Job Listings

Vice President and General Counsel

Ohio Northern University
Job Location:
Ada, Ohio
Administrative Vice Presidents
Position Title
Vice President and General Counsel

Position Type


Job Summary

The Vice President and General Counsel is the chief legal officer of the University and oversees the provision of all legal services to the University. S/he has general charge of all legal matters pertaining to the University and its governing board; attends meetings of the board and its committees; is responsible for the representation of the University in all legal proceedings; and advises the board, its committees and officers, the President of the University, and other officers on legal questions as may be required.


Ohio Northern University (ONU) seeks an experienced and strategic leader to serve as its Vice President and General Counsel. This role is an exciting opportunity to provide the University with effective legal services within the field of higher education. The General Counsel will be a member of a very strong leadership team that is eager to collaborate with in-house legal counsel on complex issues facing the University to ensure that it flourishes as a lawful and ethical institution of higher education.

Principal Responsibilities

The Vice President and General Counsel reports to the President of the University and is a member of the Cabinet. The successful candidate will:
1) continue to establish and define a system of legal services for University stakeholders;
2) proactively anticipate and plan for coming legal and compliance issues;
3) play an effective role in providing knowledge and advice around institutional governance, policy, and procedural issues; and
4) build effective and lasting relationships with the University community.

Historically, the University relied on outside counsel for legal advice, and that relationship was a fruitful and productive one over many years. In 2020, the University moved to an internal counsel model and has recognized the institutional advantage of having a senior leader on staff who can serve as a strategic and legal advisor as initiatives and changes are considered; engage in critical thinking about opportunities and risks; and, provide thoughtful analysis and counsel on a range of topics that confront the University.

Like many similar universities, ONU relies on legal counsel for advice on issues ranging from data privacy; copyright; request for documents under FOIA; immigration issues; liability policies; contracts with vendors; labor and employment, and other matters that confront a modern university. The University seeks for the General Counsel to provide particular in-house expertise around labor and employment. Currently, this represents one the largest areas on which the University expends time and resources. While the Vice President and General Counsel will be expected to provide sound advice and solutions for a range of topics, s/he should also be ready to effectively engage outside counsel in appropriate instances.

Required Skills

The ability to communicate knowledge and advice in a succinct and compelling fashion. The appointee must bring exceptional judgment, value collaboration, and always work towards what is best and beneficial for Ohio Northern University as a whole.

Minimum Qualifications

The University seeks a Vice President and General Counsel who holds a J.D. from an American Bar Association accredited law school, who is a member in good standing with the bar of their state, and who is eligible for license and standing in the State of Ohio. The successful candidate should also bring extensive experience in higher education legal issues.

Preferred Qualifications
  • Ability to effectively analyze and interpret legal issues and provide competent legal advice and counsel on a wide range of issues
  • Comprehensive experience with employment/labor/human resources issues in a higher education context is preferred;
  • Proactive, responsive, organized, and a proven ability to prioritize, multi-task, and manage a broad portfolio of complex work;
  • Excellent communication and interpersonal skills with the ability to present in a clear and concise fashion;
  • Experience interfacing with executive leadership, including a board;
  • Ability and interest in building diverse and broad relationships in a shared governance setting;
  • Skilled in handling confidential and/or sensitive matters; and
  • Committed to an environment that welcomes and supports diversity of identity, thought, perspective, and background.
EEO Statement

ONU is an equal employment opportunity employer. Accordingly, no person shall be discriminated against on the basis of race, color, sex, gender identity, transgender status, religion, national origin, age, disability, sexual orientation, marital status, military or veteran status, genetic information or any other category protected by federal, state, or local law. This policy applies to all areas of employment including recruitment, hiring, training and development, promotion, transfer, compensation, benefits, discipline, separation and other terms, condition and privileges of employment.

College Description

Founded in 1871, Ohio Northern University is an independent, selective, and comprehensive university. The University has been affiliated with the United Methodist Church since 1899, instilling core values while offering religious freedom on campus. Today ONU has an enrollment of approximately 3,000 students from 38 states and 15 countries and offers more than 70 programs of study across five colleges (arts & sciences, business, law, engineering, and pharmacy). Capitalizing on its historic reputation for quality, ONU is poised to move to a position of significantly greater regional and national prominence. Numerous rankings consistently give ONU high marks. The University is ranked third in the Midwest among regional colleges in the 2022 Best Colleges ranking in U.S. News & World Report and is fourth among Midwest regional Colleges in the "Best Value Schools" category. Washington Monthly ranks the University sixth on its "Bachelor's Colleges" list. In addition, ONU is one of the top 12 small Midwest colleges by The Wall Street Journal. The Princeton Review includes ONU among its "Best 382 Colleges." The University is also ranked by career- guidance site Zippia as the most likely college or university in the state of Ohio (and third in the nation) to place its graduates into a job. Ohio Northern University is situated in rural northwest Ohio in the historic village of Ada (population 5,248). Columbus, Dayton, and Toledo are within easy reach. The beautiful 342-acre campus is made up of 60-plus modern residences and academic buildings, including the Freed Center for the Performing Arts that showcases several performing arts events each year. Guests of the University, as well as the public, enjoy the luxury and comfort of The Inn at Ohio Northern University. More than $100 million in capital projects over the past decade have helped maintain the beauty and functionality of the campus. The University enjoys an excellent relationship with the local community and a broad base of ONU alumni. This is evidenced, in part, by strong fundraising, and alumni and community participation in the life and support of the institution.

Appointment Length

Special Instructions to Applicants

To apply, a candidate should submit:
1) a letter of intent addressing how the candidate's experiences match the position requirements and
2) a current full CV/resume. Please send materials in an email with two separate attachments to For full consideration by the search committee, applicant materials should be submitted by Tuesday, September 20.

Additional information about the institution may be found at
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