Baylor University's Office of General Counsel employs 12 full time staff; seven attorneys, the director of governmental relations and four administrative staff. Members of the Office of General Counsel participate in a number of higher education and professional organizations, including the National Association of College and University Attorneys (NACUA), National Association of College and University Business Officer (NACUBO), Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education (NASPA), EDUCAUSE, Higher Education Legal Managers (HELM), Independent Colleges and Universities of Texas (ICUT), Council for Christian Colleges and Universities (CCCU) and International Association of Privacy Professionals (IAPP).
Christopher Holmes is responsible for providing legal advice to Baylor in a number of areas including corporate governance, litigation, and compliance. Prior to coming to Baylor in 2002, he served as general counsel to Dallas Baptist University and worked in private practice in Dallas. Holmes has previously served on NACUA’s board of directors and is a recipient of NACUA’s First Decade Award for his volunteer service to the organization. Holmes is a frequent speaker on legal issues for NACUA and other higher education organizations. Holmes received his J.D., with Honors, from the University of Texas School of Law in 1991 and a B.A. in political science from Baylor University in 1988.
David Alexander joined the Office of General Counsel as Assistant General Counsel in August 2016 after a 25-year career in private practice in Pocatello, Idaho, with Racine Olson Nye Budge & Bailey, Chtd. He also served as General Counsel and Chief Compliance Officer for Idaho State University from 2012 to 2015. He graduated from Trinity University in San Antonio in 1983, and after four years covering sports for an Arkansas newspaper, David earned a J.D. from Washington University in St. Louis in 1990. After graduation, he served as a law clerk for Judge Harold Satz of the Missouri Court of Appeals. His responsibilities at Baylor include student conduct issues, FERPA compliance, Title IX, and disability accommodation compliance.
Felicia Cruz joined the Office of General Counsel in 2004 as a Legal Secretary. She currently serves as Director of Legal International Services for Baylor University in the Office of General Counsel and has held that position since 2014. She also serves as Assistant Secretary to the Board of Regents. Felicia currently has 24 years of legal experience in various fields. She coordinates the immigration and work authorization programs for faculty and/or staff at Baylor. She provides support to all attorneys and staff within the Office of General Counsel and assists with legal needs of other university departments.
Marsha Duckworth is Senior Director for Board and Legal Services for Baylor University, Waco, Texas. She has been employed at Baylor and held this position since May 1985. Marsha holds a B.A. from Baylor University. Her duties within OGC include oversee, assign and coordination of incoming and outgoing assignments for the attorneys; serve as Assistant Secretary to the Board; oversee litigation support services; contact person between attorneys and clients on sensitive issues; and work on special projects as directed by the Board of Regents, the Office of the President and/or General Counsel.
Rochonda Farmer-Neal is the Governmental Relations Director for Baylor University. Prior to coming to Baylor in 2008, she worked in government relations with both public and private entities. As Director, she serves as a liaison between the university and various entities. Rochonda oversees the federal and state governmental relations teams as well as monitors proposed legislation. She serves as an Advisor to Baylor Ambassadors, a student organization that advocates on federal and state issues impacting college students. Rochonda is an alumni of Texas Woman’s University and Baylor University. She is an active volunteer and serves on several community and government organizations.
David Iler is primarily responsible for coordinating litigation for the University and assisting the General Counsel on other matters as requested. Prior to coming to Baylor, David spent over 31 years in the litigation department of Norton Rose Fulbright (formerly Fulbright & Jaworski). David received his B.A. from Baylor University and his J.D. from Baylor University School of Law. He previously served as an adjunct faculty member at University of Houston Law School.
Irene Olvis joined the Office of General Counsel in 2020 as a Legal Support Specialist with 30 years legal experience in various fields; earned her Paralegal Certification from the University of Arizona and is Certified Yellow Belt in Lean Six Sigma.
Prior to Baylor University Irene served as Family Readiness Advisor to Marine Air Traffic Control Squadron-1 in Yuma, Arizona and awarded Certificate of Commendation for her service to Marine families; and served as Administrative Aide to Texas Representative Kenny Marchant during the 74th Legislative Session.
Duties within Office of General Counsel include contract management of practicums and internship agreements for Baylor University students; litigation support services including tracking of fiscal transactions; and provides general support to attorneys and staff within Office of General Counsel.
Jill Perry is a Legal Support Specialist in the Office of General Counsel where she assists all attorneys with various tasks and monitors requests for international travel, domestic travel, and special events programs. Jill also provides support to the Office of Governmental Relations. She received her BBA in Marketing and Entrepreneurship from Baylor University as well as an MBA from Louisiana State University at Shreveport. Jill worked in the House of Representatives prior to her time at Baylor.
Joanie Pustejovsky joined Baylor’s Office of General Counsel in March 2020, transitioning from representing Baylor University for over fourteen years in the Tax and Compliance Office. Joanie received her BBA in Accounting and MAcc, Magna Cum Laude, from Baylor in 2003 and her Juris Doctorate with a concentration in Business Litigation from Baylor University School of Law in 2006. Her primary areas of responsibility are risk management, insurance, construction, aviation/travel and intern/practicum agreements.
Kit Riehl is an Associate General Counsel for Baylor University. Kit joined Baylor's Office of General Counsel in June 2002. Before coming to Baylor he spent ten years in private practice in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Kit received his Juris Doctor from Baylor University School of Law. His primary areas of responsibility at Baylor include: intellectual property, sponsored research, technology transfer, and trademark licensing.
Lisa Turner is an Associate General Counsel for Baylor University. Lisa received her J.D. from Arizona State University. She has earned two M.S. degrees and a M.A. from Dallas Theological Seminary. Prior to Baylor, she served in the federal government where her duties included teaching at a post-J.D. law school. She also served as the senior lawyer for an educational organization responsible for a range of programs, including technical schools through a SACSCOC accredited university which awards master and doctoral degrees. Her primary areas of concentration at Baylor include employment law, athletics, and policy review and support.
Doug Welch joined the Office of General Counsel in 2006, and has also served as Chief Compliance Officer for the University. He is primarily responsible for providing counsel to the University’s offices for advancement & development, endowment & investments, information technology services and real estate services, as well as assisting with litigation management and serving as the institution’s Chief Privacy Officer and HIPAA Privacy Officer. Doug is a frequent speaker on data privacy issues in higher education at regional and national conferences. Prior to coming to Baylor, Doug was in private civil trial and appellate practice in Lubbock, Texas. He also served as adjunct law faculty at Texas Tech University School of Law, teaching Legal Research & Writing. Doug graduated from Baylor in 1986 with a BBA in Accounting and from Texas Tech in 1992 with a Doctor of Jurisprudence, where he also served as Editor-in-Chief of the Texas Tech Law Review. After graduation, he served as Briefing Attorney for the Hon. Sam R. Cummings, US District Judge for the Northern District of Texas. Prior to law school, Doug worked as a CPA for Arthur Andersen & Co. in Houston.