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Legal, Compliance, Title IX, and Section 504

The Office of University Counsel provides legal advice to the Board of Trustees, the Chancellor, the administration, faculty, and staff on legal matters involving or affecting the institution; advises the University administration on a broad range of initiatives, policy matters, and issues; and serves as a liaison between the University and its related and affiliated entities on legal issues. In addition, the Office of University Counsel includes the Office of Compliance, which supports administration, faculty and staff in our mutual effort to maintain compliance with all rules and regulations applicable to WCU.

The Legal Counsel Office does not represent individual faculty, staff members or students in personal legal matters.

Legal, Compliance, Title IX, and Section 504 Staff

Shea Browning
General Counsel

Kelly Tornow
Associate General Counsel,
Chief Compliance Officer,
Enterprise Risk Management

Heather Baker
Associate General Counsel

Deidre Hopkins
Title IX Coordinator & Equity Officer,
Section 504 Coordinator,

Zachary Williams
University Investigator 

Shelly Fulk
Executive Assistant

Legal Counsel Practice Areas

Our service philosophy is to provide excellent legal services that also advance the business objectives of our clients with sound, common-sense solutions.  To maintain efficiency, we have divided the work-flow into primary attorney assignments.  If you have a legal question about an area not listed, please give us a call.

Email all external public records requsts to .

  • Behavioral Assessment Team
  • BOT / Governance / Corporate
  • Chancellor's Office
  • Constitutional Law - Free Speech / Public Assemblies / Religion
  • Copyright / Patents / Trademark
  • Development & Foundation
  • Emergency Preparedness
  • Ethics Liaison
  • Faculty hearings - Chancellor / BOT / Faculty Grievance Committee/Faculty Hearing Committee/Staff Grievance Panel
  • Global Studies
  • Immigration/International Programs
  • Millennial Initiative Development
  • Tax Matters
  • Technology Transfer Licenses / NDAs
  • Title IX Panel
  • Transactions
  • Umstead Act
  • Utilities (Energy Resale/Radio/TV)
  • Workers' compensation
  • Athletics (Compliance)
  • Conflicts of Interest
  • Discrimination/ Harassment / Civil Rights
  • E-discovery / litigation hold / privacy & security / ISP
  • Export Controls
  • Health / HIPAA / Counseling
  • Information Technology
  • Insurance / Risk Management
  • Minors on Campus
  • Sponsored Research
  • Student Affairs
  • Athletics
  • Development & Foundation
  • Faculty Hearings - University
  • Law Enforcement
  • Record Retention
  • Staff Hearings - University
  • Tax-exempt financing
  • Tax-exempt organizations
  • Transactions
  • Constitutional Law - Free Speech/Public Assemblies/Religion
  • Contracts/Affiliations/Procurements
  • Employment matters - SHRA, EHRA non-faculty, Faculty
  • Litigation
  • Open Meetings
  • Policies/Regulations
  • Public Records
  • Threat Assessment / Campus Violence

DISCLAIMER: These web pages were prepared as an informational service to the Western community. They are not intended to be a comprehensive statement of the law. North Carolina and Federal laws change frequently. Office staffing does not allow immediate updating of these web pages to reflect changes in the law. If you have specific questions with regard to any matter contained in these web pages, please contact University Legal Counsel.

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