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General Counsel and Secretary of the University

Company: Inside Higher Ed
Location: Worcester
Posted on: February 25, 2021

Job Description:

Category:: Staff and AdministratorsDepartment:: 1000 (PRESIDENT)Locations:: Worcester, MAPosted:: Feb 17, 2021Closes:: Open Until FilledType:: Full-time - ExemptRef. No.:: 190349Position ID:: 128347About Clark University:The University seeks an inspirational attorney with sound judgment and excellent problem solving ability. The General Counsel is expected to be an ambassador of Clark's values, lead with integrity, and demonstrate a high standard of professional ethics. The successful candidate will have passion for the academic and research missions of the University and will appreciate the University's unique relationship to its students and to the community at large. The General Counsel will also play an important role in supporting the University's ongoing work to advance a diverse and inclusive campus community and its unwavering commitment to and active engagement with the city of Worcester. The Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary of the University will serve as the principal legal advisor for the University, with overall responsibility for the vision and leadership of the University's legal strategy. In addition, the person in this position will serve as facilitator and manager of the Board of Trustees office. Reporting to the President and as a valued member of the senior leadership team and a key strategic advisor, the Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary of the University will provide legal advice and counsel to the President, Board of Trustees, and other members of the University community on all legal and other significant matters affecting the University and its stakeholders, including Board governance. This is an excellent opportunity to work for a mission-driven institution with true growth potential where the General Counsel will serve as a key thought leader within the community and as a trusted advisor on the leadership team. Founded in 1887, Clark was one of the first all-graduate institutions in the United States. Today the University is a highly-ranked, student-centered institution educating approximately 2,350 undergraduate and 1,150 graduate students to be imaginative and contributing citizens of the world and to advance the frontiers of knowledge and understanding through rigorous scholarship and creative effort. This commitment to scholarship and inquiry reflects the University's commitment to "challenge convention and change our world" and to address issues of critical importance to society. It is also reflected by Clark's many national and international distinctions, including recognition for its diversity and inclusion efforts, innovation, community engagement and impact, as a top green campus, and for having a distinguished geography and international development program. Clark has also been included in the groundbreaking Colleges that Change Lives guide since it was first published in 1996. Clark is located in Worcester, Massachusetts, a dynamic, diverse city "on the rise" according to many news organizations, including NPR and Bloomberg. The second largest city in New England, Worcester is home to 11 institutions of higher learning and is increasingly recognized for its growing healthcare and biotechnology communities and its thriving cultural scene. This is evidenced by the influx of young professionals from Boston, the emergence of Worcester as a major "food hub" with a tremendous sprouting of new restaurants and craft breweries, the relocation in 2021 of the Red Sox minor league baseball team from Pawtucket, Rhode Island, and the expansion of flight offerings at the Worcester Regional Airport. Well integrated into the Worcester community, Clark's 50+ acre campus is home to 70 buildings, including academic buildings, residence halls, and research and athletic facilities. Boston and Providence are each an hour from campus by car, and New York City is an easy train ride (or three-hour car ride) away. With an operating budget of $135M and a $461M endowment, Clark's current financial position is strong. The University last spring completed a fundraising campaign that raised over $150 million, exceeding its $125M goal. A faculty-centered institution with a strong tradition of shared governance, Clark's more than 200 full- and 150 part-time faculty are deeply committed to teaching and embrace the Liberal Education and Effective Practice curriculum that is a signature of the College at Clark. Full-time faculty are also highly productive, with strong publication records and externally funded research totaling on average between $6-8M each year. In addition, the University employs a diverse and dedicated cross-section of 470 full- and part-time staff. Clark University promotes a rigorous liberal arts curriculum within the context of a research university with a strong social justice ethos that addresses challenges on a global scale. What makes Clark an exciting place is that the University's learning community embraces this philosophy in multiple ways:

  • Intellectual Risk-TakingIn both students and faculty, Clark fosters a desire to interrogate the status quo, a willingness to look for the difficult answers, and a commitment to achieve excellence.
    • Diversity, Equity, and InclusionClark's students, faculty, and staff embrace the challenging work of implementing structural and procedural change to better reflect the University's vision of a diverse and inclusive campus community.
      • Community EngagementCommunity engagement is a signature of a Clark education and Clark's understanding of its role in the world. Clark seeks to be a model for community-university partnerships that emphasizes equity and social transformation. Building From Strength
        • Outstanding EducationClark offers an outstanding education to approximately 2,350 undergraduate students and 1,150 graduate students, including the College of Arts and Sciences, where students can choose from more than 30 majors and minors and 12 concentrations; the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, which offers doctorates in 9 fields and master's degrees in several others; the School of Management and the Department of International Development, Community, and Environment, both of which offer bachelor's and master's degrees; and the School of Professional Studies, which is centered on programs for working professionals seeking to advance in their careers. These units are integrated in part through the Accelerated B.A/Master's Program that allows high-performing Clark undergraduates to earn a master's degree with only one additional year of coursework, tuition-free to eligible students. In 2020, nearly 30% of the graduating class entered the Accelerated B.A/Master's Program.
          • Research and Creative WorkResearch and creative excellence are pillars of Clark's mission. Faculty are internationally recognized for their work, delivering world-class scholarship and path-breaking works of art, theater, and music. The importance of the work produced by Clark faculty is evidenced in the awards and honors professors have garnered, the fellowships they have won, the prestigious grants they have earned, the journals they edit, and the professional organizations in which they have played leadership roles. Much of that expertise has been called upon by NGOs and various governmental entities?both national and international?on whose boards Clark faculty sit.
            • Engaged, Dedicated CommunityClark is a deeply engaged and caring community eager to cultivate an even brighter future for each other and for the institution. The University is truly special in this regard with the enthusiasm, energy, and dynamism of a dedicated, talented, and willing faculty and staff to facilitate and cultivate important initiatives. In short, this is a community ready to dig in and help take Clark to the next level.
              • New Leadership and New AmbitionWith a new University President and many new members of the leadership team already in place (and active searches for others in progress), the General Counsel with join an energetic team determined to lead the University to greater strength and to create a culture and climate where everyone feels they belong and can thrive. About The PresidentA proud alumnus and a distinguished leader in the world of higher education, David Fithian was named the 10th President of Clark University in January 2020 and began his duties on July 1. Prior to his arrival, President Fithian served as Executive Vice President at the University of Chicago. There, he had been a central figure in the dramatic momentum underway at the institution, with roles spanning major operations, academic program development, support of the University's Board of Trustees, executive recruitment, and fundraising. He participated in university financial strategy and budget planning; oversaw campus master planning, including architectural design for major capital projects and campus enhancements; and oversaw the Office of the President and its budget, the Office of Institutional Research and Analysis, the University's public programs for the arts, and the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole, Massachusetts. Before joining Chicago in 2007, President Fithian served for 12 years at Harvard, holding progressively senior positions within the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, including Associate Dean of the Faculty and Secretary of the Faculty. President Fithian graduated from Clark in 1987 and went on to earn his M.A., M.Phil., and Ph.D. degrees in sociology from Yale. He has taught in the departments of sociology at Yale, the University of Connecticut, and Harvard. Job Description:The General Counsel will serve as the principal legal advisor for the University, with overall responsibility for the vision and leadership of the University's legal strategy. Reporting to the President, as a valued member of the senior leadership team and a key strategic advisor, the General Counsel will provide legal advice and counsel to the President, Board of Trustees, and other members of the University community on all legal and other significant matters affecting the University and its stakeholders. This is an excellent opportunity to work for a mission-driven institution where the General Counsel will serve as a key thought leader within the community and as a trusted advisor on the leadership team.The University seeks an inspirational attorney with sound judgment and excellent problem solving ability. The General Counsel is expected to be an ambassador of Clark's values, lead with integrity, and demonstrate a high standard of professional ethics. The successful candidate will have passion for the academic and research missions of the University and will appreciate the University's unique relationship to its students and to the community at large. The General Counsel will also play an important role in supporting the University's ongoing work to advance a diverse and inclusive campus community and its unwavering commitment to and active engagement with the city of Worcester.The General Counsel will have the following responsibilities and opportunities:
                • Develop a vision for legal services in conjunction with the President and leadership that aligns with the University's mission and vision, sharing best practices and recommendations for how to best execute legal services at Clark with an eye to institutional risk and ongoing support for academic initiatives and programs.
                • Serve as a strategic thought partner to the President, Board of Trustees, and leadership on institutional objectives and priorities.
                • Work closely with the Board of Trustees and advise and counsel on all governance matters; manage the Office of the Board of Trustees.
                • Anticipate issues and risk, sharing pertinent information with the President and leadership and other relevant parties.
                • Develop a strong network of relationships inside and outside the University to support the objectives of the legal function and the mission and business of Clark.
                • Advise the President and leadership on legal matters involving the University's activities and operations to ensure compliance with applicable laws, regulations, policies, contracts, and business practices and to maintain a culture of integrity at the University.
                • Draft, review, guide, and advise on the development of University policies and procedures to ensure compliance with external or internal laws and procedures.
                • Provide strategic and ethical leadership and direction for all legal matters involving the University on issues that could range from student, faculty, and staff affairs; regulatory and compliance; athletics; research and financial concerns; business development and new investments; real estate; environmental matters; governmental affairs; strategic initiatives; crisis management; grants and gift planning; legislation; anti-trust; data privacy; federal aid package policies; public safety; international; IP; employment; immigration; to social media.
                • Advise and counsel the leadership team, deans, the Office of Human Resources, and managers from across campus on a wide range of employment-related matters involving faculty, administrators, and staff.
                • Lead and manage the University's Title IX Coordinator of the Office of Title IX (with a direct reporting relationship).
                • Advise and counsel the Division of Student Affairs on a variety of issues impacting students and campus life including Title IX compliance and sexual assault and other conduct hearings; student disciplinary policies and procedures; student privacy (FERPA); disability accommodation issues for students; and student issues involving the intersection between mental health and conduct issues.
                • Advise and counsel the provost, deans, faculty, and department chairs on faculty matters, intellectual property questions, academic integrity violations, research issues, and various other matters arising out of their respective areas.
                • Analyze current inventory of legal needs across the University, external legal resources currently in use, and constituents currently engaging with legal counsel.
                • Develop a process for the transition of legal services, including the following:
                • Working with the current outside counsel and law firms to gather necessary information and ensure a smooth pathway to an in-house model.
                • Determine when external resources will be necessary and retain resources for this purpose.
                • Assist in formulating and implementing institutional strategies for avoiding future legal problems, including training activities.
                • Draft and review contracts and advise on legal issues raised within contractual relationships.
                • Review, advise, and assist with property acquisitions, leases, labor relations and personnel matters, insurance matters, IP, patent, trademark and copyright matters.
                • Advise on various issues impacting Athletics, including NCAA compliance, Title IX, game and other business agreements, coach agreements and employment issues.
                • Advise on various public safety matters, including the Clery Act, no trespass orders, Title IX, threat assessment, and other safety-related issues impacting the Clark community.Requirements:The successful candidate will have at least 15 years of progressively responsible legal experience, including significant interaction with senior leadership teams and the ability to work effectively with various constituencies. Experience in higher education law is strongly preferred. A solid understanding of matters related to higher education including employment law, ADA, VAWA, FERPA, Title IX, and Clery is a clear advantage.Key Qualifications
                  • A JD and membership in the Massachusetts State Bar or the ability to obtain membership within a reasonable amount of time.
                  • The successful candidate will possess at least 15 years of progressively responsible legal experience including significant interaction with senior leadership teams, and the ability to work effectively with various constituencies.
                  • Experience in higher education law is strongly preferred.
                  • A solid understanding of matters related to higher education including, employment law, ADA, VAWA, FERPA, Title IX, and Clery is a clear advantage.
                  • Experience in some of the following legal areas: Labor, Employment and ERISA; Governance; Risk Management and Insurance; Student Life; Non-discrimination and Affirmative Action; Compliance (Title IX, Clery, ADA, FERPA); Contract Administration; Regulatory; Privacy and Information Security; Intellectual Property; Environmental Health and Safety; Construction and Real Estate; New Ventures; Faculty Appointment and Tenure; Research; Gift Planning; and Athletics.Leadership and Personal Skills and Attributes
                    • Demonstrated executive leadership and management skills in all aspects of a legal and business environment with a proven ability to advise a successful, advancing institution.
                    • Positive, professional, and collaborative demeanor coupled with exceptional legal and business judgment in order to gain the confidence, trust, and reliance of colleagues at Clark.
                    • A demonstrated commitment to Diversity & Inclusion and a strong track record of promoting and supporting D&I efforts within an organization.
                    • A strong people orientation and sensitivity to cultural diversity and ability to build rapport with a diverse range of business and legal partners.
                    • Ability to interact with diverse constituents and adapt communications to the audience, simplifying complex legal matters as necessary.
                    • Exceptionally strong problem solving skills with the ability to provide responsive answers to requests for legal assistance, to describe, prevent, and minimize legal risks; to render professional, expeditious, efficient, detail-oriented service and practical problem solving for the benefit of the University community.
                    • Exceptional leadership and management experience with both professionals and support staff, including a successful track record in change-oriented operational management and people leadership. The capacity to lead and motivate a professional team confronting change and a demonstrated comfort operating in a high visibility organization will be critical.
                    • Superior intellect, with the ability to think critically and effectively communicate well-reasoned decisions; ability to see and handle more than the legal issues of a project; strong, pragmatic business acumen with the ability to recognize the broader consequences of a course of action and its impact on the many stakeholders in the University; a strategic and innovative thinker who can bring value and find creative solutions to complex legal issues.
                    • Exceptional interpersonal and negotiation skills and the ability to communicate (both orally and in written form) and interact effectively, presenting to large and small audiences, significant decision makers, and employees.
                    • A quick study, a self-starter, and an ability to handle complex matters with multiple initiatives going on simultaneously.
                    • Ability to engage internal and external stakeholders in a manner that promotes legal compliance, fosters appreciation of and respect for the rule of law, builds productive relationships, and creates alignment behind the goals of the University.
                    • Commitment to the highest ethical and professional standards; a strong moral compass and personal and professional integrity beyond reproach; courage and perseverance, tact, discretion, and diplomacy; unquestioned discretion in maintaining confidentiality.This is a Full-time position with excellent benefits, which include employee and family tuition benefits, 4 weeks' vacation, generous retirement plan, free use of campus fitness center and many more.Additional Information:Clark University embraces equal opportunity and affirmative action as core values: we believe that cultivating an environment that embraces and promotes diversity is fundamental to the success of our students, our employees and our community. This commitment applies to every aspect of education, services, and employment policies and practices at Clark. Our commitment to diversity informs our efforts in recruitment, hiring and retention. All positions at Clark share in the responsibility for building a community that values diversity and the uniqueness of others by exhibiting integrity and respect in interacting with all members of the Clark community to create an atmosphere of fairness and belonging. We strongly encourage members from historically underrepresented communities, inclusive of all women, to apply.Application Instructions:Please submit a resume in Microsoft Word format to:Heather Fine Nancy ReinerPartner PartnerReview of applications will begin immediately and continue until the position is filled. Salary will be commensurate with skills and experience.

Keywords: Inside Higher Ed, Worcester , General Counsel and Secretary of the University, Legal , Worcester, Massachusetts

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