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Vice President and General Counsel

The University of Florida

Korn Ferry Contacts
Brett Fowler
Senior Associate 

Position Overview 
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. 

Korn Ferry Contacts 
Brett Fowler 

Senior Associate 

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

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