DePaul University Newsline > Sections > Campus and Community > José Padilla will become General Counsel for the University of Colorado

José Padilla will become General Counsel for the University of Colorado

José Padilla has served as vice president and general counsel at DePaul University since 2005. (DePaul University/ April Sumner)
José Padilla has served as vice president and general counsel at DePaul University since 2005. He became secretary of the university in 2019. (DePaul University/ April Sumner)

University of Colorado has appointed José Padilla, DePaul Secretary of the University, Vice President and General Counsel, as Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary to the Board of Regents, effective July 6, 2020.  Padilla has served as DePaul's General Counsel since 2005 and last year was appointed Secretary of the University.

"DePaul University is a sanctuary for all those in search of themselves.  It was that for me 15 years ago.  DePaul made me a general counsel for the first time.  Father Holtschneider allowed me to develop professionally and surround myself with some of the best legal minds around---my colleagues in the Office of General Counsel," Padilla says. 

“President Esteban took a chance on me when he recommended that I become Board Secretary and both he and Board Chair Jim Ryan demanded the best from me.  They and my colleagues in Joint Council and the Offices of the Secretary and General Counsel made me a better lawyer, leader and man," he says. 

At DePaul, Padilla directs an office of six attorneys drawn from some of the best law schools in the nation and from some of the best law firms in Chicago. Together they provide advice and counsel on a myriad of legal issues. As Secretary, he is an executive officer of the university, leading an office of four, facilitating, and managing the business of DePaul's Board of Trustees.

 “Although I'm leaving this sanctuary physically, my spirit remains here forever, seated in a back pew and marveling at the Lord's work being done by the faculty, staff, administration and trustees of DePaul University," he added.

At CU, the Office of the University Counsel provides comprehensive legal services for a university system with four campuses (Boulder, Colorado Springs, Denver and the Anschutz Medical Campus), more than 67,000 students, 37,000 employees and a $4.8 billion annual budget.

“José's recruitment and development of a stellar team of legal counselors have provided DePaul with timely and effective legal advice critical to the ability of the university to carry on its work," says A. Gabriel Esteban, Ph.D., president of DePaul University. "José has been an invaluable member of the senior leadership team. CU will welcome an exceptional General Counsel.  While I will miss his thoughtful counsel, I wish José, Hilda and their family well as they begin the next episode of their lives."

Padilla was the Chair of the Board of Directors of the National Association of College and University Attorneys, the first Latino to hold that position. He is also a past board member of the Better Government Association and the University of Michigan Alumni Association. He is currently on the Board of Trustees of St. Thomas Aquinas College in Sparkill, New York and served on the Mayor-elect Lori Lightfoot's transition team, leading a committee of lawyers reviewing the Federal Civil Rights Litigation Division of the City of Chicago Law Department.

In 2010, he was named one of 100 influential Hispanics in the October 2010 edition of Hispanic Business magazine.

Padilla is a 1983 graduate of the University of Michigan Law School and is licensed to practice law in Illinois and the District of Columbia.

Details regarding an interim General Counsel will be shared soon.