Bernard to Retire After 18 Years as Vice President and General Counsel

Vice President and General Counsel Pam Bernard

Bernard’s influence has been felt nationally. She is co-chair of the Knight Commission on Intercollegiate Athletics, and for many years chaired the Association of American Universities’ General Counsels Advisory Group. She is a past chair of the Board of the National Association of College & University Attorneys and was awarded NACUA’s Distinguished Service Award for her leadership and contributions to the field of higher education law practice.

Bernard has also served as a consultant to higher education institutions on issues ranging from legal counsel office operations to board governance.

In addition, Bernard has served on national committees and task forces, including the Association of Governing Boards, the American Bar Association and the National Collegiate Athletic Association. She is a frequent speaker on legal issues and has authored numerous papers and other publications relating to higher education law and policy. From July 2007 to June 2011 she authored the “Legal Standpoint” column for Trusteeship magazine.

“When I arrived at Duke, I called it a world-class institution with an extraordinary future,” Bernard said. “The opportunity to make a meaningful contribution to the university’s progress is what attracted me to Duke. With the help of the truly talented team within the Office of Counsel, I have been able to do just that. I am excited to watch Duke continue to thrive as its second century begins, and am grateful to the president and board to have had the privilege of serving Duke.”

Bernard received both her undergraduate and legal degrees from the University of Florida, and served as a private investment trustee before joining her alma mater in 1982 as an assistant to the university attorney. She was named UF’s general counsel five years later, adding the title of vice president. While at UF, one of Bernard’s jobs was to lead the creation of the University of Florida’s governance structures and operating procedures for its first-ever board of trustees.

A national search will be conducted for Bernard’s successor.