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Fellows of the Association Award

Elsa Kircher Cole - 1998

Elsa Kircher Cole, of Kansas. Elsa Kircher Cole is currently serving as General Counsel of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), the first person to hold this position. During her first year at the NCAA, Ms. Cole has made a material difference in the quality of interactions between her organization and university legal counsel across the country. Her understanding of issues from the campus perspective has, in turn, begun to shape and inform the perspective of the NCAA, improving the ability of college and university attorneys to work with the NCAA in more reasonable and effective ways.

Prior to her move to the NCAA, Ms. Cole was General Counsel at the University of Michigan and was an Assistant Attorney General for the State of Washington, representing the University of Washington. She received her A.B., with distinction, from Stanford University and her J.D. from Boston University.

Ms. Cole is the author or co-author of several NACUA publications: Sexual Harassment on Campus: A Legal Compen-ium, now in its third edition; Student Legal Issues, which is part of the “Best of the JCUL Series;” and How to Conduct a Sexual Harassment Investigation, which, in its first year of publication, has sold more than 400 copies. She has attended every NACUA annual conference since 1983, and has been a frequent speaker at CLE and Annual Conference Programs for nearly as many years. She has also been an active participant in the meetings of numerous other higher education associations and organizations. In addition to her own NACUA publications, she has contributed chapters and articles to a variety of law journals and books.

Ms. Cole was a member of the NACUA Board of Directors from 1988-1991, and served on 13 Association committees. From 1989, she was co-chair of the Student Affairs Section, and from 1990-1992, chair of the Committee on Professional Development.