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Office of General Counsel

Welcome! The Office of General Counsel exists to help fulfill the University's legal and ethical obligations. We serve and support the University President, as well as the University's officials and employees, by providing efficient and effective legal advice and services for matters that involve or affect South Dakota State University, consistent with the oversight of the South Dakota Board of Regents and its General Counsel.

Our Mission

The South Dakota State University Office of General Counsel coordinates and provides efficient and effective legal and other related services to the University President, faculty, and staff on matters that involve or affect the University - all while fostering an environment of inclusion and access.

Our Vision

The South Dakota State University Office of General Counsel provides professional and reliable legal advice and support, serving as a resource for informed decision-making and creative problem-solving to further the University's vision of a premier land-grant university recognized for high value, innovation, and bold impact.

How We Help You

Our main objective is to coordinate and provide reliable legal advice, guidance, and support for the University. We offer a wide variety of legal services, including the following:

  • We prepare legal documents, as well as review, revise, and recommend approval of agreements that are executed by authorized University officials;
  • We offer educational programs concerning legal compliance and policy issues;
  • We provide counsel, assistance, and information to University employees about the policies and procedures of the University, the South Dakota Board of Regents, the State of South Dakota, and the federal government;
  • We represent the University as legal counsel in judicial and governmental proceedings by advocating and defending its interests; and
  • We serve as the point of contact for all interaction with outside legal counsel, some of whom may be retained by the Office of General Counsel.

Our office is generally available to provide these services for legal matters that arise out of a University employee's conduct of their duties. We cannot provide legal advice to and do not represent individuals or students, except in their roles as employees of the University.

Because SDSU General Counsel is appointed by the University President, subject to Board of Regents approval, SDSU General Counsel's ultimate responsibility is to represent the University in conformity with Board of Regents governance. Therefore, in any legal representation, deference must be given to conflicts within the organizational hierarchy of South Dakota State University and the South Dakota Board of Regents. This includes exploring whether there are any conflicts in providing legal services in our initial consultations.