After six years of guiding the Office of the General Counsel at Northern Illinois University, Jerry Blakemore has announced that he will be leaving the university at the end of the calendar year to join the University of North Carolina at Greensboro as their general counsel.
“During his time at NIU, Vice President Blakemore not only guided the university through numerous litigations, but also participated in efforts to help shape legislation related to banning concealed weapons on college campuses across the state, higher education procurement reform and rule making regarding violence against women,” said President Doug Baker. “We are very appreciative of his numerous contributions to NIU and wish him the best in his new endeavor.”
Blakemore also helped guide the development of policies on a broad range of issues including freedom of expression, social media, creating a smoke-free campus, and adjusting policies pertaining administrative leave. During his time at NIU he participated in reform of the university constitution and contributed to a task force devoted to issues surrounding sexual misconduct and Title IX.
Blakemore’s participation in the National Association of College and University Attorneys also boosted the perception of NIU as a leader in higher education. Within that organization he held a variety of roles, including serving as secretary of the board and chairing both the Diversity and Inclusion Advisory Committee and the Compliance Committee.
While doing all of that, Blakemore embraced the university’s cornerstone goal of student career success, mentoring eight, third-year law students (all of whom gained admission to the Bar) and three political science undergrads who went on to law school. He also initiated an annual internship with one of Chicago’s leading law firms, Mayer Brown.
With those (and many other) accomplishments during his time at NIU, Blakemore leaves with a sense of satisfaction, “My greatest honor has been to work with the members of the Office of the General Counsel, a group of dedicated professionals whose character, integrity and commitment to NIU is un-paralleled,” he said.
A member of that staff, Greg Brady, will be presented to the board of trustees for approval as acting general counsel while a search is conducted. “Greg is uniquely qualified to serve in that role,” said Blakemore. “He is an exceptional attorney who bleeds black and red, and he has been an invaluable asset to the office during my time here.”