The Associate Vice President/General Counsel is broadly responsible for the legal affairs of the College and provides legal advice to the College President, and other internal constituents on a variety of legal matters. This position coordinates responses to subpoenas and other document production requests (ensuring compliance with applicable laws on open meeting, public records, conflicts of interest, etc.). As General Counsel, this position also reviews and provides advice on Board of Trustees’ policies as well as College regulations, guidelines, and requirements. The General Counsel supervises the Human Resources department, including the Title IX Coordinator, and serves as a member of various task forces and committees. The AVP/General Counsel reports directly to the President/CEO of the College.
- Provide legal counsel and guidance on various matters including policies, contracts, affiliation agreements and other transactional and personnel matters in compliance with state statutes and federal laws.
- Review and assess various legal documents to ensure institutional compliance.
- Provide advice, education and counsel regarding Florida’s Open Records Law, and respond to requests, subpoenas, FERPA inquiries, and other legal requests that arise.
- Interact regularly with senior-level administration and with state and federal regulatory offices.
- Provide administrative supervision of the Human Resource Department and the Title IX Officer.
- Perform legal and factual research as required.
- Address all personnel matters that arise in a public higher education environment including promotion, tenure, peer review, termination, grievance, salary, and benefit issues, and immigration needs.
- Provide legal advice to ensure the institution fully addresses matters involving employees and students, including discrimination, civil rights, harassment, worker’s compensation, affirmative action, discipline, conflict of interest and FERPA issues.
- Draft, negotiate, and/or review contracts, agreements, communications, leases and other documents to ensure that the College’s legal and business interests are protected.
- Draft and review all legal documents governing all aspects of NWFSC litigation, including, but not limited to, arguments, motions, interrogatories, and responsive pleadings, briefs, agreements, and contracts.
- Provide leadership in the development of Board of Trustees’ policy and College procedure, in cooperation with senior administration.
- Develop and administer contract management processes that provides for timely and efficient review of material contracts and agreements, ensures that necessary approvals and signatures are obtained, and tracks expiration, renewal and/or termination deadlines.
- Monitor legal affairs of the College and bring legal issues and concerns to the attention of the President and other senior-level administrators in a timely manner.
- Engage in regular professional development activities, including participation in all continuing education necessary to maintain active law license, and attend professional development workshops, seminars, and conferences that will facilitate and improve personal and department expertise in areas of law relevant to supporting the College.
- Review and/or assist in the development of documents utilized for RFP, RFQ, and/or bid solicitations.
- Create, present, and monitor the completion of training seminars on various topics including, but not limited to, evaluation, Title IX, Harassment, FMLA, ADA, Title VII of Civil Rights Act, College procedures and initiatives.
- Draft, in concert with NWFSC administrators, policies and procedures as required.
- Maintain up-to-date knowledge of changes in law and policy that have an impact on higher education and, specifically, Northwest Florida State College.
- Keep the College President informed of all developments and perceived issues at the state, regional, and local levels.
- Create proactive strategies for ensuring compliance with existing and contemplated law, regulations, and policies.
- Perform other job-related duties as assigned.
Knowledge and Skills
- Must have extensive knowledge of the legal and regulatory provisions that govern public higher education.
- Must have current knowledge of statutes, regulations and case law applicable to state agencies.
- Must have demonstrated ability to work in a collegial and professional manner with College personal.
- Must have effective communication skills in both written and verbal presentations, including all aspects of legal writing technique and procedure.
- Must effectively work as a College team member, support the College Mission, Vision, and Values, and demonstrate a strong commitment to loyalty and the creation of a positive work environment.
- Must demonstrate excellent emotional intelligence and situational awareness.
- Must possess and demonstrate high ethical standards.
- Must demonstrate strong legal research abilities.
- Must demonstrate strong analytical, advocacy, and problem-solving skills.
- Must demonstrate the ability to work in a diverse and complex State College environment across six campuses/centers and instructional sites.
- Must demonstrate the ability to work effectively with a diverse public and staff.
- Must be loyal and promote a positive attitude and work environment.
- Attend Department meetings.
- Participate in President’s Strategy Circle Meetings as invited.
- Attend all meetings of the Board of Trustees.
- Attend State legislative proceedings as necessary.
MINIMUM REQUIRED QUALIFICATIONS
- Requires a Juris Doctorate from an A.B.A. accredited law school.
- Requires three to five years practicing law with a record of legal accomplishments.
- Admission to practice law in Florida.
- Requires membership in good standing with the Florida State Bar, or satisfies the criteria to be admitted upon motion without examination.
- Experience advising higher education institutions is preferred.
First review of applications begins November 2, 2020.