Assistant Superintendent of Human Resources and General Counsel-Grand Rapids, Michigan

Posted By: Micky Savage Career Center ,

School District:  Grand Rapids Public Schools
City/State:  Grand Rapids, Michigan
Where to Apply:
Position Open Until:  4/16/2021

Job Description:

GRPS MISSION: Our mission is to ensure that all students are educated, self-directed and productive members of society.

SUMMARY OF POSITION: Plan, organize, direct and control the legal services activities of the district; provide direct professional legal counsel and representation for the Superintendent, the Board of Education and administrative staff on legal matters; conduct internal investigations involving compliance with legal and/or Board policies; and oversee the development of human resources programs and policies such as recruitment, staffing, operation services, employee relations, employee benefits. This position provides strategic, legal, instructional, cultural, human resource, managerial, external development, and micro-political leadership for the efficient and effective operation of the Human Resources Department through collaborative networking with internal and external stakeholders.

Essential functions under the Americans with Disabilities Act may include any of the following duties, knowledge and skills. This list is illustrative only and is not a comprehensive listing of all functions and duties performed by employees in this position. Regular on time and in person attendance is an essential function of this job. Other essential functions may include, but are not limited to the following:

General Counsel
• Oversee the preparation and rendering of legal opinions for the Board of Education, the Superintendent and District administrative staff; provide legal advice in the drafting of legal documents, rules and regulations, resolutions, applications and other legal or quasi-legal papers upon request.
• Supervise, train, and evaluate in-house legal staff.
• Provide technical legal expertise, information and assistance to the Board of Education and the Superintendent of Schools; advise the Board of Education and the Superintendent of unusual trends or problems and recommend appropriate corrective action.
• Review contracts and other documents for legal sufficiency.
• Participate on the Superintendent’s Cabinet; engage and participate in districtwide budget, business and educational initiatives, programs and operations planning, providing unique insights and perspectives; collaborate, recommend and develop cross-functional team strategies designed to serve student, family, local constituent and District stakeholder needs.
• Attend and provide legal advice at regular meetings of the Board of Education and such other meetings as the Board of Education or Superintendent directs.
• Assign outside counsel to handle legal matters as necessary; monitor and review the work performed by outside counsel.
• Keep abreast of legislation; interpret the impact of legislation on the interests of the District as such legislation is being considered by the legislature.
• Serve as staff to the Board of Education with policy development; assist in the formulation and development of policies, procedures and programs to assure legal compliance; oversee the maintenance of files on policy action of the Board of Education and supervise periodic revision of the rules and regulations of the Board.
• Direct the preparation and maintenance of a variety of legal, narrative and statistical reports, records and files related to assigned activities and personnel.
• Develop and prepare the annual preliminary budget for the legal division; analyze and review budgetary and financial data; control and authorize expenditures in accordance with established limitations.
• Attend state and national workshops and seminars relating to school legal services and provide professional development to administrators and staff regarding legal issues and board policy and legal compliance.
• Facilitate meetings, workshops, seminars and in-services; represent the District in a variety of local community-based organizations and coalitions to effect positive dialogue and relations in school legal matters; participate in and attend local, state and national organization meetings and conferences relating to school legal issues.
• Supervise the performance of assigned personnel; interview, select, evaluate and train employees and recommend transfers, reassignment, termination and disciplinary actions.

Human Resources
• Plan, coordinate and evaluate the operations of the Human Resources Department.
• Establish goals and objectives for the department; attend meetings as required representing the department in personnel matters.
• Supervise of the Director of Human Resources & Labor Relations and the Benefits Supervisor.
• Plan, direct, supervise, assign and evaluate the school’s recruitment activities, such as applicant interviewing, determination of applicant qualifications, background investigations and reference checks.
• Plan, direct, supervise, assign and evaluate the school’s recruitment activities, such as applicant interviewing, determination of applicant qualifications, background investigations and reference checks.
• Conduct and/or oversee investigations of employee misconduct, employee complaints, Title IX, First Amendment or other legal or policy matters.
• Serve as the lead negotiator for the teacher’s contract (GREA); initiate and coordinate the activities leading to and during the process of negotiations; interpret collective bargaining agreements.
• Recommend and supervise the arbitration process; represent the district in arbitration matters or assign to outside counsel as appropriate.
• Investigate, analyze and formulate methods for handling performance evaluation programs, including job descriptions, salary surveys and position re-classifications.
• Regularly communicate with district staff regarding human resource issues.
• Monitor and provide oversight of the district’s benefits programs
• Serve as the district’s Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) coordinator; ensure timely responses to requests.
• Conduct employee evaluations of direct reports and ensure that evaluations are completed for the human resources staff. This description describes the type and level of work performed by a person assigned to this position. It is not an exhaustive list of all duties and responsibilities required in the position.

• License to practice law in Michigan or the ability to become licensed within six months of taking the position.
• Seven years of practicing law in the field of labor law, employment law, education law, or advising governmental clients.
• Five years of supervisory experience.

• Experience working in an education setting either K-12 or college or university.
• Experience working with human resource departments.
• Experience negotiating collective bargaining agreements.

• Knowledge of the laws affecting school districts.
• Experience creating or interpreting contracts.
• Experience advising boards of education or other governing bodies.
• Excellent written and oral communication skills.
• Experience providing written legal opinions.
• Ability to work and supervise staff in a fast-paced team environment.
• Demonstrated experience providing professional development or training to staff on legal and policy matters.
• Ability to work effectively with diverse individuals in a wide range of positions within the District, as well as in organizations external to the District.
• Ability to relate well and work cooperatively with internal and external customers.
• Demonstrated ability to manage and effectively prioritize multiple tasks simultaneously and work effectively under pressure.
• Ability to work in an atmosphere of collegial decision-making; demonstrate consensus-building skills.
• Ability to work with a variety of individuals to problem-solve, communicate solutions and apply corrective actions.

ADA REQUIREMENTS: The physical demands, work environment factors, and mental functions described below are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

PHYSICAL DEMANDS: While performing the duties of this job, the employee is required to stand, walk, sit, use hands to finger, handle, or feel, reach with hands and arms, talk, hear (in a quiet or noisy environment). Specific vision abilities required by this job include close vision, distance vision and ability to adjust/focus.

WORK ENVIRONMENT: The noise level in the work environment is moderate. Work is performed indoors.

MENTAL FUNCTIONS: While performing the duties of this job, the employee is required to compare, analyze, communicate both orally and in writing, copy, coordinate, instruct, compute, synthesize, evaluate, use interpersonal skills, compile and negotiate.

METHOD OF APPLICATION: Grand Rapids Public Schools manages employment applications online. Applications must be completed online at No hardcopy applications or resumes will be accepted for this position. Computer terminals are available in the GRPS Franklin Campus lobby from 8:00am – 4:00pm, Monday-Friday, for applicant use (Monday – Thursday during the summer). Non-Discrimination The Grand Rapids Public Schools will not discriminate against any person based on race, sex, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity and expression, height, weight, color, religion, national origin, age, marital status, pregnancy, disability, veteran or military status. Americans with Disabilities Act accommodations: Assistance with the application process may be requested through the Human Resources Department at 616 819-2022 or