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NACUA's First Decade Award

Madelyn Wessel - 2012

Madelyn Wessel is an Associate General Counsel at the University of Virginia with a practice ranging from intellectual property, copyright, licensing, technology, and libraries to student affairs, the Americans with Disabilities Act, and civil rights. Madelyn teaches the graduate seminar in Legal Issues in Higher Education at the University of Virginia’s Curry School of Education, and has mentored numerous graduate and law students interested in intellectual property and civil rights issues in her time at UVA.

Madelyn came to higher education law as a mid-career move. She served as deputy and later chief deputy city attorney for the City of Portland, Oregon from 1989-2001, and as an assistant attorney general and chief of the Opinions Division in the Massachusetts Department of Justice from 1987-1989. She received numerous awards during her time in Oregon for her work on constitutional and civil rights issues. Madelyn clerked for Associate Justice David Brock of the New Hampshire Supreme Court. She holds a B.A. with Honors from Swarthmore College and a J.D. from Boston University.

Madelyn has been an active member of NACUA since 2002. She recently updated and revised the chapters on Copyright and Patents for the upcoming edition of the Law of Higher Education by Kaplin and Lee. Madelyn has served as a speaker, moderator, session coordinator, and discussion leader 17 times at NACUA educational programs. She currently serves on the Committee on Membership and Member Services and has also served on the Committee for Legal Education and the Committee on Program for the Annual Conference from 2005 – 2011.

Madelyn has also assisted with focused projects for NACUA; serving on a team which drafted new model terms and conditions for cloud computing agreements which were made available to the NACUA and EDUCAUSE memberships. More recently, Madelyn worked with NACUA’s Chief Executive Officer Kathleen Santora and others on an initiative to seek the Office of Civil Rights guidance on revised Title II regulations of the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Madelyn is another star among her NACUA colleagues. She has been an eloquent ambassador for NACUA by conveying the serious concerns of campus counsel while showing a deep understanding of the delicate and complex issues facing institutions.

NACUA is pleased to recognize Madelyn Wessel as a recipient of the First Decade Award for her outstanding service to the Association and to the practice of higher education law in her first ten years of membership.