Kathleen A. Rinehart

Kathleen currently serves as General Counsel for Saint Xavier University in Chicago, Illinois, where she provides oversight of the University’s legal, human resources and risk management operations. Prior to her work at Saint Xavier, Kathleen led the Education Law practices at two large law firms in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. There, she developed a successful General Counsel model for use on campuses without an established, in-house General Counsel Office; represented large/small, public/private, and union/non-unionized colleges and universities; and provided ongoing counsel to campus constituencies regarding the wide range of legal issues affecting those institutions. In addition, Kathleen continues to regularly provide legal advice to, and training for, boards, presidents and administrative leaders regarding governance; strategic planning; legal compliance; drafting and implementation of institutional documents, policies and procedures; management of student issues and education records; campus safety; prevention of legal exposure and litigation management. She also works with administration and faculty on the use of interest based bargaining to produce sustainable collectively bargained agreements.

Kathleen long experience in education as a Master Teacher and attorney for school districts and universities permitted an in-depth and extensive focus on the causes of conflict in the workplace; the unique features of academe and how those characteristics affect the management of conflicts over time; and the types of tools members of an academic community need to better prevent and/or manage conflicts that may arise. As a result of her work in dispute resolution, legal compliance and supervisory best practices training, Kathleen is regularly asked to conduct in-person and web-based programs at national and regional conferences for professional associations such as the National Association of College and University Attorneys (NACUA), the Council of Independent Colleges (CIC), The Annapolis Group, and the Western Association of College and University Business Officers (WACUBO). In addition, Kathleen’s work has been published in the Journal of College and University Law.

Kathleen was awarded a Masters in Dispute Resolution from Marquette University in May 2012, with a focus on conflict coaching, administrative professional development, and the design of dispute resolution systems and tools for use in higher education. She provides ongoing consulting and facilitation services to colleges and universities across the country; assisting faculty, staff and administrators in the identification and implementation of communication tools to resolve departmental dysfunction. Kathleen also has served as a lecturer in Marquette University’s Graduate School of Professional Studies – Dispute Resolution in Education; and Marquette University’s Graduate School of Education – American Law and the Educational Institution/the Practical Impact of the Law in Schools.

In addition to the Master’s degree noted above, Kathleen’s education includes a Bachelor of Arts from Marquette University, a Master’s of Arts in Teaching (History) from the University of Chicago, and a Juris Doctor from Marquette University. Following law school, Kathleen served as the law clerk for two terms to the Honorable Janine P. Geske (Ret.), Wisconsin Supreme Court. Admissions for the practice of law include the State Bars of Illinois and Wisconsin, the United States District Court for the Eastern and Western District of Wisconsin, the United States Court of Federal Claims, and the United States Supreme Court. Kathleen also has provided service on the Legal Advisory Committee for the United Educators Risk Retention Group, as a member of the Board for the National Association of College and University Attorneys (NACUA), and as a member of the Board and Chair for the Dispute Resolution Section of the State Bar of Wisconsin.

A list of presentations and publications is available upon request.