Responsible for providing administrative and legal support for the work of the Board of Trustees to promote effective governance of the University of Tennessee. This position is an officer of the university and an ex officio officer of the Board that reports directly to the Chair of the Board.


Typical Functions

Typical functions are listed within the level descriptors below and are examples of work performed by positions in the level and are not intended to be all-inclusive. Some duties may overlap levels; however, the preponderance of the work will be assessed when assigning positions to the specific levels.

Knowledge, Skills, Abilities (KSAs)

Listed below are the minimum requirements for this role. KSAs will become more advanced as the level increases and will vary depending on the requirements of the position.

  • Knowledge of case law on a variety of legal issues.
  • Knowledge of court rules and procedures.
  • Knowledge of and commitment to affirmative action and equal employment opportunity.
  • Analytical skills.
  • Skilled decision-maker, with transparency in decision-making and management.
  • Interpersonal relations skills.
  • Ability and willingness to delegate effectively and to hold direct reports accountable.
  • Persuasive writing and speaking abilities.
  • Demonstrated leadership skills and abilities.


Level Description

Legal Secretary to the Board

  • Maintains a broad understanding of the university and the Board’s fiduciary responsibilities.
  • Serves as the principal liaison between the Board and the university administration.
  • Supports decision-making and effective governance by facilitating communication to ensure the Board has the information necessary to carry out its fiduciary responsibilities with due diligence; conducts independent research and analysis, as needed, in providing information to the board.
  • Reviews and recommends new or revised policies and procedures to enhance effective governance and management of the university.
  • Provides governance support to the Board by staffing the Executive Committee.
  • Assists the Board in carrying out special projects and initiatives.
  • Designs and conducts an orientation program for new Trustees; plans and facilitates continuing education programs for all Trustees.
  • Promotes Board compliance with all applicable legal requirements in coordination with the General Counsel.
  • Prepares and maintains minutes of all meetings of the Board and the Executive Committee; maintains the minutes of all other committees of the Board.
  • Maintains the bylaws of the university and all amendments.
  • Carries out all other duties specified in the bylaws for the Office of the Secretary related to the business of the Board and the legal and corporate status of the university.
  • Provide legal advice to the Board with respect to the governance matters listed above.
  • Provide legal advice to the Board and university administration on the application of the bylaws and Board policies and procedures.
  • Provide other legal services to the Board, including advising on such issues as open meetings, public records, and standards of conduct.
  • Provides or oversees administrative and logistical support to the Board for all Board and committee meetings and events.
  • Actively participates in long- range planning for Board meetings, focusing on strategic priorities.
  • Assists the Chair in developing the agenda for Board meetings and meetings of the Executive Committee and coordinates with the President.
  • Oversees committee staff in providing administrative support for committees.
  • Coordinates and oversees material provided to the Board for action and information items, including reviewing content for completeness, accuracy, and effectiveness.
  • Oversees follow-up on action items from Board and committee meetings.



Typically requires a Juris Doctorate from an accredited law school and five or more years of civil practice experience in a law firm or in a corporate, higher education, or government legal office.



Tennessee license to practice law or eligible for Tennessee license to practice law.


Market Range: MR22


Effective Date: January 4, 2021