The Office of General Counsel provides legal advice and representation to NIU. We assist the Board of Trustees, the president, officers, administrators, faculty and staff with legal matters related to the university. We also hire outside attorneys to represent NIU when needed.
According to the bylaws of the Board of Trustees (article IV, section three, E), our mission is as follows:
To provide the highest quality legal services to the university in a responsible, constructive and timely manner; to protect and promote the mission and values of the university, including compliance with its obligations and protection and promotion of its interests; to minimize legal risks and costs; and to address and resolve legal disputes.
Consistent with the mission and best interests of the university, including its duties to follow the law and meet its obligations to the public, governments and third parties, the lawyers in the General Counsel's Office strive to be problem solvers; to engage in strategic thinking with the university decision makers; to defend the interests of the university and its constituents; to protect and promote integrity and ethical conduct; to practice preventive law; and to assist the Board of Trustees, president, officers, faculty and staff to accomplish their institutional objectives.
In undertaking the work of the office, the vice president and general counsel will coordinate with other university officials, including the president, the internal audit director, and the ethics and compliance officer, as necessary and appropriate.
We provide legal services in many areas. To view contact information for staff members in each area, visit our staff directory.
We process and manage records of division personnel, scheduling and records, accounting, purchasing and administrative reporting. We also coordinate payroll garnishment orders, state-mandated university vehicle certifications and requests for employee or student restitution.
Contracts and Agreements
We initiate and review university contracts, agreements, University Press contracts, and intellectual property and publishing agreements.
Collections for Bursar's Office
We work with the Office of the Bursar on issues related to outstanding balances. If you received a letter from us regarding your outstanding balance, contact the bursar's office at 815-753-1885 to resolve your balance. If you have a pending court date regarding a past-due account, please contact us to discuss your case.
Litigation, Mediation and Arbitration
We manage litigation involving the representation of NIU and its employees. We also process subpoenas and third-party requests for employee or student records.
We offer policy development and university governance, and provide legal counsel to administration and the Board of Trustees.
Clery Act Compliance
We guide the Department of Police and Public Safety in implementing the legal requirements of the Clery Act. We help the university coordinate safety and security policies, procedures and initiatives. View the Annual Safety and Security Report.