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University of Wisconsin–Madison

Jobs at UW

University of Wisconsin–Madison



Job no: 231555-LI
Work type: Staff-Full Time
Location: Madison
Categories: Dean, Director, Executive, Legal Affairs

Position Summary:

The Vice Chancellor for Legal Affairs is the chief legal officer of the University. This position reports to the Chancellor, who holds all supervisory and management responsibility for this position.  The Vice Chancellor for Legal Affairs serves as senior counselor to the Chancellor and senior university officials and is a member of the Chancellor's executive leadership team. There is dotted line reporting to the UW System General Counsel, established to make it clear that the UW System Board of Regents is the ultimate client for any legal activity.  The Vice Chancellor for Legal Affairs is responsible for managing all legal functions of the University of Wisconsin-Madison and working with UW System, members of the Board of Regents, the Attorney General and Wisconsin Department of Justice, leadership of state and federal agencies, and other key institutional partners on legal and policy matters associated with the University, including, but not limited to, the University of Wisconsin Hospital and Clinics, the University of Wisconsin Medical Foundation, the University of Wisconsin Foundation and the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation. 

Position Duties:

List of Duties

Institutional Statement on Diversity:

Diversity is a source of strength, creativity, and innovation for UW-Madison. We value the contributions of each person and respect the profound ways their identity, culture, background, experience, status, abilities, and opinion enrich the university community. We commit ourselves to the pursuit of excellence in teaching, research, outreach, and diversity as inextricably linked goals.

The University of Wisconsin-Madison fulfills its public mission by creating a welcoming and inclusive community for people from every background - people who as students, faculty, and staff serve Wisconsin and the world.

For more information on diversity and inclusion on campus, please visit: Diversity and Inclusion

Degree and Area of Specialization:

J.D. degree and extensive experience as specified below are required.

Minimum Years and Type of Relevant Work Experience:

At least 12-15 years of progressively increasing responsibility as an attorney with experience relevant to managing and directing the legal and compliance affairs of a major public research university with an academic medical center and an extensive research enterprise. Applicants shall have significant experience that prepares them to serve as senior counselor to the Chancellor and other senior University officials. The position also requires considerable experience in legal and compliance management and administration, and in transactional law and/or litigation. Experience as a senior executive general counsel or comparable experience at a University or in a corporate or governmental setting will be very useful. This is a national search and well-qualified candidates from any location are encouraged to apply.

License or Certificate:

Membership in good standing in the Wisconsin State Bar or admission to the Wisconsin State Bar within one year of hire date.

Additional Information:

The ideal candidate will have the following:

Capacity to develop a strategic plan for the University's legal services and to direct the legal affairs of the University in connection with significant and powerful constituencies, both internal and external.

Capacity to serve as senior counselor/advisor at the highest level of University leadership to the Chancellor and other senior University officials.

Understanding of and commitment to the University's historic and distinctive dedication to academic freedom and the sifting and winnowing of ideas.

Knowledge of or familiarity with statutory and constitutional framework and federal and
administrative regulations applicable to a public university with a significant research enterprise and an academic medical center, and process of governance in academic settings.

Experience with higher education research institutions and knowledge of issues affecting such institutions of higher education, including those with an extensive research enterprise and an academic medical center.

Ability to provide effective leadership to administration and members of the campus community on legal and policy legal issues affecting students, faculty and staff.

Ability to lead and manage a group of experienced attorneys and professional staff, including leadership in mentoring and professional development.

Evidence of strong ethical values, competence and confidence in operating with credibility at the senior executive level.

Capacity for sound legal analysis and reasoning, problem solving and legal research skills.

Proven record of ability to undertake complex legal issues, and capacity to serve as a creative thinker and problem-solver able to negotiate creative solutions to complex problems.

Commitment to and capacity for leadership in the recruitment and development of a diverse workforce.

Superior and effective oral and written communication skills, as well as demonstrated ability to work cooperatively and collegially.

Additional information about the University's Office of Legal Affairs and legal team can be found on the web at: Information about the University's Office of Compliance can be found on the web at:

This position requires a criminal records review at the finalist stage.

The University of Wisconsin-Madison (UW-Madison) invites applications and nominations for the position of Vice Chancellor for Legal Affairs. UW-Madison (, the flagship campus of the University of Wisconsin System, is a research-intensive campus serving approximately 45,000 students and employing more than 22,000 faculty and staff members. The annual operating budget for the university in 2020-21 was over $3 billion. The Vice Chancellor for Legal Affairs supervises UW Madison's offices of Legal Affairs and Compliance. The Office of Legal Affairs employs thirteen attorneys who are supervised by the Vice Chancellor for Legal Affairs. The Vice Chancellor for Legal Affairs also works closely with institutional partners such as the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation (WARF) and UW Hospitals and Clinics, which also employ attorneys. The Office of Compliance (OC) employs fourteen professionals who oversee the University's compliance with the Americans With Disabilities Act, Title IX, HIPAA-Privacy and the Wisconsin Public Records Law. OC also conducts investigations into violations of the University's obligations under Title IX and Titles VI and VII of The Civil Rights Act of 1964.



Work Type:

Full Time: 100%

Appointment Type, Duration:



ANNUAL (12 months)

Instructions to Applicants:

Applications and nominations must be received by March 26, 2021 for full consideration; later submissions may also be considered. Start date is negotiable.

Applicants should include a current resume or curriculum vitae and a comprehensive cover letter that addresses both how their strengths and experience match the qualifications and responsibilities of the position, accompanied by the names, addresses, emails, and telephone numbers of five references who can address their qualifications. Candidates will be consulted before references are contacted. NOTE: Unless confidentiality is requested in writing, information regarding the names of applicants must be released upon request. Finalists cannot be guaranteed confidentiality.

Questions regarding this senior leadership position may be directed to:

William F. Howard, Esq.
Vice President and Senior Consultant
Academic Search, Inc.
(410) 805-5907 or

Deborah S. Howard, Esq.
Of Counsel
Academic Search, Inc.
(410) 493-9382

Applications should be sent electronically, if possible, to:

Technical questions may be addressed to:
Christina L. Scott, Ed.D.
Associate Consultant
Academic Search, Inc.
(619) 495-2211


Karen Aune
Relay Access (WTRS): 7-1-1 (out-of-state: TTY: 800.947.3529, STS: 800.833.7637) and above Phone number (See RELAY_SERVICE for further information. )

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  The University of Wisconsin is an Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action Employer. We promote excellence through diversity and encourage all qualified individuals to apply.

If you need to request an accommodation because of a disability, you can find information about how to make a request at the following website:

The University of Wisconsin-Madison is engaged in a Title and Total Compensation (TTC) Project to redesign job titles and compensation structures. As a result of the TTC project, official job titles on current job postings may change in Fall 2020. Job duties and responsibilities will remain the same. For more information please visit:

Employment will require a criminal background check. It will also require you and your references to answer questions regarding sexual violence and sexual harassment.

The University of Wisconsin System will not reveal the identities of applicants who request confidentiality in writing, except that the identities of finalists must be revealed upon request. See Wis. Stat. sec. 19.36(7).

The Annual Security and Fire Safety Report contains current campus safety and disciplinary policies, crime statistics for the previous 3 calendar years, and on-campus student housing fire safety policies and fire statistics for the previous 3 calendar years. UW-Madison will provide a paper copy upon request; please contact the University of Wisconsin Police Department.

Advertised: Central Standard Time
Applications close:

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