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Syracuse University general counsel to retire in June

Syracuse University’s Thomas Evans, senior vice president and general counsel, will retire at the end of this year. The Board of Trustees is currently searching to fill the position.

Evans, who became general counsel for the university in 2006, is leaving the university because he is turning 70 years old and felt the timing was right, said Richard Thompson, chairman of SU’s Board of Trustees.

Evans could not be reached for comment.

As general counsel, Evans serves as the senior legal counsel for the university, specifically to the chancellor and the Board of Trustees. He oversees contract management and any negotiations that involve the university, Thompson said. Evans is also very active in assessing university policy, particularly for any legal issues that may arise.

Thompson said Evans’ decision to retire had no relation to Chancellor Nancy Cantor leaving in 2014 or the investigations regarding the Bernie Fine allegations.

He first started representing SU in 1972 for Bond, Schoeneck & King, The Post-Standard reported on Nov. 26. Over the past decade, the firm has assisted the university in more than $20 million of legal work.

He is the first general counsel “in house” that the university has ever had, Thompson said. This served as a “learning and growth experience for him as well as for the university,” he said.

A trustee committee has been set in collaboration with the chancellor and the provost to find a replacement for Evans. Trustee Don MacNaughton, who is also an attorney, chairs the committee, Thompson said.

“We want to complete this before July 1 of next year, which is when he is set to retire,” Thompson said. “Beyond that, I will say that it will be done when it is completed. We’ve had the opportunity to have some time on this, so we’re going to do a thorough job and a complete job.”

Kevin Quinn, senior vice president for public affairs, said Evans’ greatest contribution was his focus on SU facilities and programs overseas. His work helped further expand the university.

“Like anybody who has served the university for the last dozen years, he’s been general counsel at a time where there has been significant growth — significant expansion — in our national and international footprint,” Thompson said. “He has been a source of good counsel to the chancellor and to the board, and it’s been a very good experience for him.”

 

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