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Bowling Green , OH
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University General Counsel

BGSU Office of Human Resources
Bowling Green, OH Full-time
Posted on October 4, 2019

University General Counsel

Bowling Green State University (BGSU), a doctoral/research-high public University in northwest Ohio, invites applications for the position of University General Counsel.  The General Counsel is responsible for direction and supervision of all legal affairs of the University, advising the President, the Board of Trustees, senior administrators, and other constituents on a wide range of issues impacting institutions of higher education.

 

About Bowling Green State University

Founded in 1910 as Bowling Green State Normal School, for more than 100 years BGSU has focused on providing a quality student experience that changes lives and careers.  BGSU offers more than 200 majors and programs within eight colleges: the College of Arts and Sciences, the College of Business, the College of Education and Human Development, the College of Health and Human Services, the Honors College, the College of Musical Arts, the College of Technology, Architecture and Applied Engineering, the Graduate College, and Firelands College (located on a campus in Huron, Ohio offering associate and eight bachelor’s degree programs). With a commitment to experiential learning across disciplines and majors, BGSU employs approximately 900 full-time faculty and 1400 staff. Over 19,500 students enrolled for the 2019-20 academic year, from all 50 states and 70 countries.

 

As a public University, BGSU embraces its responsibility to advance society through education, research and service. Research programs such as photo sciences, water quality, and family and demographic research are internationally recognized for their public impact. A continued emphasis on student success, excellence, and value has provided a pathway for students and alumni to make a difference in the state, the nation, and the world. The University is consistently recognized for the quality of its programs and has been named a No. 1 public University for student engagement by the Wall Street Journal, and Times Higher Education; Business Insider ranked BGSU Ohio’s No. 1 University for quality and affordability. Bloomberg Businessweek ranks BGSU’s undergraduate business programs among the top 5 percent in the nation and the top 2 percent in the world. BGSU ranks first among public universities in Ohio for boosting former students’ earnings 10 years after college, according to a national ranking by The Economist.

 

Office of General Counsel

BGSU's Office of General Counsel has a staff of three, including an Associate General Counsel, paralegal and administrative assistant, in addition to the General Counsel. The Ohio Attorney General is the statutory legal advisor for all state universities with the ultimate responsibility for rendering legal services to the University and for the selection of outside counsel to provide representation for the University. The attorneys in the Office of General Counsel act under the Attorney General’s authority and are designated as Assistant Attorneys General.

Responsibilities of the General Counsel

Reporting to the President, the General Counsel will serve as a member of the President’s Cabinet and manage the day-to-day operations of the Office of General Counsel, which includes managing all office employee and budget matters; tracking and monitoring the progress of projects, action items, strategies, and timeliness of response; and establishing cooperative working relationships with the University’s internal and external constituencies.  As the top legal advisor, the General Counsel will:

  • Lead the legal affairs of the University with high legal and ethical standards. Maintain an ongoing relationship with the office of the Ohio Attorney General, obtain authorization as required and seek its counsel as appropriate. Manage the General Counsel Office to support the teaching, research, and service missions of the University. Organize and supervise the staff of the office to provide accessible, responsive legal support. Provide legal counsel to the Board of Trustees, President, Cabinet and other University constituents. Provide comprehensive and preventative legal guidance and develop legal strategies and solutions.  Provide ethics training. 
  • Counsel University officials on legal matters and when appropriate supervise outside counsel in coordinating the University’s legal affairs, including:
    • Collective bargaining
    • Contracts
    • Employment
    • Ethics, free speech, bias/hate crimes
    • Institutional review board compliance
    • Licensing, software particularly
    • Patent and other intellectual property
    • Policies drafting, interpretation, and training
    • Public records
    • Real estate transactions
    • Regulatory compliance
    • Research, scientific misconduct
    • Student conduct
    • Title IX investigations
  • Prepare, review, and interpret legal documents, such as contracts, construction, property acquisition, leases, insurance contracts, subpoenas for information, new policy, employment contracts, etc.
  • Research and confer with University officials on new judicial decisions/opinions that impact current University, college or department practices, legislative regulatory developments as well as creating and recommending compliance/resolution strategies.
  • Investigate and prepare responses to external compliance reviews and agency complaints (e.g. Equal Opportunity Commission, Office of Federal Contract Compliance, Ohio Civil Rights Commission, etc.).
  • Work with counsel and other state universities, organizations, and Assistant Attorneys General regarding legal matters of mutual interest. Serve as the chief liaison regarding legal matters between the University and affiliated organizations.
  • Other related duties as assigned, including:
    • Represent the Office of General Counsel on University and statewide committees, organizations, special projects, etc.
    • Continued education and training through seminars, workshops, conferences, etc.
    • Related legal projects

 

Key Objectives

The responsibilities of the General Counsel's office are broad and complex. Interviews with key stakeholders have identified the importance of the General Counsel as the University's top legal advisor to manage University risk by being proactive (keeping current on emerging issues and developing appropriate policies) and reactive (providing expert advice and counsel in a time of crisis).

Qualifications and Experience

Requirements include a J.D. from an accredited law school; admission to the Ohio Bar; and a minimum of 8 years of experience as a practicing attorney.  Preference will be given to those with experience in legal issues central to higher education (e.g. in-depth knowledge of business and contract law, intellectual property law, employment law, licensing agreements, Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), public records, Title IX and open meeting statutes).

Personal Characteristics

BGSU has a highly effective model of shared governance, a culture where one must build effective relationships and work collaboratively to get things done. The General Counsel must enjoy working as part of a team in the best interest of the University and its mission:

Bowling Green State University provides holistic and comprehensive educational experiences that enhance the lives of our students, stakeholders, and the many publics we serve. Our graduates are prepared for lifelong personal and career growth and for engaged citizenship and leadership in a global society. Through our excellence in teaching, research, and outreach, BGSU builds a collaborative, diverse, and inclusive community where creative ideas, new knowledge, and entrepreneurial achievements can benefit others in our region, the state of Ohio, the nation, and the world.

The General Counsel must maintain the highest ethical standards; support shared governance; communicate in a direct, transparent and respectful manner; and provide sound and timely judgment. The position requires excellent interpersonal skills; oral and written communication skills; as well as strong organizational and administrative abilities.

The General Counsel must be a leader with the confidence to make tough decisions and the diplomacy to influence others. The General Counsel must respect and advocate for shared governance and be able to:

  • Build consensus among diverse stakeholders.
  • Communicate in a direct, transparent, honest and forthright manner.
  • Articulate legal matters in terms understandable to various audiences.
  • Live a management style that is collaborative and collegial.
  • Be approachable, willing to listen, and welcome open and challenging debate.

 

Compensation

The compensation package is competitive and will include a base salary; comprehensive healthcare; a choice of retirement plans including the Ohio Public Employees Retirement System or an Alternative Retirement Plan; and tuition assistance for the employee, spouse and children. Relocation assistance will also be provided.

Location

Bowling Green is a city of roughly 30,000 residents located in northwest Ohio, about 20 miles south of Toledo. The county seat of Wood County, Bowling Green has a picturesque downtown with restaurants, shops, and cafés. The city offers the benefits of a small college town, including a good public school system with private and parochial options. It also provides easy access to the country and the world just a one-hour drive away via Detroit Metropolitan Airport, a major hub for national and global airlines.

 

The area also offers abundant recreational opportunities. The Toledo Museum of Art’s collection of more than 30,000 works of art ranks among the finest in the United States and the Toledo Zoo and Aquarium has more than 9,000 animals representing over 800 species. Northwest Ohio is home to miles of shorelines, islands, and riverbanks that provide striking geographies and abundant nature. More species of freshwater fish and birds make their home in the region than just about anywhere else in the nation, and an impressive string of parks and reserves makes all this wildlife readily accessible.

 

For a complete job description & instructions on how to apply for this position visit: https://bgsu.hiretouch.com/ or contact the Office of Human Resources, BGSU. In compliance with the ADA Amendments Act (ADAAA), if you have a disability and would like to request an accommodation in order to apply for a position with Bowling Green State University, please call 419-372-8421.  Application deadline is November 1, 2019. 

Bowling Green State University is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Educator and Employer. We are committed to fostering a diverse and inclusive environment and strongly encourage applications from women, minorities, veterans, and individuals with disabilities regardless of age, gender identity, genetic information, religion, or sexual orientation.