Irvine, Calif., Nov. 7, 2017 — Andrea Gunn Eaton, a top legal voice for one of the nation’s largest university systems, will join the University of California, Irvine as chief campus counsel.
As UCI’s top lawyer, Eaton will head the Office of Campus Counsel, which advises the chancellor, the executive vice chancellor and provost, the vice chancellors, deans, healthcare executives and other campus management on a broad range of complex legal issues.
“Andrea brings a deep acumen in higher education along with extensive experience in providing sage counsel to university leadership,” said UCI Chancellor Howard Gillman. “Her stellar career is marked by excellence and empathy, and I look forward to her contributions to UCI.”
The chief campus counsel position is distinctive, as it reports both to the UCI chancellor and to the University of California’s vice president of legal affairs and general counsel, Charles F. Robinson, who, together with Gillman, selected Eaton to lead the UCI Office of Campus Counsel and welcomes her to his systemwide legal leadership team.
Eaton comes to UCI from California State University, which comprises 23 campuses and 480,000 students. She is the assistant vice chancellor & chief counsel for business and finance, as well as the CSU resource attorney on the California Environmental Quality Act, construction and land use. She also serves as university counsel for CSU Dominguez Hills.
Eaton joined the CSU Office of General Counsel in 2005 and was responsible for litigating a variety of systemwide and campus-based matters in state and federal courts. Most notably, she was CSU’s lead counsel in Martinez v. Regents of the University of California, which upheld AB 540, a California law that allows eligible undocumented resident students to pay in-state tuition at state colleges and universities.
Prior to her time at CSU, Eaton was a senior associate with Seyfarth Shaw LLP, where she specialized in labor and employment litigation. She is licensed to practice in California and Texas.
“I am honored to have been selected to lead UCI’s legal team,” Eaton said. “I firmly believe in the University of California’s missions of teaching, research and public service, and as a UC alumna, it’s great to be back.”
Eaton’s career is highlighted by her work helping the underserved. As a National Association for Public Interest Law fellow with the Texas Civil Rights Project, she led public education efforts and litigation regarding student peer-to-peer sexual harassment and comparable sports and educational opportunities in rural Texas secondary schools. And in 2011, as part of the Martinez v. Regents of the University of California defense team, she received the Guardián de Justicia award from the Orange County Hispanic Bar Association.
Eaton earned a law degree at Tulane University in New Orleans and a bachelor’s degree at UC Santa Barbara, where she graduated with honors in political science and international relations.
About chief campus counsel
A member of the chancellor’s senior management team, Eaton will respond to a wide range of legal, regulatory, policy and governance matters at UCI. She’ll also serve as an adviser to the UC general counsel on campus legal issues and systemwide legal policy.
Eaton starts at UCI on Dec. 4.
About the University of California, Irvine: Founded in 1965, UCI is the youngest member of the prestigious Association of American Universities. The campus has produced three Nobel laureates and is known for its academic achievement, premier research, innovation and anteater mascot. Led by Chancellor Howard Gillman, UCI has more than 30,000 students and offers 192 degree programs. It’s located in one of the world’s safest and most economically vibrant communities and is Orange County’s second-largest employer, contributing $5 billion annually to the local economy. For more on UCI, visit www.uci.edu.
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