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Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary

Apply now Job no: 493097
Work type: Exempt Staff
Location: Gambier, OH

Kenyon College invites applications for the Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary. The Vice President, General Counsel, and Secretary (“General Counsel”) is the chief legal officer of the college responsible for managing the college’s legal affairs and overseeing legal services provided to the college.

A key member of Kenyon’s senior leadership team, the General Counsel reports to the President and provides advice on a wide array of legal questions, including the impact of existing and proposed laws and regulations on college operations or policies. The General Counsel serves as the liaison to Kenyon’s external legal counsel, who provides legal counsel on topic-specific matters. 

The office also oversees the organization of Kenyon College Board of Trustee meetings and maintains the minutes of board committees and other key college committees. The General Counsel serves as an informational resource for the Board of Trustees and advises and briefs the President and board on a full range of board matters, including governance policy and practice.


  • Serve as the primary legal advisor to the President, Board of Trustees, and senior staff on a full range of legal matters, including academic freedom, free speech and expression, tenure, employment, labor relations, contracts, capital construction, and financing transactions, real estate, Title IX, student affairs, athletics, business law, development and gift agreements, academic affairs, cybersecurity and information protection, and federal and state constitutional and public law issues.
  • Work in partnership with the President, Board of Trustees, and senior staff to represent Kenyon College as the client of the Office of General Counsel; 
  • Support the academic mission of Kenyon College and provide broad guidance and advice on the strategic direction of the institution. Work closely with the other senior officers to ensure Kenyon’s compliance with regulatory requirements related to its educational, athletic, research, and financial activities.
  • Coordinate, evaluate, manage, and supervise outside legal counsel effectively on behalf of the College in civil litigation and criminal proceedings related to Kenyon and its personnel.
  • Advise and brief the President and Board Chair on matters related to governance policy and practice, including potential or apparent conflicts of interest. Serve as an informational resource and maintain the confidential records of the Board of Trustees.
  • Serve as Secretary and liaison to the Board of Trustees and its committees. Oversee the organization of Board of Trustees meetings and Board committee meetings; develop meeting schedules, solicit agenda items, and coordinate planning with the President and the Chief of Staff. Engage with senior staff, the Board Chair, and committee chairs on the development of background materials, agendas, and resolutions for Board and committee meetings.


  • Inform the College community about legal, regulatory, contractual, and employment issues.
  • Provide general legal advice to campus constituencies.
  • Review, prepare, and negotiate Kenyon’s contracts and other legal documents with individuals and businesses providing goods or services to the College.
  • Engage with the President, senior staff, faculty, administrative staff, and Board of Trustees on legal, ethical, and conflict of interest issues.
  • Manage outside counsel in the areas of Title IX and ADA, tenure, risk management, employment, contracts, governance, corporate transactions, and intellectual property.
  • Serve as primary gatekeeper for engagement and interface with outside counsel to ensure compliance with the Kenyon College Outside Counsel Guidelines. 
  • Coordinate, evaluate, and oversee the performance of external counsel and approve all invoices for services rendered.
  • Participate in internal investigations and interviews regarding violations, employment issues, and other allegations of wrongdoing on the part of faculty, staff, and students, as appropriate.
  • Update the Board of Trustees regarding the status of lawsuits and other legal matters.
  • Contribute to the overall success of the College by performing other duties and responsibilities as assigned by the President, including special assignments as requested.


The successful candidate will be expected to guide the President, senior leadership, the Board of Trustees, faculty, student leaders, and other members of the Kenyon community with outstanding personal leadership, knowledge, integrity, and management skills. 

  • Graduate of an accredited school of law and be a member of the Ohio State Bar and eligible to practice law in the State of Ohio within one year.
  • A minimum of ten years of legal practice, including college or university general counsel, government, corporate, law firm, legal or executive experiences, is required. 
  • Significant experience advising and supporting governing and advisory boards.
  • Commitment to and experience building and leading in an inclusive environment.


Technical Legal Skills

Preference for a lawyer with experience working in (i) a higher education legal department, (ii) a law firm working for complex academic clients, or (iii) a relevant federal government department or agency. 

Collaborative Leadership

As one of Kenyon’s senior officials, the General Counsel will be an ambassador for the college, demonstrating a commitment to its academic mission and values. The successful candidate will demonstrate strong management skills to work collaboratively with a talented leadership team. The ability to communicate legal advice and succinctly present options to the entire Kenyon community is essential.


The candidate should thrive in a rigorous and often time-sensitive legal environment and possess a demonstrated ability to meet challenges, employ the highest standard of ethics and personal integrity, and be sensitive to and understand the special nature of working in an academic institution where the need for a collaborative working style, flexibility, adaptability, are critical to success.



  • Highest standards of ethics and integrity 
  • Strong verbal, written, and interpersonal skills
  • The ability to communicate complex issues to a wide range of stakeholders
  • Must possess seasoned, practical judgment and legal skills to render thoughtful independent legal advice
  • Ability to organize and prioritize work and meet deadlines
  • Maturity and appropriate self-awareness
  • Deep appreciation for faculty and an understanding of the critical role that Kenyon’s faculty-governance model plays throughout the institution
  • Sense of humor
  • Highly developed and demonstrated initiative, judgment, diplomacy, and confidentiality
  • Ability to appreciate and respect communication and collaboration within a diverse community
  • Ability to interact with students

Kenyon College is an equal opportunity employer, and applications from members of all underrepresented groups are encouraged. It is the College's policy to evaluate qualified applicants without regard to race, color, national origin, ancestry, sex, gender, gender identity, gender expression, sexual orientation, physical and/or mental disability, age, religion, medical condition, veteran status, marital status or any other characteristic protected by institutional policy or state, local or federal law.

Kenyon College is a nationally prominent, private liberal arts college where academic excellence goes hand in hand with a strong sense of community and close relationships among students and professors.

Compensation and Benefits

Salaries at Kenyon are competitive and commensurate with experience. In addition to an attractive salary, Kenyon offers benefits for employees and their family members. Children of employees are eligible for 100% tuition waivers at Kenyon, and through the Great Lakes Colleges Association, children of employees are eligible for 90% tuition waivers at eighteen other of the nation's finest liberal arts colleges.

We also offer health, dental and vision insurance, TIAA retirement, and many other benefits, including provisions for a spouse, families, and domestic partners. Details about benefits as well as conditions of employment are described more fully in our Staff Handbook.

Kenyon is a unique place to live and work. To discover why it should be your next home, click here.

Kenyon College is an equal opportunity employer and applications from members of all underrepresented groups are encouraged. It is the College's policy to evaluate qualified applicants without regard to race, color, national origin, ancestry, sex, gender, gender identity, gender expression, sexual orientation, physical and/or mental disability, age, religion, medical condition, veteran status, marital status, or any other characteristic protected by institutional policy or state, local, or federal law. Kenyon College has a strong commitment to supporting diversity, equity and inclusion. Please visit our Diversity at Kenyon website.

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