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UNIVERSITY OF OREGON
HUMAN RESOURCES

General Counsel to the University - Archive
President's Office

Posting: 15003
Location: Eugene
Closes: 2015-04-07

Title:  General Counsel to the University
Department:  President’s Office
FTE:  1.0 (full-time)
Appointment Type:  Officer of Administration
Reports to:  UO President
Salary range:  $200,000 to $250,000 annually, plus an excellent benefits package
Duration:  12 months, renewable annually
Closing Date:  Search will remain open until filled; application review begins February 6, 2015
Start Date:  April 20, 2015 or as soon as possible thereafter

General Statement of Duties

The General Counsel to the University (GC) is the chief legal officer for the University of Oregon. The GC is responsible for managing the university’s legal affairs and overseeing the office’s provision of legal services to the university and the UO Board of Trustees. The General Counsel works closely with other executive officers, university units, and student government, and is authorized to accept legal process on behalf of the university. The General Counsel supervises the office budget and staff, including five other attorneys.

The General Counsel is one of four officers of the university as outlined in the UO’s bylaws. Thus, the position has a dual reporting requirement to the university president and the Board of Trustees, and serves as a member of the president’s executive leadership team. The GC participates in all meetings of the Board of Trustees or its committees, and works closely with the University Secretary on issues relating to public meetings, Board actions and resolutions, and UO policies.

Description of Duties

The General Counsel works in a variety of practice areas, including labor and employment, business matters, civil rights, contract review, litigation, environmental issues, copyright, information technology, intellectual property, technology transfer, property acquisitions, design and construction transactions, research transactions, student and faculty issues, tax, risk management, compliance, government ethics rules, and constitutional law. The university is a complex and diverse institution that generates a wide range of legal issues. Some of these are common to all large institutions; others (such as shared governance, freedom of speech, academic freedom, sponsored research, student rights, campus safety, the ADA, Title IX, Development, and Athletics) are unique to the environment of a large public university.

As the chief legal officer for the university, the General Counsel is responsible for managing the legal affairs of the university and overseeing the office’s provision of legal services across the entire spectrum of university life.

The GC advises the university’s senior leadership team, including the president, UO Board of Trustees, Senior Vice President and Provost, Vice President for Finance and Administration/CFO, and others, on the legal implications of strategy, business, and policy decisions.

The GC retains and supervises outside counsel when prudent. The GC works closely with the University Secretary on all matters with legal implications that come before the board.

This position supervises the office staff including five attorneys, one executive assistant/operations manager, and one legal assistant (all officers of administration).

Required Qualifications

  • Possess a law degree from an accredited law school.
  • Be a member of, or qualified for admission to, the Oregon State Bar.
  • Have at least fifteen years of recent law practice experience. Substantial experience managing, directing, and coordinating the workload and work product of other attorneys, including outside counsel, and the Office of General Counsel.
  • Demonstrated impeccable analytical, interpersonal, and written and oral communication skills, as well as high ethical standards, mature judgment, and the capacity to foster constructive outcomes in a complex environment involving an array of distinct stakeholders from diverse backgrounds.
  • Demonstrated competence and confidence to operate with credibility at the senior executive level; maintaining objectivity while promoting appropriate outcomes, managing multiple stakeholder agendas, and upholding excellent client service standards.
  • Possess superior intellect, flexibility, creativity, and the aptitude to be a true "generalist."
  • Notable experience demonstrating equity and inclusion to enable success for people from all walks of life while sharing common, fundamental values grounded in justice, civility, and respect while looking to diversity as a source of enrichment and strength.

Preferred Qualifications

  • Substantial experience handling the legal work of a large organization, preferably within a research-intensive university.
  • Demonstrated familiarity with public law.

Application Procedures

The General Counsel will be serving an increasingly culturally diverse community. Candidates who share our commitment to diversity, and who have the ability to build understanding and resolve conflict across cultural and other differences are particularly encouraged to apply. The finalist for this position will be required to complete a criminal background check. To ensure consideration, please submit application materials by February 6, 2015; this position will remain open until filled. Applicants should submit the following documents:

  • A cover letter that directly addresses the applicant’s qualifications and interest in the position;
  • A detailed resume’ or curriculum vita; and
  • The names and complete contact information for at least three professional references who can comment on the applicant’s qualifications for this position. References will be kept confidential and will not be contacted prior to notifying the applicant.

Electronic submissions are preferred and should be sent via email as one single PDF (preferred) or Word document to (subject line should read “Application for General Counsel”): nfish@uoregon edu

Paper applications may be sent to:

Search Committee, General Counsel
President’s Office
110 Johnson Hall
1226 University of Oregon
Eugene, OR 97403-1226


The University of Oregon is an equal opportunity, affirmative action institution committed to cultural diversity and compliance with the ADA. The University encourages all qualified individuals to apply, and does not discriminate on the basis of any protected status, including veteran and disability status.