4 candidates to be interviewed for general counsel next week

Analicia Haynes, Managing Editor

Open sessions for a new general counsel will be held next week.

The interviews come after former general counsel Robert Miller accepted a position at a different university.

Four candidates will be interviewed Monday through Thursday in 3108 Blair Hall.

Jason Sweet will be interviewed on Monday starting at 3 p.m.; Craig Hoefer, 3 p.m. Tuesday; Kimberly Coffey, 9 a.m. Wednesday and Laura McLaughlin, 3 p.m. Thursday.

Jason Sweet

Sweet is associate university counsel at the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign.

He was promoted to his current position in Sept. 2017 and has worked at the University of Illinois since 2010.

According to his vita, in his current position he provides advice and counsel to “high-level university administrators including trustees, vice presidents, vice and associate chancellors, athletic director, provost, deans, and others.”

“I continue to perform all of the duties of an Assistant University Counsel, and I am also responsible for advising junior attorneys and law clerks, representing the office in high- level meetings, and working closely with the Campus Counsel to provide research, advice, and counsel on complex matters,” Sweet wrote in his vita.

Sweet has worked in this position since Sept. 2017 but has worked at the University of Illinois since 2010.

Jason Sweet Vita

Craig Hoefer

Hoefer is senior associate university counsel at the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign.

According to his vita, he writes that he is the attorney within the Office of the University Counsel that is responsible for handling and advising the university’s administration, colleges, departments, programs and units on all labor and employment law related issues.

These are issues that relate to more than thirteen thousand full-time employees (faculty members, academic professionals, civil service employees, postdoctoral fellows, and graduate and undergraduate students) at the university.

He also wrote that he advises the campus on various labor and employment issues such as hiring, employee benefits and discrimination.

“In addition, I represent the university in conjunction with labor and employment litigation before state and federal courts, arbitrations, administrative proceedings before various governmental agencies, and internal hearings,” he said in his vita.

Hoefer has worked in this position since 2010.

Craig Hoefer Vita

Kimberly Coffey

Coffey is associate corporate counsel at Conduent Payment Integrity Solutions in Naperville, Illinois, where she represents corporate clients in insurance subrogation matters.

According to her vita, she also negotiates settlements of health insurance liens pursuant to contractual, statutory and common law authority; assists in hiring of recovery specialists as well as disciplinary action regarding recovery specialists; trains recovery specialists and attorneys on ERISA law, which impacts the client’s recovery; trains recovery specialists and attorneys on negotiation tactics and reviews contracts regularly to determine client’s rights to recover health benefits paid among other things.

She has worked in this position since May 2016.

Coffey also graduated from Eastern in 2002 with a Bachelor of Arts Economics and a pre-law minor.

Kimberly Coffey Vita

Laura McLaughlin

McLaughlin is the team leader for electronic discovery projects at Epiq Global, which is a contract position and also worked at Logan College of Chiropractic in Saint Louis, Missouri as general counsel and vice president of strategic performance from 2008 to 2016.

In her vita she writes during her time as general counsel at Logan College, she was chief legal advisor to the Board of Trustees, the college president and administration on a broad variety of legal matters involving or affecting risks, rights and obligations of the university.

These include corporate, regulatory, employment, construction, contracts, health care, education and employee benefits.

Laura McLaughlin Vita

After the interviews

Eastern Provost Jay Gatrell said, following phone interviews, the search committee identified the four finalists.

“The pool was impressive and the committee looks forward to receiving community feedback and sharing a summary of strengths and weaknesses with (Eastern President David Glassman),” Gatrell said in an email.

Once the sessions are over and the candidates have been interviewed, one will be selected and hired by Glassman.

Gatrell said his expectation would be that the individual hired will start as soon as “reasonably possible.”

Analicia Haynes can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected].