Brian White is the General Counsel and Vice Chancellor for Legal Affairs for the University of Kansas. In that role, Brian is responsible for providing strategic legal advice and coordinating the delivery of legal services in all areas of law affecting the university. Brian joined KU in August 2018. Brian comes to KU from UCONN Health in Farmington, Connecticut, where he served as its first Chief Counsel. Prior to that he served as Associate General Counsel and Interim VP of Facilities and Support Services at UW Health in Madison, Wisconsin. Brian began practicing as an in-house attorney in higher education at the University of Iowa, where he served as a Senior Associate Director and Legal Counsel for the University of Iowa Healthcare. Brian’s private legal experience includes his work as an associate with the Chicago firm of Boundas, Skarzynski, Walsh & Black. Brian is a graduate of the University of Iowa College of Law, where he was an Editor on the Journal of Corporation Law. Brian is an active member of the American Health Lawyer’s Association, serving as Vice Chair of the In-House Practice Group, the National Association of College and University Attorneys, and also serves as Vice Chair of the Vizient/UHC Legal and Compliance Practice Group.
Kimberly K. Gibbens, Deputy General Counsel (Medical Center Campus)
Kim Gibbens joined the General Counsel’s office in April 2015. Prior to joining the University, Kim was in private practice for fifteen years beginning at Shook, Hardy and Bacon, L.L.P. and most recently as Senior Counsel at Husch Blackwell, LLP. In private practice, Kim represented hospitals and health systems and other types of healthcare providers in a variety of regulatory, transactional and compliance matters. Before joining a law firm, Kim clerked for the Honorable Judge Stanley A. Grimm (retired) of the Missouri Court of Appeals, Eastern District and served two years as an Assistant Attorney General in Missouri where she represented several professional licensing boards including the State Board of Nursing. Prior to law school, Kim worked seven years as a medical social worker at a large metropolitan hospital. Kim holds a B.A. degree in Psychology from the University of Kansas, an M.S.S.W. from the University of Texas, and a J.D. from the University of Missouri – Columbia School of Law.
Kim Grunewald joined the General Counsel's office in November 2011. A native of New Mexico, Kim received her B.A. in Political Science from the University of Kansas in 1997 and her J.D. from DePaul University in 2000. After law school, Kim served as an Assistant Corporation Counsel for the City of Chicago in the Building and Land Use Division and the Police Policy Litigation Division, where she represented the City in administrative hearings and state and federal litigation. Kim returned to Kansas in 2008 and served as an Assistant Attorney General in the Civil Litigation Division of the Kansas Attorney General's Office. In that role, Kim defended the State of Kansas and its employees in state and federal litigation involving civil rights claims, employment law, and constitutional challenges. In addition to her litigation work, Kim oversaw charitable trusts throughout the State, monitoring trust compliance and management.
Michael C. Leitch, Senior Associate General Counsel
Mike Leitch joined the General Counsel's office in 2011 after more than eleven years of representing public and private entities in civil litigation and three years of leading the Civil Litigation division of the Kansas Attorney General’s office. He helps University clients solve problems involving student rights and responsibilities, diversity and accessibility, academic and non-academic misconduct, and First Amendment issues, including free speech and religious liberty. He also handles employment questions, including claims of discrimination. Mike helps faculty and staff address questions regarding disabled students and employees and accommodations under the ADA. He handles business, transactional, and contractual disputes, open records (KORA) matters, and damage claims asserted against the University. He responds to subpoenas and represents the University in state and federal court and with administrative agencies. He has experience on issues involving information security and data handling obligations, as well as copyright issues and state ethics requirements.
A lifelong Jayhawk, Mike is a proud graduate of KU’s College of Liberal Arts & Sciences. He attended law school at the University of Texas at Austin.
Megan K. Walawender, Senior Associate General Counsel and Associate Athletic Director for Legal Affairs
Megan Walawender joined the General Counsel’s office in April 2016 from Constangy, Brooks, Smith & Prophete LLP in Kansas City, Missouri, where she had been an associate and a partner, specializing in defense of companies and individuals in employment litigation related to statutory, tort, and contract actions. At Constangy, Megan tried cases to both state and federal juries and regularly represented clients in front of state and federal agencies. Prior to that, Megan was an associate with McAnany Van Cleave & Phillips in Kansas City, Kansas, where she was responsible for civil litigation in such areas as contract actions, negligence actions, premises liability and employment law. Before attending law school, she supervised claims adjusters at Shelter Insurance in Topeka, Kansas and responded to catastrophic natural disasters. Megan holds a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Truman State University (1998), where she graduated with honors as a Pershing Scholar, minoring in Women’s Studies and Philosophy. She also obtained her J. D. from Washburn University School of Law (2006) where she was Executive Editor of the Washburn Law Journal.
Marie A. Taylor, Senior Associate General Counsel
Marie Taylor joined the General Counsel’s office in November 2014. Prior to joining the University, Marie served as a staff attorney for the Kansas Department of Transportation (2012-2014), where she was responsible for drafting and negotiating contracts for the various bureaus, divisions, and work units within the agency. From 2007 to 2012, Marie served as an Assistant City Attorney for the City of El Paso, Texas where she provided transactional legal services to the City and its departments, boards, and committees, with a special focus on local, state, and federal grant funded programs and contracts for the City’s departments of Community and Human Development and Planning and Economic Development. Previously, Marie served as the staff attorney for Chief Justice David Wellington Chew, retired of the Eighth District Court of Appeals of Texas (2002-2007). Marie graduated summa cum laude with a B.A. degree in History from Connecticut College (1994) and also holds a M.A. degree in History from Princeton University (1996). She received her Juris Doctorate from Harvard Law School (2002), where she served as an Articles Editor for the Harvard Environmental Law Review. She is admitted to the bars of Kansas, Missouri, and Texas.
Kelly M. Nash, Senior Associate General Counsel
Kelly Nash joined the General Counsel’s office in March 2015. Prior to joining the University, Kelly was in private practice at Bryan Cave, LLP and most recently at Littler Mendelson, P.C., where she practiced in the area of employment law. In private practice, Kelly defended management in employment-related disputes in various forums and regularly appeared before federal and state courts and administrative agencies as lead counsel. Kelly’s practice also included advising employers on a broad spectrum of matters. Kelly received her law degree from Vanderbilt University Law School, where she served on the Vanderbilt Journal of Transnational Law. Kelly holds a B.A. in History from MidAmerica Nazarene University. She is admitted to the bars in both Kansas and Missouri.
Claire M. Koenig, Assistant General Counsel
Claire Koenig joined the General Counsel’s office in May 2017, after serving as Assistant Director of Industry Agreements for KU Innovation & Collaboration (2015 – 2017) and in the Office of Legal Affairs of the KUMC Research Institute (2012 – 2015). Prior to her roles in the KU system, Claire developed public education resources regarding the Affordable Care Act and state insurance consumer protection laws for the Iowa Insurance Division. Claire holds a B.A. with highest distinction in Psychology from the University of Iowa (2008) and a J.D. cum laude from Loyola University Chicago (2011).
Christine Young-Terpening, Assistant General Counsel
Christine Young-Terpening joined the General Counsel’s office in June 2018. Prior to joining the University, Christine was in private practice for over ten years beginning at Shook, Hardy and Bacon, L.L.P. and most recently served as Corporate Counsel for a subsidiary of Abbott. In private practice, Christine represented clients in the healthcare and technology industries in a variety of transactional, regulatory and compliance matters. Christine primarily advises the University on clinical research and technology, privacy and data protection issues. Christine holds a B.A.S. in Business Administration and Technology as well as a J.D. from Washburn University and an LL.M. in Taxation from the University of Missouri – Kansas City School of Law. She is also a Certified Information Privacy Professional for U.S. privacy laws and regulations (CIPP/US).
Megan McRae, Assistant General Counsel
Megan McRae joined the General Counsel’s office in December 2018 and focuses primarily on research contracts. After graduating with a B.S. in Political Science from Oklahoma State University, Megan attended the University of Kansas School of Law. While in law school, Megan served as an Articles Editor for the University of Kansas Journal of Law & Public Policy and as Industry Contracts intern at KU Innovation & Collaboration. Prior to joining the General Counsel’s office, Megan was a part of the Office of Legal Affairs of the KUMC Research Institute.
Peter Griffith, Associate General Counsel and Director, Research Contracts Office, KUMC Research Institute
Peter Griffith joined the General Counsel’s office in December 2018, after serving since Fall 2011 as Corporate Counsel and Director of the Research Contracts Office for the University of Kansas Medical Center Research Institute, Inc. In this role, he continues to advise the University on clinical research, grants, contract transactions, and regulatory compliance. Peter holds B.G.S. and J.D. degrees from the University of Kansas, where he served on the Law Review. Following law school, Peter practiced business, health compliance and trade regulation law as an associate attorney for the Kansas City law firm, Siegfried Bingham. Before joining the University of Kansas, he continued to focus on business contract law and regulatory compliance as an attorney for a national transportation contractor and an international commercial insurance company. He is admitted to the bars of Kansas and Missouri.
Chad O'Neill, Assistant General Counsel
Chad O’Neill joined the General Counsel’s office in December 2018. His first eight years out of law school were dedicated to representing clients in an array of criminal, domestic, and business ligation matters throughout Kansas and Missouri. In March 2015 he joined the KUMC Research Institute’s clinical research administration where he negotiated industry sponsored budgets and contracts for human research clinical trials (2015-2018). He then transitioned into a role serving in the Research Institute’s Office of Legal Affairs (2018), primarily working with the University of Kansas Cancer Center’s clinical research teams. Chad completed his undergraduate work at Western Illinois University (2002) and received his J.D. from Washburn University (2007).
Eric J. Aufdengarten, Associate General Counsel
Eric Aufdengarten joined the General Counsel’s office in January 2019. Eric is a fifth-generation Kansan and a 2003 graduate of the University of Kansas School of Law. After graduation from law school, Eric served as a research attorney for the Honorable Lawton Nuss at the Kansas Supreme Court. Eric previously served as Assistant Attorney General in the civil litigation division of the Kansas Attorney General’s Office, representing the State, its agencies, and employees in state and federal litigation. Eric also has extensive private practice experience first at the former Carlson Kort law firm in the area of labor and employment law, and then at Kutak Rock LLP where he practiced in the areas of insurance coverage and financial contract disputes and financial services litigation. Immediately prior to joining the University, Eric was Senior Trial Counsel for the State Bar of California, handling the investigation and prosecution of complaints of attorney misconduct. Eric is admitted to the bars in Kansas, Missouri (currently inactive), and California (currently inactive).
Darin L. Beck, Associate General Counsel and Executive Director, Kansas Law Enforcement Training Center
Darin Beck serves as the Executive Director of the Kansas Law Enforcement Training Center (KLETC) and also as an Associate General Counsel for the University. His legal responsibilities focus on the unique statutory and regulatory mandates associated with the operation of the state's central law enforcement academy. Darin originally joined the KLETC staff in 1999 as the legal advisor to both KLETC and the Kansas Commission on Peace Officers' Standards and Training. Darin is only the fourth person to serve as Director of the Kansas Law Enforcement Training Center since it was created in the Legislature in 1968. Beck was appointed Executive Director in June of 2018 after having served in a variety of positions at KLETC over nearly 19 years. He holds bachelor's degrees in Marketing and Mathematics from Wichita State University, a Masters in Education from Newman University, and a Juris Doctorate from Baylor University. He is a graduate of the FBI's Central States Law Enforcement Executive Development Program and the Army's Command and General Staff College (ILE). Prior to joining the KLETC Staff, Darin was an Assistant City Attorney for the City of Wichita and a former math teacher. He presently serves in the U.S. Army Reserve - Judge Advocate General Corps and also as a pro tem judge for the Wichita Municipal Court.