Chief Campus Counsel

Position Description

UC Davis has launched a nationwide recruitment for the Chief Campus Counsel.  The Chief Campus Counsel reports directly to the Chancellor. This is the second highest legal position in the University, a professional peer and colleague of the Deputy General Counsels and other Chief Campus Counsels system-wide. The Chief Campus Counsel is responsible for assisting the Chancellor through the provision of legal advice and assisting the General Counsel in coordinating legal services to the UC Davis campus. This position reports jointly to the Chancellor and to Charlie Robinson, General Counsel.  This position serves as a member of the Chancellor’s senior management team, working collaboratively with and serving as advisor to the Chancellor and her leadership team and has responsibility for responding to the wide range of issues that may arise on a campus, either by providing advice directly or in consultation with other University attorneys or by coordinating the services of outside counsel. The Chief Campus Counsel participates in campus-wide policy development through membership on the Chancellor's Leadership Council and the Council of Deans and Vice Chancellors.

In addition to providing advice and counsel on a wide range of highly complex legal matters or problems involving the Campus, this position will provide expertise in the specialty area of business transactions.  This includes advising on business and corporate structures, competitive bidding, complex business, finance and energy projects, and international initiatives. Further, this position leads administrative and/or management initiatives within the UC Davis campus and at the Office of General Counsel; advises and renders opinions to senior management with respect to legal issues in a wide variety of areas, including establishing or changing policy; and works with representatives of the campus on developing or modifying practices and procedures to conform with legal requirements and reduce risk; acts as liaison with outside legal firms and monitors litigation of importance to the campus; and keeps informed on legislation and case law developments affecting University operations.

The successful candidate will have a J.D. from an accredited law school and a member, in good standing, of the California Bar Association; typically will require fifteen or more years of complex, high-level experience after receiving law degree, including 3 or more years’ experience managing attorneys; ability to represent institutional concerns persuasively to internal and external parties; experience to include the provision of sophisticated legal advice and counsel reflecting sound judgment and offer substantive in-depth legal knowledge, with a focus on complex business transactions; experience in a wide range of additional areas such as contracts, labor and employment law, real estate development, land use, intellectual property, and health care law; a deep commitment to diversity and inclusion.  He/she will possess the political acumen and diplomatic skills to forge productive partnerships. Finally, the successful candidate will share the University’s Principles of Community, which are characterized by respect, integrity, openness and responsiveness and by consultation and collaboration.

The recruitment advisory committee, chaired by Charlie Robinson, General Counsel and Vice President of Legal Affairs, UC Office of the General Counsel, is composed primarily of faculty and staff. Jay Kim, Carol Simon, and Paul Williams, of the national executive search firm Major, Lindsey & Africa are assisting the recruitment advisory committee in identifying potential candidates for this critical position.

Advertisements will be placed in The Chronicle of Higher Education and with other leading organizations. 

Nomination and Application Process

Inquiries, nominations, and applications should be directed to Mark Van Derbur, from Major, Lindsey & Africa, at with the subject line “UCD – CCC.”

Members of the campus community are encouraged to send comments about the qualifications the university should be looking for in candidates for this position. Emails should be sent to:

The University of California, Davis is an Equal Opportunity, Affirmative Action Employer.