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Vice President and General Counsel

Wayne State University
Michigan, United States
Salary Not Specified
Posted Date
Mar 31, 2022

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Position Type
Faculty Positions, Professional Fields, Law & Legal Studies, Administrative, Business & Administrative Affairs, Chief Business Officers & Vice Presidents, Legal Affairs, Executive, Chancellors & Presidents, Other Executive
Employment Level
Employment Type
Full Time
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Position Information

Posting Details

Posting Number

Position Title
Vice President and General Counsel

Number of Vacancies

31 - Executive Office of the President

Primary Department
H3102-Office of President

Working Conditions
WittKieffer is assisting Wayne State University in this search. For fullest consideration, candidate materials should be received by April 29.

Applications received after this date may be considered at the discretion of the Search Committee.

Application materials should be submitted using WittKieffer's candidate portal:

Nominations and inquiries can be directed to:

Werner Boel and Luis Bertot

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

Essential Functions (Job Duties)

The Vice President and General Counsel is a University officer with broad responsibilities and is responsible, under the administrative direction of the President, to provide legal counsel and legal service to the Board of Governors, the President and other University officers, and other University employees acting on behalf of the University. Oversees and manages the provision of all legal services to the institution to ensure maximum protection of its legal rights and to maintain its operations within the limits prescribed by law. Provides strategic guidance, consultation, and support to senior University administrators and other members of upper management on a comprehensive range of legal and associated issues involved in carrying out the mission of the institution.


Responsible for providing legal representation, advice, counsel, and opinions in all areas of law affecting the University, including student and faculty affairs, academic programs, promotion and tenure, intercollegiate athletics, research compliance, trademark licensing, intellectual property, technology transfer, regulatory compliance, privacy law, real estate, open records, all aspects of employment law, important legal documents and agreements, and University policies and procedures.

Directs operations in the General Counsel's office which includes attorneys, clerks, and clerical staff. Oversees the operations of the Office of Equal Opportunity and Title IX. In meeting these responsibilities, General Counsel assigns legal matters, consults about and reviews work of staff as necessary, supervises and monitors caseload, performance human resource and fiscal management of its operating and external legal counsel budgets.

Appoints and supervises outside counsel who are needed to handle the University's legal matters. On a continuing basis, General Counsel oversees relations with outside counsel who handle University intellectual property matters, workmen's compensation, and bond issuance. General Counsel also consults with, refers matters to and supervises counsel representing Wayne State University though the Michigan Universities Self Insurance Corporation. On a periodic basis, as necessary, General Counsel appoints, in consultation with the President, additional counsel to handle other legal matters. General Counsel develops and oversees procedures for monitoring the work and cost of outside counsel.

Develops programs in "preventive law" to train University administrators and managers on how to seek legal advice, avoid legal problems, and conduct their responsibilities in the event of legal challenge or litigation.

Works closely with Human Resources and provides legal advice on all aspects of employee and labor relations, including contact negotiations and collective bargaining contract interpretation as needed or requested. With respect to arbitration proceedings, General Counsel represents the University in matters under the faculty's collective bargaining agreement and works with the staff of the Labor Relations office with respect to matters under other collective bargaining contracts.

Prepares necessary reports on the University's litigation status and potential liabilities for purposes of the annual independent audit.

Unique Duties

Develops and maintains the Wayne State University Code Annotated, working with the Secretary of the Board of Governors and the President's office to codify and publish actions and policies adopted by the Board of Governors. Represent the University in the Legal Officers Council of the President Council of State Universities and in relations with general counsel of other universities on legal issues or litigation of joint concern. Act as the University's liaison to the legal affairs offices and committees of national associations of which the University is a member, such as the American Council on Education and the National Association of State Universities and Land-Grant Colleges. Also represents the University in such other organizations or associations as may be designated by the President.

As a University officer, serves on the President's Cabinet, the President's Affirmative Action Council, and other statutory or chartered bodies which provide for representation of the legal department and may be asked to serve on other University committees, task forces, or deliberative bodies.

Performs other related duties as assigned. Undertake such other responsibilities as may be delegated by the President or the Board of Governors.


Doctorate degree

An LL.B. or J.D. degree from an accredited law school is required.

Admission to the Michigan bar is highly desirable; eligibility for admission and admission to the Michigan bar are mandatory.

Fifteen years of diversified legal experience, including contracts, personal injury, corporations, and labor relations, is desirable. Substantial litigation experience is mandatory. Experience in higher education, university, or municipal law is desirable.

An extensive record of legal practice experience in a relevant area, having attained a senior position of responsibility in a university, firm, corporation, government agency, or other organization.

Senior level experience at a large educational, non-profit, for-profit, or governmental organization, or equivalent role as outside counsel, is preferred.

Significant experience in supervising the work of other lawyers or professionals.

Significant experience in higher education legal matters or representation of colleges or universities.

Management experience in a law office or elsewhere is desirable.

Preferred Qualifications

Strong management skills are essential.

Excellent oral and/or written presentation skills are essential.

Ability to work collaboratively and as a facilitator with other university officers, through formal and informal channels, to resolve problems and conflicts.

Ability to provide competent legal advice and counsel to senior university officials on a wide range of legal and policy issues.

Knowledge of the range of applicable laws and regulations which impact on all facets of university policy and operations.

Knowledge of current and developing legal issues and trends in area of expertise.

Ability to supervise and coordinate the work of legal professionals, paraprofessionals, and consultants.

Ability to foster a cooperative work environment.

Knowledge of the principles and procedures of legal research.

Knowledge and understanding of institutional policies and procedures and the regulatory environment within which they operate.

Knowledge of contract law.

Knowledge of legal documentation procedures and requirements.

Ability to develop and implement legal strategies and solutions.

Knowledge of faculty and/or staff hiring procedures.

Testing Requirements
Not Applicable

Test Scheduling

Job Type

Job Category
Executive Management

Duration of Posting

Fiscal Year of Job Open Date

Job Open Date
(When job is posted in the system)

Job Close Date
(or until suitable candidate is found)
Until Suitable Candidate is Found

Is this position reposted?

Reposting Reason:
None (New Posting)

Application Information

Background Check Requirements
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.

Instructions for submitting your application:
WittKieffer is assisting Wayne State University in this search. For fullest consideration, candidate materials should be received by April 29.

Applications received after this date may be considered at the discretion of the Search Committee.

Application materials should be submitted using WittKieffer's candidate portal:

Nominations and inquiries can be directed to:

Werner Boel and Luis Bertot

Represented Position Message

Funding/Salary Information

Salary (Minimum)
(Non-Academic Only)

Salary (Hire Max)
(Non-Academic Only)

Salary (Maximum)
(Non-Academic Only)

Hourly Rate
(Non-Academic Only)

Salary Range
(Academic Only)

Is Position Bump Ineligible?
(Non-Academic, Represented positions only. Select 'No' for Academic. Select N/A if Non-represented.)
**NOTE: If 'Yes' is selected, then this is a Bump Ineligible Position (BIP). The person who bids or hires into this 100% grant funded position has no bumping rights upon grant expiration or in a reduction of force.

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