The University of Florida is an American public land-grant, sea-grant and space-grant research university located on a 2,000-acre campus in North Central Florida. It is a senior member of the State University System of Florida and traces its historical origins to 1853. The university has operated continuously on its current Gainesville campus since September 1906.
The University of Florida is one of 62 elected member institutions of the Association of American Universities (AAU), the association of preeminent North American research universities, and the only AAU member university located in Florida. The university is classified as a research university with very high research by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. Following the creation of performance standards by the Florida state legislature in 2013, the Florida Board of Governors designated the University of Florida as one of the two “preeminent universities” among the 12 universities of the State University System of Florida. In 2017, U.S. News & World Report ranked Florida as the 9th best public university in the United States.
The university is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS). It is the third-largest Florida university by student population and is the eighth- largest single-campus university in the United States, with more than 54,000 students. The University of Florida is home to 16 academic colleges and more than 150 research centers and institutes. It offers multiple graduate professional programs—including business administration, engineering, law, dentistry, medicine and veterinary medicine—on one contiguous campus and administers 123 master's degree programs and 76 doctoral degree programs in 87 schools and departments.
The University of Florida's athletic programs possess a rich tradition of excellence at the conference, national and international levels. The university's athletic victories include 36 national team championships, 201 Southeast Conference titles, and more than 275 individual national titles. Florida became the first university in collegiate history to earn both the national men's basketball and football titles in the same year.
The University of Florida is currently recruiting for a talented and experienced leader to serve as vice president and general counsel. The vice president and general counsel is responsible for the supervision and management of all legal affairs at the University of Florida. Reporting to the university president, the vice president and general counsel also serves as a member of the president's cabinet.
Role of Vice President and General Counsel
The vice president and general counsel serves as the chief legal officer to The University of Florida, University of Florida Board of Trustees and the president, administrative officers, faculty, and staff when acting within the course and scope of their employment. The Office of the General Counsel also serves as chief legal officer of University of Florida direct support organizations, such as the University Athletic Association. The vice president and general counsel leads a staff of legal professionals that provide legal counsel in the practice areas of governance; academic and student affairs; employment law; research; labor relations; intellectual property; disputes, enforcement and emergencies; facilities, finance, procurement and business contracts; open government laws, constitutional law and health affairs; athletics, and direct support organizations. The vice president and general counsel will also play a key role in assisting the University of Florida Health and Shands Hospital with legal matters, working closely with their General Counsel.
The vice president and general counsel is responsible for:
Providing legal representation to the university in all legal matters, including interpreting laws and regulations and directing litigation
Interacting with and representing the university's interests to external agencies of the City of Gainesville, state and federal government, including state and federal courts
Supervising the deputy general counsel, associate general counsels and support staff located in three offices and coordinating and supervising outside legal counsel in all assigned litigation and in other legal matters
Provides or supervises legal representation for direct support, health service (non-hospital) and other affiliated corporations of the university
Serving as liaison and counsel to the UF Board of Trustees and providing legal counsel and representation to the board
Serving as a partner and advisor to the University of Florida Health and Shands Hospital
Qualities and Qualifications
The university seeks a proven leader with demonstrated vision and the ability to execute for results to support and enhance the university's educational, research and public service mission. The successful candidate must have a thorough understanding of the challenges and opportunities present at a large comprehensive research university or comparably complex enterprise; a comprehensive understanding of university and academic governance, intellectual property, employment, philanthropy, real estate, contracts, public-private partnerships, compliance, procurement and risk management; and an enthusiasm for advancing UF strategic initiatives.
In addition, candidates should possess the following:
Executive Leadership and Vision
Ability to develop a clear vision and strategy consistent with the university's mission and best practices
Demonstrated leadership skills that result in the production of high-quality services and exceptional standards
Strategic thinking with the capability of contributing at the senior administrative level and leading other leaders
Communication and Collaboration
Exceptional communication and interpersonal skills that account for the particular audience and message
Strong collaboration skills with individual and group partners
Ability to facilitate and sustain a culture of trust, respect and confidence
Experience, Knowledge and Education
Juris Doctor degree from an American Bar Association-accredited institution; licensed and in good standing as a member of a state Bar; and a member of the Florida Bar or ability to become a member of the Florida Bar within 12 months of employment
At least ten years of experience in higher education, preferably at a large, complex research university, or setting of similar complexity, as well as corporate experience, especially transactional experience
Experience in management of a department and/or multiple attorneys
Exceptional judgment, legal research skills and analytical problem-solving abilities
Demonstrated record of continuously updated legal expertise
Exemplary personal and professional integrity and the highest ethical standards
Salary is competitive and commensurate with education and experience. The University of Florida offers a generous benefits package that includes insurances such as health, life, and dental as well as vacation, sick leave and personal days.
The University of Florida is an Equal Opportunity Employer. The University is committed to non-discrimination with respect to race, creed, color, religion, age, disability, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, marital status, national origin, political opinions or affiliations, genetic information and veteran status in all aspects of employment including recruitment, hiring, promotions, transfers, discipline, terminations, wage and salary administration, benefits, and training.
The “government in the sunshine” laws of Florida require that all documents relating to the search process, including letters of application/nomination and reference, be available for public inspection.