Scott E. Rice

University Counsel

As University Counsel, Scott is a general officer of the Board of Trustees and the University and serves as the legal advisor to the Board of Trustees, the President, and other University administrative officers. He has a dual report to the Board of Trustees and to the President. Scott is responsible for the management of the legal offices on the University’s three campuses and divides his time among them. In addition, Scott serves as Legal Counsel to the Alumni Association. His staff includes a Deputy University Counsel and three Campus Counsels, as well as University attorneys, Legal Fellows and administration staff. The practice areas include specializations such as labor and employment, intellectual property, and health care law, as well as more general areas, including contracts, litigation, and real estate. 

Scott joined the Office of University Counsel in 2005 and was named Campus Legal Counsel for the Urbana-Champaign university in 2011, serving in that role through 2020 and again on an interim basis in 2022. He was named Deputy University Counsel in 2019 and University Counsel in 2024. In addition to his administrative duties, Scott maintains an active legal practice on a broad range of topics, including governance, infrastructure, athletics, employment, investigations, claims, complex transactions, First Amendment and other areas. Scott is a leader or member of numerous organizations, including the National Association of College and University Attorneys, Big Ten general counsels’ roundtable, Sports Lawyers Association and Illinois State Bar Association.

Prior to joining the University, Scott had significant experience at a national architecture and engineering corporation. He also worked in all three branches of Illinois state government, including as an aide to former Illinois Governor Jim Edgar and as a clerk to former Illinois Supreme Court Justice Rita B. Garman. Scott is a graduate of the University of Illinois College of Liberal Arts & Sciences and earned his law degree at Southern Illinois University.

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