Date: September 13, 2021
Position Title: General Counsel
Department: General Counsel
Job ID: 1214
Work Hours/Schedule: 40 hours/52 weeks
Compensation: Meet & Confer Grade 19, $106,637
Reports to: Vice President for Finance and Administration
Posting Close Date: October 13, 2021
The Office of the General Counsel supports GRCC’s mission by providing, managing and coordinating all legal services for the College in order to proactively minimize the institution’s legal risks and liability. General Counsel also coordinates and acts as lead representative for all labor negotiations and serves on various teams and committees in order to develop and implement college wide goals and objectives.
The General Counsel interacts with and provides legal counsel to the College through its Board of Trustees, President, and all levels of the administration in numerous areas, including governance, business, employment, contracts, student affairs, intellectual property, grants, and collaborations with external entities.
Legal services provided by the General Counsel include providing legal advice, counsel, and training to College administrators; assisting in the development of College policy and procedures; advising regarding sensitive employment matters; reviewing contracts and other legal documents; securing and coordinating the services of outside legal counsel when necessary for litigation and matters requiring legal specialization; and helping to resolve disputes, claims, and litigation.
When administrators seek legal advice on behalf of the College from the General Counsel, such communications will generally be subject to the attorney-client privilege of confidentiality. The Office of the General Counsel cannot provide legal advice to board members, employees, or student on personal legal matters.
Essential Job Functions
● Assume responsibility for day-to-day management of institutional legal issues
● Inform the President of matters regarded as highly visible, sensitive, or which expose the College to legal risk or liability
● Prepare regular updates for and attend regular meetings with the President regarding open or emerging issues
● Perform sophisticated research, investigation, and analysis
● Oversee institution’s FOIA process
● Serve as Counsel for the College in negotiations and coordinate all labor negotiations and related labor work including grievance management
● Negotiate and draft complex and sensitive contracts, agreements and settlements
● Provide counsel to College leadership regarding: governance employee relations, contracts, student affairs, intellectual property, compliance with local, state and federal laws and guidelines.
● Secure and coordinate the services of outside legal counsel when necessary for litigation and matters requiring legal specialization.
● Remains up to date; interprets and advises on legal developments within fields of higher education law in order to provide information of interest to all constituencies of the College
● Manage the College’s administrative policy develop and review process, including coordinating the Policy Committee, and providing advice regarding new policies and amendments to existing policies to ensure compliance with law and sound practices.
● Act as an advisor to the College regarding a broad range of initiatives and issues which may not be primarily legal in nature but which have potential legal implications for the institution.
● Serve as the College’s Ethics Officer. Refer investigations to the appropriate departments and provide legal counsel regarding highly sensitive ethics violations and/or complex changes of alleged discrimination or harassment filed within the College or when filed with the federal, state, and local government. Recommend appropriate resolution. When necessary, negotiate conciliation agreements.
● Manage formal dispute resolution proceedings either internally or through selected use of outside counsel with subject matter expertise. Dispute resolution forums may include: arbitrations, mediations, administrative hearings, litigation and other adversarial proceedings.
● Serve as an advisor to panel for student expulsion and Title IX hearings.
● Implement College policy regarding non-immigrant applicants and employees. Manage H-1B and PERM processes.
● Provide guidance and support in interpreting and administering college collective bargaining agreements.
● Manage General Counsel team including EO Compliance Officer and Labor Relations Generalist.
● Maintain highest level of confidentiality in carrying out all duties.
● Regular attendance during normally scheduled hours is required. Being present is essential for serving customers and performing the essential functions of this position.
Marginal Job Functions
● Remain technically and knowledgably competent by:
○ Maintaining membership in the Michigan Bar Association
○ Maintaining membership in the National Association of College & University Attorneys
○ Subscribing to trade publications as necessary
○ Attending professional conferences
○ Participating in college-wide strategic planning activities
● Juris Doctorate (JD) from American Bar Association (ABA) accredited law school
● Member of Michigan Bar Association
● National Career Readiness Certificate (NCRC) preferred, but not required.
● Minimum five years of experience as General Counsel or similar role in a higher education and/or public sector entity or equivalent experience in a law firm with a practice focused on higher education and/or public sector clients
● Experience in a union environment required
● The following competencies are essential and will be evaluated for our candidates through the evidence-based
• Information Skills
• Getting Information
• Interacting With Computers
• Making Decisions and Solving Problems
• Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge
• Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships
• Interpreting the Meaning of Information for Others
• Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
• Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work
• Analyzing Data or Information
• Thinking Creatively
• Communicating with Persons Outside Organization
• Processing Information
• Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events
• Developing Objectives and Strategies
• Documenting/Recording Information
● Demonstrated strong written and oral communication skills required
● Demonstrated strong mathematical skills required
● Excellent research and client counseling skills required
● Ability to manage multiple demanding projects and shifting priorities
● Display patience, diplomacy and excellent public relations skills
● Demonstrated strong ability to problem solve
● Ability to serve staff and students with diverse backgrounds and educational levels
● Must be efficient with good attention to detail, excellent listening skills, strong organizational skills, sound, effective decision making ability and complaint resolution skills
● Ability to plan and work independently as well as work as a part of a team
● Travel to offsite locations may be required
METHOD OF APPLICATION
Grand Rapids Community College is only accepting online applications for this position at https://www.grcc.edu/jobs. Submit a cover letter and resume in one document. The opportunity to apply for this position will close on October 13, 2021 at 11:59PM. Individuals with diverse backgrounds are encouraged to apply. Grand Rapids Community College is an equal opportunity employer. Visa sponsorship is not available.
Grand Rapids Community College creates an inclusive learning and working environment that recognizes the value and dignity of each person. It is the policy and practice of GRCC to provide equal educational and employment opportunities regardless of age, race, color, religion, marital status, sex/gender, pregnancy, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, height, weight, national origin, disability, political affiliation, familial status, veteran status or genetics in all
programs, activities, services, employment and advancement including admissions to, access to, treatment in, or compensation in employment as required by state and federal law. GRCC is committed to reviewing all aspects of GRCC programs, activities, services and employment, including recruitment, selection, retention and promotion to identify and eliminate barriers in order to prevent discrimination on the basis of the listed protected characteristics. The college will
not tolerate any form of retaliation against any person for bringing charges of discrimination or participating in an investigation. Further information may be obtained from the EEO Office or the Office of General Counsel, 143 Bostwick Avenue NE, Grand Rapids, MI 49503-3295.