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General Counsel

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Type: Full-time
Campus: Mount Carmel - Hamden, CT
Categories: Staff

Overview: Quinnipiac University seeks to hire a General Counsel, the first to hold this role at Quinnipiac under a dynamic, energetic new president. The General Counsel will be a key member of the President’s strategic leadership team at a critical and exciting moment in the University’s trajectory. They will be vital to the implementation of Quinnipiac’s ambitious strategic plan and will serve as a trusted advisor. Reporting to the President, the General Counsel will serve as the chief legal officer of the University, coordinate all of Quinnipiac’s legal affairs, and provide advice and counsel to Quinnipiac’s President, Board of Trustees, executive officers, faculty, and staff. The General Counsel will oversee all outside use of counsel and advise on all legal matters, and will be responsible for compliance with federal and local laws governing non-profit institutions of higher learning.
About Quinnipiac: A private, coeducational, nonsectarian institution situated on three separate campuses, Quinnipiac University enrolls over 7,000 full-time undergraduate students and 3,000 graduate and part-time students in 100 degree programs through its Schools of Business, Communications, Education, Engineering, Health Sciences, Law, Medicine, Nursing, and College of Arts and Sciences, located on three campuses. The University believes in educating a diverse student body to become valued and contributing members of their communities through learning programs that position students to be enlightened citizens prepared for 21st century careers.
Responsibilities:
  • Represents Quinnipiac as its chief legal officer, serving as the legal representative of and a senior advisor to the President, the Board of Trustees, executive officers, faculty, and senior staff.
  • Provides comprehensive legal counsel, representation, and oversight on the wide range of legal matters affecting Quinnipiac University
    • Provides advice to all University academic and staff leaders on legal and regulatory matters related to Quinnipiac’s activities, transactional matters, dispute resolution, human resources, investigations, and policy formulation, and conducts all necessary and appropriate related legal work
    • The General Counsel is the sole official (in addition to the President) authorized to engage or approve the engagement of outside counsel on behalf of the university
    • Representative areas of law routinely addressed include governance, labor and employment, civil rights (including Title IX and FERPA), tax, real estate, land use and property law, investments, contracts, financing transactional work, complex gifts, research and cooperative agreements, technology licensing, intellectual property, cultural property, collective bargaining, and litigation
  • Protects Quinnipiac’s institutional integrity, extending to best practices, potential liability, and matters that present substantial institutional risk, advising on issues that present risk of impairment of Quinnipiac’s reputation, legal status as a tax-exempt organization, or financial condition
  • Ensures compliance with all applicable laws, regulations, and rules enforced by U.S. federal, state, and local regulators and appropriate global regulators, developing good relationships with relevant regulators
  • Establishes a service-oriented office of legal affairs and then leads, coordinates, and manages provision of legal services across Quinnipiac
  • Selects and supervises outside legal counsel, including in transactions, contracting, litigation, and regulatory matters
  • Serves as an ally in advancing innovative university ideas and practices, while addressing any legal concerns
  • Oversees the status of the university as a tax-exempt organization
Education Requirements:
  • The successful candidate should hold a law degree, be a member in good standing of a state bar, and satisfy all applicable requirements for attorneys practicing law in Connecticut
Qualifications:

The new General Counsel must be an experienced attorney with the requisite legal background and interpersonal skills to function successfully in a senior, complex role. The following background is strongly preferred:

  • Minimum 15+ years relevant legal experience
  • Experience as a trusted adviser to a CEO/President and governing board
  • Significant experience in, or exposure to, legal issues similar to those at Quinnipiac, with familiarity with higher education, academic, research, and student life issues
  • Outstanding written and oral communication skills
  • Effectiveness in working as a positive contributor to senior management teams and in developing collegial relationships across complex organizations
  • An entrepreneurial mindset
  • Experience managing a broad portfolio of legal issues, litigation, and legal risk assessment.

CRITICAL COMPETENCIES FOR SUCCESS

  • Legal and Managerial Skills
    • Demonstrated legal talent with the ability to focus on and counsel leadership on the major issues—current or potential—facing a complex academic institution
    • Demonstrated sound judgment with a track record of serving as a key contributor to a fast paced, entrepreneurial leadership team
    • Demonstrated ability to influence major decisions through reasoned analysis
    • Ability to engage and manage outside counsel
    • Ability to forecast and manage a legal budget cost effectively
    • Versatility in addressing and advising on a broad portfolio of legal matters
  • Strategic and Entrepreneurial Thinking
    • A strategic thinker who can move fluidly between the big picture and details, who will bring pragmatism, a sense of urgency, a bias toward action, and a passion for Quinnipiac’s mission and new strategic plan
    • Understands the University’s agenda and can counsel University leaders on how to achieve the agenda while best mitigating associated risk
    • Has a service mentality, implementing systems and structures to support University clients with their legal questions and needs
    • Has the courage of his/her own convictions and is willing to articulate contrary but well-reasoned positions in appropriate situations
    • Values inclusive excellence in staff and programs and has demonstrated behaviors that articulate that value
  • Collaborative Leadership
    • Systematically builds partnerships with colleagues across Quinnipiac, invests time to gain a clear understanding of the University’s programs and issues, and gains credibility with senior leadership and board members by consistently delivering an outstanding work product and sage counsel in a timely fashion
    • Is accessible and responsive, invites discussion and debate, possesses the self-confidence to set forth opinions even in the face of contrary views, the capacity to listen carefully and reconsider, and the ability to view multiple aspects of challenging issues
    • Welcomes the importance of serving as a member of a strategic leadership team while inviting participative engagement across the university
    • Models collegiality and collaboration

OTHER PERSONAL CHARACTERISTICS

• Uncompromising integrity and the highest ethical and moral standards
• Innovative, forward-thinking, and entrepreneurial
• Interpersonally sensitive and a good listener
• A commitment to advancing diverse points of view and backgrounds
• Thoughtful decision-maker
• Commitment to the strategic aspirations of Quinnipiac

Special Instructions to Applicants:

To apply or nominate an individual for this position, please send an email to QUGC@spencerstuart.com; applicants also should include a resume and cover letter.

Quinnipiac University is considering only those applicants who have valid authorization to work in the United States. Quinnipiac University does not sponsor employment-based visas for this position.

Compensation will be competitive and commensurate with both experience and achievement.

For more information about Quinnipiac University, please visit https://www.qu.edu/about-quinnipiac.html.

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