University Background: The mission of California Lutheran University is to educate leaders for a global society who are strong in character and judgment, confident in their identity and vocation, and committed to service and justice. Founded in 1959 in beautiful Ventura County, the university has an enrollment of about 4,000 undergraduate and graduate students who come from across the nation and around the world from a diversity of backgrounds, cultures and faiths. As a federally recognized Hispanic-Serving Institution, Cal Lutheran is looking for candidates with a dedication to and success in working in diverse communities. The university is committed to an inclusive learning and work environment that values individual differences and respects each person’s dignity.
Basic Function: The General Counsel (GC) selected will be the first internal legal counsel retained by the University and will report to the University President. The inaugural incumbent provides legal advice and solution-oriented recommendations on a wide variety of legal issues. The GC will also be responsible for directing legal matters to outside counsel and supervising and reporting status and recommended solutions. These include issues related to employment, contract negotiation, not-for-profit regulations, federal and state rules and regulations pertaining to higher education, NCAA athletics, student affairs, Title IX, FERPA, Clery, VAWA, litigation, risk management, intellectual property, copyright, real property, landlord tenant issues, construction contracts, charitable giving, estate planning, bond financing, community relations, privacy, sponsored research, ADA, employee discipline, compliance, and other matters.
Directly reporting to the President, serves as a member of the executive team of the University providing strategic legal advice on matters pertaining to employment law, policies, procedures, rules and regulations, and laws pertaining to students, real estate transactions, contracts, grants, tax matters, worker’s compensation, liability and insurance matters, intellectual property, trademark and patents, affirmative action, and other laws and regulations. As part of this responsibility, advises Human Resource administrators on personnel matters (for example, disciplinary actions and preparing, negotiating and executing separation agreements). Another part of this responsibility includes serving as primary liaison and contact between university and external entities concerning legal matters. E
Conducts ongoing legal research of state and federal legislation, proposed laws, administrative and court decisions; Monitors legal issues and trends affecting higher education; Analyzes relevant research, trends, and proposed regulations to make recommendations on matters affecting institutions of higher learning. E
Drafts, negotiates, and or reviews a variety of contracts, affiliation agreements, and Memos of Understanding; Drafts, reviews, and/or recommends for approval policies, procedures, bylaws and other legal documents. E
Identifies and evaluates compliance risks associated with the university. As part of this duty, builds relationships with colleagues across the institution to help them understand compliance issues. This includes developing and delivering education and training programs that address and promote compliance and identify risks. E
Develops, communicates and validates adherence to policies, procedures and best practices to ensure compliance with local, state, and federal laws and to reduce the University’s risk exposure. As part of this duty, develops, implements and publicizes a system whereby university employees, students or agents may efficiently and effectively report or seek guidance in reporting potential or actual criminal conduct, fraud or other forms of improper behavior. E
Provides litigation support and oversight of litigated matters. This includes managing and performing claim investigations and coordinating the defense of claims or complaints. It may also occasionally include acting as a management advocate in administrative proceedings and making court appearances to obtain resources such as restraining orders. E
Interview outside counsel and select such counsel, in collaboration with the President, where external expertise is necessary. Facilitate direct communications between administrators and outside counsel when it increases efficiency, while maintaining budget control and supervision. Manage communications with outside lawyers, including on matters that pose risk of liability.
Review legal expenses of outside counsel and approve all bills for payment. E
Leads the Risk Management Oversight Committee. E
Participates in campus wide contingency planning and business continuity planning. E
Serves on the Emergency Operations Committee. E
Maintains professional growth and development through seminars, workshops and professional affiliations to keep abreast of latest developments in regulatory changes and in other related areas. E
Performs other duties as assigned.
E = Essential Duties
Higher education structures, policies, regulations, procedures, and shared governance norms in general; acquired knowledge of the particular goals, objectives, policies, and procedures adopted at California Lutheran University. This includes an appreciation of Cal Lutheran’s mission and purpose as a comprehensive university within the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America.
Laws and regulations in EEO/AA programs, employment, worker’s compensation, FMLA, FLSA, Clery Act, FERPA, Title IX, ADA, and NCAA guidelines.
Advise senior management and governing board on legal matters. Provide competent, timely, and strategic legal advice and counsel on a wide range of issues. As part of this expectation, the incumbent must:
Gather, assemble, analyze, and evaluate facts, evidence, data and other information in order to draw reasonable and fair conclusions and make sound decisions.
Maintain up-to-date knowledge of changes in law and policy that have an impact on the university.
Perform at a high degree of accuracy and attention to detail.
Work independently and on a team, dealing appropriately with confidential situations and information.
Practice personal and professional integrity, tact, discretion, and diplomacy.
Meet deadlines and be able to multitask in a fast-paced environment.
Be responsive and adherent to current laws and regulations while anticipating the next wave of changes. In terms of the latter, create proactive strategies for ensuring compliance with potential or emerging laws, regulations, and policies. This expectation assumes that the incumbent will self-motivate and self-start with the ability to anticipate institutional needs.
Interface with diverse individuals at all organizational levels, both inside and outside of the University with excellent interpersonal skill. As part of this expectation, develop and deliver oral and written presentations that are clear and accessible to diverse audiences, most of whom are unfamiliar with legal jargon. It also includes formulating oral and written messages around complex topics with crispness that is highly noticeable.
Be a champion for diversity, fostering equity and achieving inclusion
Exude active listening skills
Understand and handle political and practical ramifications of recommendations.
Handle multiple priorities and changing business conditions.
Utilize Microsoft Office applications.
Minimum Qualifications: Juris Doctorate degree from an ABA accredited college or university with high academic achievement and standing member of the California State Bar and seven years of progressive legal experience working with clients in or on issues relevant to higher education. Demonstrated track record in proving counsel that demands knowledge in the areas stated above.
Preferred Qualifications: Experience in higher education industry. Membership in NACUA.
Licenses and Other Requirements: Certificate of Standing
Working Environment: Full time 40+ hours per week position in office environment; multiple interruptions; occasional weekend work; some travel. This position will be consulted for emergencies regardless of normal work hours.
Posting Number: Staff004132020 Number of Vacancies: Desired Start Date: 10/18/2021 Position End Date: Open Date: 09/01/2021 Close Date: 9/26/2021 Open Until Filled: No
California Lutheran University is committed to providing equal opportunity in employment for all persons, regardless of race, religious creed, color, national origin, ancestry, physical disability, mental disability, medical condition, marital status, sex, age, sexual orientation, genetic information, gender, gender identity or expression, or any other basis protected by applicable law. No person shall be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination in any program, activity or facility of the University on the basis of these factors in a manner consistent with applicable federal and state laws, regulations, ordinances, orders and rules, and University’s policies, procedures, and processes.
Upon request, reasonable accommodations in the application process can be provided to individuals with qualifying disabilities. Please contact the Human Resources Department for further information or to request an accommodation.