunity to establish and manage a legal team committed to the success of a robust and diverse learning community at an exceptional institution. For more information, please visit

Candidates must bring a distinguished record of achievement and senior leadership experience. The successful candidate must have excellent academic credentials and a law degree from an ABA accredited school of law; membership in the State Bar of Michigan or eligibility for admission based on reciprocity is required (if reciprocity is not available, out of state candidates will be expected to become full Michigan State Bar members within one year of employment) and with at least ten years of broad legal experience in higher education, government, healthcare and/or other non-profit entities gained in-house or through working closely with higher education, healthcare or not for profit clients. 

WittKieffer is assisting Wayne State University in this search. Application materials can be submitted through WittKieffer’s candidate portal or by email. Review of candidate materials will continue until the position is filled, with priority given to applications received by April 29, 2022. Confidential nominations and inquiries can be directed to Werner Boel, LL.M. and Luis Bertot at  

Wayne State University is an equal opportunity employer. No person will be discriminated against or harassed in employment because of race, color, religion, gender, national origin, age, disability, familial status, marital status, arrest record, height, weight, sexual orientation, qualified Vietnam era veterans, qualified special disabled veterans, recently separated veterans and other protected veterans, or any other characteristic protected by applicable federal or state law.

Wayne State University requires all students, faculty and staff to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 with limited exceptions. Learn more at: WSU Covid-19 Website  

University policy requires certain persons who are offered employment to undergo a background check, including a criminal history check, before starting to work. If you are offered employment, the University will inform you if a background check is required.

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