Located in Knoxville, the General Counsel is appointed by the by the Board of Trustees upon the recommendation of the President and serves on the University of Tennessee executive leadership team, reporting directly to the President. The General Counsel is the chief legal officer for the University of Tennessee and all its constituent parts. The General Counsel serves as the primary legal advisor to the President as it relates to anticipating potential legal concerns related to high-level decision-making and advising the UT executive leadership team on matters with potential legal implications. The General Counsel also assists and advises on a wide range of topics including high-level human resources issues, policy development and implementation, federal and state compliance, shared governance, intellectual property, student and employee misconduct, issues pertaining to athletics and other potential legal matters impacting institutions of higher education. The General Counsel and attorneys working under the General Counsel's supervision are responsible for all legal matters affecting the University, including representation of the University and University officials in legal actions. In consultation with the President and the Chief Financial Officer, the General Counsel is authorized to retain outside counsel to represent the University in legal actions or otherwise assist in carrying out the responsibilities of the General Counsel. No other officer or employee is authorized to employ attorneys or retain outside counsel to handle legal matters for any campus, institute, or other unit of the University.
The Board approves the appointment of the General Counsel, upon the recommendation of the President. The Board alone has authority to remove the General Counsel, which shall require a simple majority vote if recommended by the President and a two-thirds roll-call vote if not recommended by the President.
Duties and Responsibilities:
The General Counsel's primary objective is to ensure the University is operating within the law at all times, being aware of all transactions the University is engaged in, including those that may be in only the preliminary stages. This will ensure limited risk exposure to the bottom line, personnel and the University's public image. The General Counsel is involved in the University's legal affairs including various contracts, intellectual property issues, non-profit registration requirements, conducting research, drafting legal documents and assisting in negotiations.
Under the direction of the President, Board of Trustees and University officers, the General Counsel and legal team prepares and renders legal opinions as requested; prepares and represents the University at administrative law hearings and judicial proceedings; attends and provides legal advice at meetings of the Board of Trustees; coordinates and monitors legal matters with outside counsel; prepares pleadings and handles depositions, interrogatories, pretrial motions, pretrial and settlement conferences, studies; interprets laws, court decisions, ordinances and other legal authorities; provides legal assistance in the drafting of legal documents, Board policy, rules and regulations, resolutions, applications of diverse kinds and other legal or related papers upon request and drafts contracts deeds, leases, ordinances, resolutions, rules, regulations, and other legal documents. The General Counsel may also be responsible for representing the University or the University's legal position at legislative hearings or with various State officials. He/she also provides presentations on behalf of the University or its affiliated entities to the Board of Trustees for review or related action.
Internal Number: 184986
About University Administration
Our primary mission is to move forward the frontiers of human knowledge and enrich and elevate the citizens of the state of Tennessee, the nation, and the world. As the preeminent research-based, land-grant university in the state, UT embodies the spirit of excellence in teaching, research, scholarship, creative activity, outreach, and engagement attained by the nation’s finest public research institutions.