Reports to: Vice President for Finance and Administration
Posting Close Date: Open until filled
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 selection process:
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
Communicating with Persons Outside Organization
Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events
Developing Objectives and Strategies
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 athttps://www.grcc.edu/jobs. Submit a cover letter and resume in one document. The opportunity to apply for this position will be open until filled. 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.
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The urban campus of Grand Rapids Community College is situated on a six-block area in the heart of Michigan’s second largest metropolitan area with a population approaching one million. GRCC, founded in 1914, is the oldest community college in Michigan, but the atmosphere is exciting and contemporary; its top-notch faculty, commitment to diversity in programming and campus lifestyle, and the strong spirit of community collaboration under the leadership of President Bill Pink, make it a vital and rewarding workplace. Known as “The Community’s College,” GRCC is responsive to the needs of surrounding business, economic, cultural and educational environments. The college offers credit and non-credit, associate degree and certification programs, and workforce training at both on- and off-campus locations so that students of all ages and abilities can pursue personal goals for higher education and/or enhanced job opportunities with success. For more information about GRCC, visit our website at www.grcc.edu