Randy Geller’s practice is principally devoted to advising educational institutions. His clients range from small religious colleges to major public universities and school districts. Randy’s practice has involved many of the major issues in American education, such as governance and accountability; freedom of speech and management of protests; sexual misconduct and sexual harassment; confidentiality of student records; campus safety; and the federal government’s ever-increasing regulation of education. Randy’s practical approach to problem-solving, keen awareness of internal and external politics, and in-depth understanding of financial and organizational constraints are the result of 19 years at two public research universities, most recently as the General Counsel to University of Oregon, one of five senior officials reporting directly to the president.
Randy routinely works with educational clients on matters involving institutional governance and best practices; Title IX policies and investigations; student discipline; FERPA and public records; open meetings; accreditation; and labor and employment law in unionized and non-unionized workplaces, including collective bargaining. He defends schools and colleges in civil investigations and assists them with major initiatives and projects, news media inquiries, and crisis management.
Randy played a key role in drafting and negotiating Oregon Senate Bill 270 (2013), establishing independent governing boards and authority for Oregon’s public universities – the first major governance change in Oregon since 1929. He worked on the dissolution of the Oregon University System, the transfer of major assets and liabilities to the seven public universities, and the development and implementation of the University of Oregon’s transition plan including the transfer of authority to the newly-established Board of Trustees.
In other areas, Randy helped steer the University of Oregon through a major NCAA investigation of the Ducks’ highly-ranked football program; planned, managed and supervised collective bargaining with a new faculty labor union; and handled a wide variety of complex regulatory and transactional matters. He is the author of Criminal Conduct by Students: The Institution’s Response, National Association of College and University Attorneys (2007).
I help colleges, universities, and school districts address a wide variety of challenging issues at the intersection of education, institutional management, public policy, and the law. I serve in capacities ranging from external general counsel to crisis manager to manager of projects for which there is often no defined path.
With years of general counsel experience at a major university, I offer practical as well as legal advice to help clients manage problems and implement effective solutions so that small problems do not become large ones.
- Education Law and Policy
- Public Governance and Accountability
- Title IX, Sexual Harassment and Sexual Misconduct
- FERPA and Privacy
- Oregon Public Records and Meetings Law
- Labor and Employment
- Compliance and Risk Management
- Oriented governing boards and senior administrators on governance and accountability.
- Audited policy and procedure under Title IX, Violence Against Women Act, and Clery Act.
- Defended complaints brought by the Office for Civil Rights of the U.S. Department of Education in sexual misconduct matters.
- Advised client in high profile employment claim brought by a former senior administrator.
- Counseled institution on effect of changes made by Trump Administration to Title IX guidance.
- Counseled client on high profile matter involving employee sexual misconduct.
- Consulted on potential legislation for statewide governance reform.
- Defended client against attempts by a major news organization to compel the disclosure of information protected by the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA).
- Counseled client on defense and indemnity of former general counsel.
- Drafted bylaws and foundational documents for newly-established Board of Trustees.
- Lead negotiator for establishment of Public Universities Risk Management and Insurance Trust.
- Lead negotiator for establishment of Shared Services Enterprise.
- Negotiated and drafted employment agreements for head football coaches, head men’s basketball coach, director of athletics, and numerous other coaches.
- Advised on numerous student discipline and academic misconduct matters.
- Negotiated and drafted Facility Use Agreement with minor league baseball team.
- Negotiated and drafted agreements for hosting the U.S.A. Olympic Track & Field Trials and the U.S.A. Track & Field Championships.
- Negotiated and drafted agreement with major public university for use of its football stadium.
- Negotiated and drafted multimedia rights agreements.
- Advised on Fourth Amendment, Electronic Communications Privacy Act, Digital Millennium Copyright Act, and acceptable use of computing resources.
Randy received his J.D. in 1992 from the University of Washington School of Law. Prior to law school, he received his B.A. in Political Science/Political Economy in 1987 from Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington.
Randy is a member of the Oregon State Bar, the Washington State Bar, the United States Supreme Court, and the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. He is also a member of the National Association of College and University Attorneys (NACUA) and the Council of School Attorneys (COSA).
- Author, Criminal Conduct by Students: The Institution’s Response, National Association of College and University Attorneys (2007).
- Co-editor (with Abigail Byman), Intellectual Property in Academe: A Legal Compendium, National Association of College and University Attorneys (2001).
- Speaker, The Times They Are A-Changin’: Surviving Transition, National Association of College and University of Attorneys Annual Conference (2014).
- Speaker, Fundamentals of Real Estate Transactions: Due Diligence and Practice Pointers, National Association of College and University Attorneys Annual Conference (2010).
- Speaker, P2P War Stories: Tales from the Trenches, Cornell University Institute for Computer Policy and Law (2009)
- Discussion Leader, P2P File-Sharing News: A Peer-to-Peer Discussion Group, National Association of College and University Attorneys Annual Conference (2008).
- Speaker, Student Disciplinary Issues in Higher Education, National Association of College and University Attorneys Annual Conference (2007).
- Moderator, The Return of In Parens Patriae -or- What Makes Our Relationship with Students Special? National Association of College and University Attorneys Annual Conference (2005).
- Speaker, Legal Issues in Student Housing, National Association of College and University Attorneys Annual Conference (2001).
- Moderator, Revisiting In Loco Parentis: A Crazy Notion?, National Association of College and University Attorneys Annual Conference (2000).
- Speaker, Legal Issues in Admissions and Financial Aid, National Association of College and University Attorneys Annual Conference (1999).