General Counsel, Colorado Mountain College, Glenwood Springs, CO

$176,020 - $195,577 yearly
  • Colorado Mountain College
  • Glenwood Springs, CO, USA
  • Aug 10, 2022
Full time Education Government Legal

Job Description

About Colorado Mountain College

Imagine working at a college that welcomes everyone — students, faculty, staff, and community members — regardless of their backgrounds, beliefs, or traditions. An institution that is also integrally connected to, appreciated by, and supported by those same communities. 

Envision yourself at a dynamic, innovative, forward-leaning college that has a highly entrepreneurial spirit and deep commitment to every learner – from first-generation college students and new-traditional and adult learners to academically motivated students seeking a more traditional liberal arts education – all within a robust and highly personalized learning environment. 

Visualize applying your energy and skills for an organization that respects and cares about its employees enough to offer competitive compensation and benefits while encouraging every team member to renew and recharge in places of inspiration, reflection, and world-class outdoor recreation. 

Welcome to Colorado Mountain College and its eleven campus locations sprinkled across a spectacular region of Colorado’s central Rocky Mountains.

Our vision

Colorado Mountain College aspires to be the most inclusive and innovative student-centered college in the nation, elevating the economic, social, cultural, and environmental vitality of its beautiful Rocky Mountain communities.

The college

CMC is a comprehensive, public, open-access dual-mission institution offering 136 academic programs ranging from specialized certificates to associate and bachelor’s degrees, a wide range of online, non-credit and lifelong learning courses, as well as extensive concurrent enrollment opportunities in close partnership with neighboring school districts.

Over 15,000 students attend CMC annually, and 40% of degree-seeking students earn a certificate or degree every year. The college’s Latinx enrollment has doubled in six years to 28%, making CMC a federally designated Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI). CMC courses are highly personal and many are highly experiential by design, each with a maximum registration of 25 students.

Colorado Mountain College campuses are located in Aspen, Carbondale, Breckenridge, Dillon, Steamboat Springs, Glenwood Springs, Glenwood Springs-Spring Valley, Leadville, Rifle, the Vail Valley, and Salida. Of these locations, three are residential—Spring Valley, Leadville, and Steamboat Springs — and students in Breckenridge have access to college-owned off-campus housing. CMC campuses are close-knit communities, on average serving between 1,000 – 2,000 students. 

The majority of the college’s financial support comes from local property taxes, not tuition or state revenues.  Consequently, CMC is uniquely positioned to be entrepreneurial, nimble, mission-focused, and responsive to community and workforce needs. The college’s Central Services administrative office, which provides administrative support to all campus locations, is located in historic downtown Glenwood Springs, the town from which CMC originally launched in 1965.

Colorado Mountain College is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and authorized by the Colorado Commission on Higher Education. For general information about CMC, its programs, locations, students, faculty, and offerings, go to: www.coloradomtn.edu.

Our commitment to an environment where everyone belongs

Our college and beloved mountain communities are enriched by a variety of voices and experiences.

At Colorado Mountain College, we continually work to improve learning and working environments that welcome everyone.  We are deeply committed to promoting a free and open exchange of ideas, improving critical thinking, deepening mutual empathy and respect, and ensuring that every learner and team member has equal opportunities for personal and professional success.

The college prioritizes the recruitment, hiring and retaining of a highly engaged workforce that reflects and supports the backgrounds, characteristics and aspirations of the students enrolled at the college.  CMC therefore values applicants who demonstrate prior accomplishments, training, and a commitment to the concepts of inclusive and equitable practices, as well as an understanding of historic and current social issues that impact groups of different socio-economic and cultural backgrounds. 

CMC employees enjoy regular opportunities to raise their awareness about pressing societal issues, develop individual critical thinking skills, and expand their understanding of and empathy toward others regardless of race, gender, ethnicity or other factors. Our goal is to deliver highly personalized teaching methods and effective student support services that enable students to achieve their goals, regardless of academic or financial barriers.

Applicants to Colorado Mountain College must demonstrate a commitment and competence to work effectively with students, employees, and community members of all backgrounds.

For more information about CMC, go to: www.coloradomtn.edu.

The position

Under general direction from the President and the Chief Operating Officer & Chief of Staff, the General Counsel will serve as the college’s chief legal advisor for the college.  The General Counsel advises the Board of Trustees, Office of the President & CEO, central and campus executives, academic deans, and other employees.  Legal affairs at the College cover the full array of issues presented by a dual mission, open access institution with multiple campuses over a broad geographic area.  The college, a Hispanic-Serving Institution, is a local government political subdivision governed by a nonpartisan elected board of trustees and funded primarily by local property tax revenues, though the college also receives financial support from the state of Colorado. 

The General Counsel works across academic and operational divisions and with multiple campus locations. Required areas of expertise include constitutional law, civil rights, education law, contracts, real estate projects and operations, labor and employment, student affairs and conduct issues, faculty rights and responsibilities, legislative developments, regulatory compliance matters, risk management, public finance, intellectual property, and grants management.  Legal support staffing is provided by the Colorado Department of Law and by a variety of private law firms, subject to supervision by the General Counsel.

The General Counsel is a member of the president’s cabinet (known as the “College Leadership Team”) and the College Council, CMC’s executive-level policy recommending body.  The incumbent serves as a counselor for policy and operational decisions in addition to providing substantive legal advice and defends the college against threatened or actual legal claims by employees, students, and third parties. This position will conduct trainings and orientations to different audiences on a regular basis and provides significant assistance with college compliance obligations.  The General Counsel also represents the Colorado Mountain College Foundation, an affiliated nonprofit corporation with an independently appointed board of directors.

Pre-requisites for Position (Qualifications Standards)

Education and experience sufficient for the rigors of the position. Minimum qualifications include a law degree from an ABA-accredited US law school (Required); admission to practice law in and good standing with the State of Colorado or eligibility to secure admission within a mutually agreed upon period following employment (Required), and at least eight years of experience as a practicing attorney with commensurate scope and responsibilities (Required). 

Required special skills or abilities related to the position:

  • Ability to work with all levels of management and operations, including matters arising before elected board of trustees
  • Interact professionally and knowledgeably with the governing board, college employees, and external constituencies and groups
  • Draft and review legislation, policies and operational procedures
  • Handle multiple unrelated matters concurrently, rapidly, and accurately
  • Provide timely and responsive counsel under varying timelines
  • Select and supervise work conducted by outside counsel
  • Prepare, negotiate, review and administer contracts and other legal documents
  • Assist with training and compliance obligations, including Title IX, Clery Act, and other regulatory matters related to higher education
  • Understand the changing trends, opportunities and challenges within the legal environment impacting the college
  • Coordinate and manage outside counsel and develop strategy for litigation and regulatory proceedings
  • Ability to provide frequent assistance to Department of Human Resources
  • Demonstrated analytical, interpersonal, and communication skills
  • Superb professional judgment
  • High ethical standards and ability to work with a transparent and collaborative leadership style
  • A demonstrated commitment to the college’s inclusivity mission, identifying legally viable avenues to support equitable goals, diversity initiatives, and innovative financial and academic programs.

 Preferred skills/abilities related to the position:

  • Experience with higher education law at multiple levels of governance and management (Highly preferred)
  • Experience working on behalf of an institution of higher education, a large governmental entity or nonprofit organization, or a highly regulated business 
  • Direct or supervisory experience in litigation and administrative proceedings
  • Proficient knowledge of labor and employment law
  • Experience with public law matters and obligations of elected officials and public employees
  • Experience with municipal elections and election coordination
  • Experience with immigration laws as it pertains to employment

Equivalent education and experience may be considered that will provide the necessary knowledge, skill and abilities to perform the functions of the position.

Welcoming. Innovative. Focused on Student Success. These principles reflect the soul of CMC. They guide us in building our teams, cultivating leaders, and expanding our approaches and mindset. They guide us to be an institution of higher education that’s the right fit for every faculty member, staff, student, and community member in its trust. Applicants must demonstrate a commitment to working effectively with students, employees, and community members of all backgrounds.

Bilingual (English/Spanish) or conversational language abilities preferred.

To Apply: Please submit the required letter of interest, resume, and list of three professional references. CMC is an EOE committed to diversifying its workforce.

Apply online: https://ColoradoMtn.edu/employment  

Review of application material will begin on September 14, 2022. 

For any questions, please reach out to jobs@coloradomtn.edu