Higher Education Symposium

Recent Sessions

Managing Risk in a Global Pandemic: Lessons Learned and New Opportunities

Thursday, November 12  
11:00am - 12:00pm ET

The higher education community has been dramatically impacted by the global pandemic. From rapid pivots online in March, to excruciatingly detailed plans for Fall, to responses to changing conditions on the ground, COVID-19 has brought decision making in uncertain times to the forefront. As a key leader in the integrated higher education response to COVID-19 in Massachusetts, President Leshin provided unique perspectives in this webinar on managing initial and ongoing risks, and a look forward to a landscape significantly changed by COVID-19.

Keynote Speaker:
Laurie Leshin, Ph.D., President, Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Endowment Investing During Covid-19

Thursday, November 5
11:00am - 12:00pm ET

Endowments are often a critical source of funding for colleges and universities. This panel discussed the current state of endowment investing, including how endowment managers are addressing the disruptions brought about by COVID-19; how the crisis has altered investment sourcing, due diligence, execution and management, and liquidity; and how long-term strategies may be affected.

Thomas LaFond, Partner, Goodwin
Heather Huff, Chief Operating Officer, Dartmouth College Investment Office
Erica Nourjian, Head of Operations, Brown University Investment Office
Brad Wakeman, Managing Director and Chief Operating Officer, Williams College

False Claims Act Risks And Trends In U.S. Higher Education

Thursday, October 29
11:00am - 12:00pm ET

The federal False Claims Act (FCA) has long been a powerful tool for the U.S. Department of Justice to investigate and police activity financed with federal dollars. Recent years have seen high-profile FCA enforcement actions against higher education institutions receiving federal funds for a variety of purposes, including research grants and financial aid programs. The risk of FCA scrutiny is further heightened for institutions receiving Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act funds. This webinar discussed the recent enforcement developments and ways that institutions can mitigate risk.

Annie Railton, Partner, Goodwin
Alicyn Cooley, Executive Director, Program on Corporate Compliance and Enforcement, New York University School of Law
Courtney Orazio, Associate, Goodwin
Jeff Seo, Assistant Vice-Provost for Research Compliance, Northeastern University

Updates in Employment Law for Colleges and Universities

Thursday, October 22
11:00am - 12:00pm ET

Keeping up with fast-paced, ever-changing labor and employment law has always been critical for higher education institutions, and the COVID-19 pandemic makes this year’s update more important than ever. Our panelists summarized and discussed the employment aspects of Title IX, recent developments relating to union organizing and collective bargaining, the beginning of job-protected leave under the Massachusetts Paid Family and Medical Leave Act, developments under the Massachusetts Equal Pay Act, and COVID-19-related issues under OSHA.

Christina Lewis, Partner, Goodwin
Lili Palacios-Baldwin, Deputy General Counsel for Labor, Employment and Litigation, Tufts University
Scott Merrill, Office of the General Counsel / Human Resource Management, Northeastern University

Internal Investigations + Compliance Hot Topics in Higher Education

Thursday, October 15 
11:00am - 12:00pm ET

Higher education institutions today must navigate an ever-increasing array of regulatory burdens and government enforcement realities. The decentralized structure of many universities also makes compliance planning, as well as internal investigations into alleged breakdowns, particularly challenging. Our panelists discussed key areas of focus for higher education internal investigations, including allegations of faculty and executive conflicts of interest, research misconduct, and undue foreign influence, as well as export, trade sanctions, and immigration compliance in the COVID-19 era. They also explored unique aspects of higher education, the various constituencies that may have an interest in the outcome, and how these factors impact internal investigations, particularly in a largely remote environment.

Jennifer Chunias, Partner, Goodwin
Bradley Abruzzi, University Attorney, Office of the General Counsel, Harvard University
Ellen Berkman, University Attorney, Office of the General Counsel, Harvard University
Keri Godin, Senior Director, Office of Research Integrity, Brown University

COVID-19 and the Return to Campus: In Person and Remote

Thursday, October 8
11:00am - 12:00pm ET

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, colleges and universities in the United States have brought students back to campus both in person and virtually. What challenges have they overcome and what obstacles lie ahead? This virus has changed the way students live and learn and the way higher education systems will operate – financially, legally and otherwise – for decades to come. Or has it? Our panelists addressed these topics and more including the Fall 2020 return to class, the decision and planning process with the President and the Board, and the effects of COVID-19 on various aspects of campus life, including operations, student housing, student aid and governance in this time of crisis.

Roberto Braceras, Partner, Goodwin
David Bunis, Senior VP and General Counsel, Worcester Polytechnic Institute
Gerry Leone, General Counsel, University of Massachusetts