José Padilla appointed secretary of the university

Jose Padilla
José Padilla has served as vice president and general counsel at DePaul University since 2005. On July 1, he also will become the secretary of the university. (DePaul University/ April Sumner)
DePaul’s Board of Trustees has appointed José Padilla, J.D., as the next secretary of the university. Padilla has served as DePaul’s vice president and general counsel since May 2005. In his new role, effective July 1, he will continue to lead the Office of the General Counsel in addition to the Office of the Secretary.

“For 14 years, José’s legal expertise and strategic counsel have helped guide DePaul to become the nationally recognized university it is today,” says A. Gabriel Esteban, Ph.D., DePaul’s president. “I am grateful our university will continue to benefit from his significant experience in higher education and the law. I also would like to express my appreciation to José for his willingness to serve.

Since 2005, Padilla has led a team of six attorneys in the Office of the General Counsel. Prior to joining the university, he worked for the Illinois Institute of Technology as an attorney and federal lobbyist. Earlier in his career, he spent a number of years in Washington, D.C., first as a lawyer and legislative assistant to the late Sen. Lloyd Bentsen (D-Texas). He then was a senior political appointee in the Clinton Administration.

In 2010, Hispanic Business magazine named Padilla one of the 100 most influential Hispanics in the nation. In April, Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot asked Padilla to chair a transition committee reviewing the Federal Civil Rights Litigation Division of the City Law Department.

As secretary, Padilla will facilitate and coordinate the business of the Board of Trustees and its 10 committees. He will work closely with Dr. Esteban, Board Chair Jim Ryan, Vice-Chair Lori Holland, as well as the committee chairs and liaisons. His responsibilities include providing advice and counsel to the board on compliance with its by-laws, procedures and applicable laws. 

“The board voted unanimously to appoint José as DePaul’s next secretary,” says Jim Ryan, chair of the Board of Trustees. “For years, the board has benefited from José’s expert counsel in legal issues affecting higher education. We look forward to our continued close collaboration.”

In addition to managing the work of the Board of Trustees, the Office of the Secretary oversees the legal requirements for reporting and record keeping for DePaul University. The office is responsible for various aspects of university administration, including DePaul’s policies and procedures, as well as records management. Also effective July 1, Chad Jordahl will manage the day-to-day operations of the Office of the Secretary as assistant vice president and assistant secretary. 

The Reverend Edward R. Udovic, C.M., Ph.D., has served as secretary of the university since May 2001. In January, Fr. Udovic announced his decision to retire​ at the end of this academic year. DePaul's Board of Trustees took the opportunity to recognize and thank Fr. Udovic for his 18 years of service as secretary at its meeting in May.
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