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Three takes on U's top lawyer, who is leaving for Johns Hopkins

Posted by: Jenna Ross Updated: April 9, 2013 - 10:05 AM

Three views on Mark Rotenberg, the University of Minnesota's general counsel. Rotenberg is leaving his longtime post for a similar gig at Johns Hopkins University.

From David Lillehaug:

Newly-named Minnesota Supreme Court justice David Lillehaug met Rotenberg in the 1990s, when Lillehaug was a U.S. attorney. More recently, Lillehaug has done legal work for the University of Minnesota. He said Rotenberg is "extremely dedicated to the university," has been a "wise and trusted adviser" to U leaders and serves as "a big chunk of the university's institutional memory."

"He's been the chief protector of the university's autonomy over the past several decades," Lillehaug said.

From Bill Gleason:

Bill Gleason, an associate professor at the University of Minnesota, has been a regular critic of Rotenberg on his blog, often accusing him of using his post to protect university administrators' bad behavior. He said by e-mail Monday that he hopes Rotenberg's successor works "in a more transparent manner both with the press and the faculty at the university."

"The General Counsel should act in the best interest of the University of Minnesota as a whole," he said, "and not simply be the administration's pit bull."

From Kathleen Curry Santora:

Kathleen Curry Santora, executive director of the National Association of College and University Attorneys, called Rotenberg "an outstanding choice" for the Johns Hopkins position. "Mark is highly regarded and respected by his colleagues in the practice of higher education law."

Survey data from her organization show that Rotenberg's 21-year tenure with the University of Minnesota is longer than average. The average tenure for the general counsel at doctorate-granting universities is 13.6 years, according to a 2010 survey.

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