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Office of General Counsel

ADM 208
Warrensburg, MO 64093
Phone: 660-543-4390



Office of General Counsel

Administration Building, Suite 208

Phone:  660.543.4730

UCM Email:  ogc@ucmo.edu

 

 

Relationship with Husch Blackwell Provides Leadership, Service in Legal Affairs

By: Jeff Murphy
WARRENSBURG, MO (July 27, 2016)  – Building a team with proven expertise to help the University of Central Missouri navigate through changes in federal law and other legal matters that affect higher education, UCM has expanded its relationship with Husch Blackwell LLP to provide staff leadership and services on a full-time basis in the campus’ Office of Legal Affairs and Risk Management.

The relationship between the university and Husch Blackwell has led to the appointment of Hayley Hanson as general counsel, effective July 1, 2016. Hanson, who served previously as interim general counsel for the university, is a Drake University Law School graduate and partner with the firm whose major practice areas are in higher education, hospitals and health systems. With the firm, she has served as outside counsel to more than 20 different institutions. She is being joined in the office by Lindsay Chapman, who will serve as associate general counsel. Chapman, whose practice areas include higher education, labor and employment, and business litigation, graduated from Saint Louis University School of Law and previously served as senior assistant general counsel for Kansas State University.  Both Hanson and Chapman work for Husch Blackwell and their services in the Office of Legal Affairs and Risk Management are part of a contract between UCM and the legal firm. They both are licensed to practice law and are responsible for providing legal advice to the entire university.

“With changes in federal law related to the Fair Labor Standards Act (FSLA) and many other legal issues that UCM could face in today’s changing higher education environment, we need exceptional leadership and service in our Office of Legal Affairs and Risk Management. That’s exactly what we’re getting through our expanded relationship with Husch Blackwell, and with Haley Hanson as general counsel and Lindsay Chapman as associate general counsel,” said UCM President Charles Ambrose. “We appreciate the Board of Governors’ foresight and understanding to make these appointments possible.”

In her role as general counsel, Hanson reports directly to the Board of Governors, and provides overall leadership and management for the Office of Legal Affairs and Risk Management. This includes providing legal

advice to the board and university president; attending meetings of the board and the Strategic Leadership Team executive group, and authorizing and overseeing the use of outside counsel. Chapman’s duties include responding to legal inquiries from university employees as it relates to all aspect of UCM business; auditing university policies and procedures and providing the general counsel with recommendations to comply with business practices; drafting briefing papers to be used by the board; responding to charges of discrimination that may be filed with the EEOC and MCHR; reviewing minutes of board meetings; analyzing subpoenas received by the university and responding accordingly; and analyzing Missouri Sunshine Law requests and providing recommendations to the university’s custodian of records for response.

According to Hanson, the Office of Legal Affairs and Risk Management will assume responsibility for establishing an internal audit schedule for audits to be conducted during the 2016-2017 academic year.  These initiatives will help identify areas of risk on campus where stronger compliance may be needed. 

Hanson and Chapman are part of a five-member team in the Office of Legal Affairs and Risk Management. Other staff members are Jeffery Robinson, director of contracts, compliance, and risk management; Shelly (Gonzalez) Bachus, policy director; and Julie Schlueter, administrative assistant.

Robinson’s responsibilities include responding to inquiries from the campus community about  the university’s contracting best practices; reviewing all university contracts before they are executed by the appropriate representative of the university; assisting the president, general counsel and other executive leadership members to coordinate the purchase, lease and sale of real estate property; identifying areas/activities that expose the university to potential liability; analyzing the university’s current insurance coverage in light of such areas/activities to identify gaps in coverage; providing general counsel with recommendations on appropriate coverage and deficiencies.

Bachus responds to the campus community about policies and procedures; assists the associate general counsel with the audit of university policies and procedures; provides the associate general counsel with recommendations for revising policies to comply with best practices; assists the custodian or records in responding to Sunshine Law requests as necessary; and will implement and coordinate the transition to the online policy library.

Schlueter serves as the office manager and provides professional administrative support; manages files and records for the office; and provides support to members of the office staff.

Individuals who have need to contact the Office of Legal Affairs and Risk Management can visit Administration 208 or call 660-543-4730.