Steven J. McDonald has served as general counsel of Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) since 2002. For the decade before he came to RISD, Steve served as associate legal counsel at The Ohio State University. He began his legal career at Jones, Day, Reavis & Pogue, where among other things he successfully represented CompuServe in Cubby v. CompuServe, the first online libel case. He also taught at Ohio State’s College of Law and at Capital University Law School.
Steve served as an at-large member of the NACUA Board of Directors from 2000 – 2003. He also was the editor of the NACUA publication The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act: A Legal Compendium, one of the early developers of the NACUANOTES legal information service, and has continuously served on wide range of committees. He was named a Fellow of the Association in 2007.
Steve also presents and writes frequently on issues of higher education law. He has spoken at ACE, AGB, CUPA-HR, EDUCAUSE, IAPP, ICPL, NACUA, NACUBO, NASAD, NASPA, NERCOMP, URMIA, and United Educators, among other programs, as well as at the Stetson, University of Vermont, and Valencia higher education legal issues conferences. Steve received his AB in political science from Duke University and his JD from the Yale Law School. In State, ex rel. Thomas v. The Ohio State University, the Ohio Supreme Court ruled that he really is a lawyer.
Considered by all to be the professor extraordinaire on FERPA, Steve McDonald’s knowledge as a higher education attorney in many legal areas is impressive, and his thoughtfulness and generosity as a colleague, especially over NACUANET, make him truly distinguished. And above it all, he is humble and kind, always. He models NACUA’s core values of civility and collegiality and a sense of selfless service to others.
NACUA is pleased to recognize Steven J. McDonald as a recipient of the Distinguished Service Award for his outstanding and exemplary service to the Association.