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Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Legal Counsel

Niagara University
Published
October 19, 2022
Location
TBD, NY
Category
Legal  
Job Type

Description

FLSA STATUS: Exempt
JOB STATUS: REGULAR FULL TIME
JOB CLASS: PROFESSIONAL
WORK LOCATION: TBD
TITLE OF IMMEDIATE SUPERVISOR: Vice President
DEPARTMENT: Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
SECTOR: Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

 At the direction of the Vice President, Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Legal Counsel provides leadership, support and guidance to the programs, policies, procedures and initiatives of the Office for Equal Opportunity and Civil Rights (EOCR), an office within Niagara University’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion sector.  They provide legal advice to the Vice President and administrators and supervise internal investigators and external counsel who serve in an advisory capacity regarding discrimination issues. The Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Legal Counsel will also identify relevant policies needed to support diversity, equity and inclusion and provide leadership in developing and implementing them.  They will partner with general counsel as appropriate and necessary. This position will also work collaboratively with Human Resources to support the development of inclusive search processes. 

ESSENTIAL DUTIES: 

  • Monitor the university’s compliance with equal opportunity and civil rights laws and related University policies, as well as assist with responses to inquiries from federal and state government agencies such as the Equal Opportunity Employment Commission and the Office for Civil Rights of the U.S. Department of Education.
  • Manage the university’s office charged with investigating all discrimination complaints and provide supervision and direction to investigators. Conduct a review of current relevant processes for efficiencies and timeliness.
  • Work collaboratively with the general counsel to advise the V.P. and other administrators on various discrimination-related legal issues.
  • Work proactively to protect the university from legal exposure including:
        • Develop and manage a bias incident response team.
        • Lead and manage the team responsible for monitoring the review of discrimination-related cases.
  • Develop the protocol for the regular reporting of discrimination-related trends, including ADA and implications for the campus and make recommendations for addressing negative trends.
  • Support Human Resources and the Provost office with developing, implementing and monitoring an inclusive search process to support hiring and recruitment efforts. In addition, support the delivery of professional development and education to the administration, faculty and staff regarding applicable laws and best practices for inclusive search practices and support any D.E.I. related processes for faculty and staff.
  • Support General Counsel with the equity review of all new and existing policies.
  • Ensure faculty, staff and students are knowledgeable about their rights and responsibilities under applicable equal opportunity and civil rights laws and related University policies.
  • Maintain confidentiality of information (including but not limited to student and employee personal information, student grades, etc.) during and after university employment. Any questions regarding the confidentiality of material should be referred to the supervisor.  Any violation shall subject the employee to disciplinary action, including termination of employment.
  • Work with Office of Violence Prevention and Education grant managers to determine opportunities for collaboration.
  • Perform other duties as assigned.

REQUIRED KNOWLEDGE, SKILLS AND ABILITIES 

1)       Outstanding academic credentials.
2)       Superior oral and written communication skills.
3)       Strong analytical and problem-solving skills.
4)       Proven ability to work collaboratively with other professionals.
5)       Experience in independently managing complex legal issues.
6)       Commitment to diversity.
7)       A record of exemplary personal and professional integrity.
8)       The ability to provide practical and timely decisions as appropriate and necessary.
9)       Solid computer skills including Microsoft Office and use of the internet and e-mail. 

QUALIFICATION STANDARDS

1)       Law degree (J.D.) from an ABA-accredited institution; admission to and in good standing with the New York State Bar.
2)       Three to seven years of experience in legal practice.
3)       Experience in the field of higher education law is preferred.
4)       Experience investigating and/or managing the resolving of complaints of discrimination.
5)       Valid New York State driver's license is required.  The license must meet insurance company rules and regulations for driving underwriting criteria.
6)       The position may require travel.

How to apply:
Candidates should submit a cover letter and resume to the Niagara University Human Resources Job Application page at https://www.niagara.edu/working-at-niagara/