Higher Education Conference
Thursday, March 15, 2018
9:00 A.M. – 6:30 P.M.
Sheraton Boston

Hear from leaders in higher education about the emerging legal issues impacting their institutions. This conference will bring together college and university in-house legal departments, administrators, and firm practitioners to discuss the complex legal needs of higher education institutions in a changing world.



Margaret H. Marshall

Former Chief Justice of the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts, Margaret H. Marshall is Senior Counsel at Choate Hall & Stewart LLP. She brings a wide range of experience to issues of higher education: lawyer, counsel, university trustee and judge. Immediately before her 1996 appointment to the Court, Chief Justice Marshall served as the Vice President and General Counsel of Harvard University. In 2004 she became a member of the Board of Trustees of Yale University, the governing board and policy-making body for the University. Until 2016 she served as its Senior Trustee, the first woman to hold that position at Yale.


Anderson & Kreiger LLP
Boston College
Boston University
Bowditch & Dewey, LLP
Brandeis University
Casner & Edwards
Choate, Hall & Stewart LLP
College of the Holy Cross
Conn Kavanaugh Rosenthal Peisch & Ford, LLP
Curry College
edX Inc.
Emerson College
Faulkner Legal
Fish & Richardson P.C.
Foley Hoag LLP
Freiberger & Washienko, LLC
Goodwin Procter LLP
Harvard University
Hemenway & Barnes LLP
Hinckley Allen
Hirsch Roberts Weinstein LLP
Hogan Lovells US LLP
Holland & Knight LLP
Jackson Lewis P.C.
Jenn Davis LLC
Jenner & Block
Krokidas & Bluestein LLP
Latham & Watkins LLP
Lesley University
Locke Lord LLP
Major, Lindsey & Africa
Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office
Massachusetts Department of Higher Education
Massachusetts Institute of Technology

McCarter & English, LLP
McLane Middleton, Professional Association
Merrimack College
Middlebury College
Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky and Popeo, P.C.
MIT Office of Risk Management
Morgan, Brown & Joy, LLP
National Labor Relations Board
Nixon Peabody LLP
Northeastern University
Northeastern University
Partners HealthCare System, Inc.
Pierce Atwood, LLP
Regis College
Ropes & Gray LLP
Rose, Chinitz & Rose
Rubin & Ulrich, LLC
Saul Ewing Arnstein & Lehr LLP
Schwartz Hannum PC
Sheehan Phinney Bass & Green PA
Simmons College- Office of the General Counsel
Smith College
Southern New Hampshire University
Sugarman, Rogers, Barshak & Cohen, P.C.
Tennant Lubell, LLC
Trinity College
Tufts University
Tufts University, Office of University Counsel
U.S. Department of Justice
United Educators
University of Massachusetts – Office of General Counsel
Worcester Polytechnic Institute
Zalkind Duncan & Bernstein LLP



David Bunis
Senior Vice President and General Counsel
Worcester Polytechnic Institute 


Phil Catanzano
Senior Counsel
Holland & Knight LLP


Nora Field
Deputy General Counsel
Boston College


Ara Gershengorn
University Attorney
Harvard University 


Christine Hughes
Vice President and General Counsel
Emerson College


Dickens Mathieu
General Counsel and Secretary
Trinity College


Liliana Palacios-Baldwin
Associate General Counsel for Labor and Employment
Tufts University


Dean Richlin
Foley Hoag LLP


Lisa Tenerowicz
Associate General Counsel
Boston University


THE TAXMAN COMETH: Higher Education Tax Law Changes

Panelists will discuss the changes in tax laws, including topics such as tax on endowment investment income, executive compensation, UBTI “basketing”, fringe benefits and UBTI, and charitable giving. They will also talk about what didn’t make it into the tax reform bill, other federal developments, and state law updates.


Lorry Spitzer
Counsel, MIT
Brad Bedingfield
Counsel, Hemenway & Barnes
Kendi Ozmon
Partner, Ropes & Gray

Hot Topics in Athletics and Compliance

The panelists will discuss the top legal and compliance issues currently faced in athletics and various ways to navigate those issues in collaboration with the athletics department. Janet Judge is a national expert on athletics issues, representing and advising institutions at all competitive levels. She will begin by providing an overview of the most pressing issues confronting institutions with regard to athletics. The panelists will then discuss some of the practical challenges presented by these issues and share their insights on how athletics and counsel can effectively work together to address them.


Nora Field (Moderator)
Deputy General Counsel, Boston College
Jeremy Gibson
Director of Athletics, Merrimack College
Janet Judge

Partner, Holland & Knight
Nick McDonald
General Counsel, Merrimack College

Accessing the Cloud:  Strategies for Improving Website Accessibility on Your Campus

The panelists will discuss the benefits and challenges of website accessibility from different perspectives. Relying on his experiences in the federal government and now representing colleges and universities, Mr. Catanzano will discuss the current climate with regard to litigation as well as enforcement efforts by both the U.S. Department of Education and the U.S. Department of Justice. Mr. Schachmut will provide the audience with a practical overview of what “accessibility” means in this context and what it looks like in practice. Finally, Ms. Earp will discuss the internal challenges that may require navigation when an institution is faced with enhancing its accessibility efforts. The group, including its moderator, David Bunis, will then share examples of how they have worked with and assisted their institutions and others with regard to improving the accessibility of their web environment.


David Bunis (Moderator) 
Senior Vice President and General Counsel, Worcester Polytechnic Institute
Phil Catanzano
Senior Counsel, Holland & Knight
Samantha Earp
Vice President of Information Technology and Chief Information Officer, Smith College
Kyle Shachmut
Manager of Digital Accessibility, Harvard University

Difficulty and Disruption: Supporting an International Mission, Faculty, and Student Body in Uncertain Times.

This session will address recent developments in immigration law and policy under the current Administration, discuss their implications for colleges and universities, and suggest strategies for supporting our institutions’ missions of teaching and research in the wake of these changes. Specific subject areas include (at a minimum) the travel ban, rescission of the DACA program, de-designation of certain nations for TPS protection, and the Administration’s “Buy American, Hire American” Executive Order, as reflected in visa processing for inbound international scholars and students.


Bradley Abruzzi
University Attorney, Harvard University Office of the General Counsel
Anne Gardsbane
Assistant Director, Harvard International Office
Lindsay Harrison
Partner, Jenner & Block
Jonathan Miller
Chief of the Public Protection and Advocacy Bureau, Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office

Cybersecurity 2018: Trends and Strategies

What is keeping your information technology and data security staff awake at night and how can lawyers help? Our panel of experts will discuss the current threats to cybersecurity in higher ed, recent legal developments, and best practices for managing risk.

Gerry Leone (Moderator)
General Counsel, University of Massachusetts
David Escalante
Director of Computer Security and Policy, Boston College
Cynthia Larose
Partner, Mintz Levin

Free Speech and Civility Issues

There are few more vexing issues for campus administrators than how to respond to what some on campus experience as hateful and offensive speech.  In the past year, at a time of heightened polarization across society, particularly on issues of race and immigration, colleges and universities have experienced a range of divisive and volatile events, including presentations by provocative speakers, the placement of offensive posters in residence halls, and the targeting of faculty and students who express controversial views on social or conventional media.  How should campus administrators respond?  What is the right process for decision-making and, when necessary, crisis management?  What tools and resources are available to guide administrators?  What values and objectives should drive their decision-making?  This panel brings together three administrators with distinct roles and responsibilities, and a variety of relevant experiences, to participate in a facilitated discussion of these and related questions.  They will review recent events with the objective of developing core principles for effective decision-making when free expression, personal safety and institutional reputation are all in play.

Kathleen B. Rogers (Moderator)
Senior Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary to the Board, Simmons College
Bill Burger
Vice President for Communications and Chief Marketing Officer, Middlebury College
Michael Davis
Director of Public Safety, Northeastern University
Michaele Whelan
Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, Emerson College

Sexual Misconduct Investigations in the #Metoo Era

Investigating sexual misconduct allegations when the claims relate to former administrators, faculty, and students or involve allegations of conduct that is years if not decades old presents a particular set of challenges. This panel looks at these investigations, possible claims and resolutions from the perspectives of in-house counsel, independent external investigators, and lawyers who represent complainants and respondents


Dickens Mathieu
Secretary and General Counsel, Trinity College
Patricia Washienko
Partner, Freiberger & Washienko, LLC
Inga Bernstein
Partner, Zalkind Duncan & Bernstein LLP
Edward V. Colbert, III
Partner, Casner & Edwards

Antitrust Issues in Higher Education

The panelists will discuss the historical efforts by the DOJ in this area, namely the DOJ’s allegations that sharing financial aid information violated antitrust laws in the 1990s. The panel will also discuss the recent NACAC guidelines that the DOJ is focused on and what their purpose is/was.

Logan Breed
Partner, Hogan Lovells

Ryan Struve
U.S. Department of Justice

Labor Law Update for the Higher Education Lawyer

Labor law – both in the private and public sectors – has been evolving quickly! This panel is for higher education lawyers who are pausing to consider – or to reconsider – the application of labor law to the work environment and as it may relate to myriad issues such as the definition of an employee under the NLRA, approaches to social media, and employment related conduct policies. Join panelists who will share highlights of key cases and guidance, updates on hot topics, practical approaches to navigating changes, and even some forecasting on critical labor issues that may impact higher education in the future.


Rachel E. Muñoz
Principal, Jackson Lewis PC
Desiree Y. Murphy
Associate, Morgan, Brown & Joy, LLP
Scott Burson
Deputy Regional Attorney, National Labor Relations Board, Region 1
Scott Merrill
Senior Director of Labor Operations, Northeastern University

Trends and What’s Ahead in Higher Ed Featuring Robb Jones from United Educators

The Higher Ed Conference is sponsored in part by the Joan B. DiCola Fund of the Boston Bar Foundation. This fund provides critical support for Boston Bar Association programs and initiatives that foster the education and professional development of lawyers. For more information on the BBF or this fund, please contact Megan Leppert at mleppert@bostonbar.org or (617) 778-1924.

Thank You to Our Title Sponsors

Thank You to Our Law Firm Sponsors

Thank You to Our Corporate Sponsors



Boston Bar Members $450.00

To reserve your seat, click REGISTER, then LOGIN to your Boston Bar member account -or- contact Rachel Andreas: 617.778.1904 randreas@bostonbar.org


Non-Member Guests – $525.00

Conference + Membership$650.00

To reserve your seat, create a New User account -or- contact Rachel Andreas: 617.778.1904 randreas@bostonbar.org

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