Ohio University announced Friday four finalists for the position of general counsel, the university’s chief legal affairs officer.

General counsel reports directly to OU President Duane Nellis and gives legal advice to the president, the Board of Trustees, the University Foundation and other agencies, faculty and staff, according to the job description.

Chaden Djalali, executive vice president and provost, and Deborah Shaffer, senior vice president for finance and administration and OU treasurer, are co-chairs on the search committee, according to a news release.

The first candidate, Stacy Bennett, is currently the associate vice president and associate general counsel for Ohio State University. She has been in that role since 2012.

Bennett worked at the Ohio Attorney General’s Office from 2010 until 2012 as the section chief, where she managed the business counsel.

Bennett earned a bachelor’s degree from Wheaton College and then a law degree from Yale Law School.

Bennett will meet with university representatives Nov. 18 in Athens.

The next candidate, Clifton Iler, is currently the deputy general counsel for faculty, students and research group at the University of Kentucky. Iler has been in this position since January 2018.

Before that, he was the associate general counsel for the University of Kentucky from 2009 until 2017.

Iler attended Centre College in Danville, Kentucky, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in economics and English in 1987. He also played on the men’s basketball team while he was there.

He earned his law degree from the University of Kentucky College of Law in 1991.

Iler will be on campus Nov. 19 to meet with representatives from OU.

The next finalist, Barbara Nalazek, is currently the interim general counsel at OU. She has been in this position since August, and she has served as deputy general counsel since 2015.

Nalazek earned her bachelor’s degree in international studies at Ohio State University in 1990. She earned her law degree from the Ohio State University College of Law in 1997.

Nalazek will be in Athens from Nov. 20 until Nov. 21 to meet with university representatives.

The next candidate, Joan Gates, is currently the vice president for legal affairs and general counsel for Northern Kentucky University in Highland Heights, Kentucky. Before that, Gates was the senior legal counsel for Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center.

Gates earned her bachelor’s degree in biology from the University of Kentucky. She earned her law degree in 2000 from the Salmon P. Chase College of Law in Highland Heights, Kentucky.

Gates will be on campus from Nov. 21 until Nov. 22 to meet with university representatives.

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