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General Counsel

The Texas State University System's Office of the Vice Chancellor and General Counsel (OGC) provides legal counsel to the Board of Regents, chancellor, universities and colleges that comprise the System, striving to offer timely and responsible advice about the broad array of legal issues that face modern, public, complex institutions of higher education. The OGC handles existing and potential legal matters in order to help those institutions achieve their missions and, where appropriate, provides strong, vigorous, and reasoned legal representation and advocacy. The System also offers proactive legal training, including state-required ethics training.

Practice Areas

OGC is comprised of three practice areas: general law, business law, and governance. Below is a summary of each of these areas of responsibility:

General Law Section

This section handles matters from all System campuses involving employees and students, providing counsel and advice in the human resources and student affairs areas. Such matters include:

  • Employment and civil rights complaints
  • Tort/personal injury matters
  • Student discipline, grievances, and claims
  • Litigation and contact with the attorney general's office
  • Review of personnel and student policies and handbooks
  • Administrative and due process hearings
  • Mediations and other dispute resolution matters

Business Law Section

This Section supports the commercial and business activities of all campuses, except for human resources. Such matters include:

  • Commercial and business transactions
  • State purchasing guidelines and requirements
  • Contract and other document review and drafting
  • Review of business affairs policies and handbooks
  • Environmental, health and safety issues
  • Real estate leases, sales, purchases and easements
  • Affiliation agreements, grants, and sponsored programs

Governance Law Section

This section handles matters involving governance and System level legal policy and executive initiatives, including the following:

  • Support of regents, chancellor, system, and campus executives
  • Interpretation and revision System Rules and Regulations
  • Issuance of legal opinions
  • Provides legislative review, analysis, and research (as requested)
  • Oversight of Office of General Counsel
  • Advising on the Open Meetings Act, postings, and notices
  • Authorizing and overseeing the work of outside legal counsel
  • Working with System Public Information Act Coordinator
  • Service as System ethics officer
  • Special projects for Board and chancellor as requested

Enabling Legislation

Texas Ethics Laws

Rules and Regulations

Synopsis (PDF, 41 KB)

Duties and Ethics of Board Members


Vice Chancellor and General Counsel
(512) 463-1808
Bennett Bartlett, J.D.
Associate General Counsel
(409) 880-8039
Senior Administrative Assistant
(512) 245-2530
Molly Cost, J.D.
Public Law Documents Specialist
(512) 245-8115
Nelly R. Herrera, J.D.
Deputy General Counsel
(512) 463-9976

Sandra S. Horne, J.D.
Associate General Counsel
Charmaine Mazzantini, J.D.
Associate General Counsel
(512) 245-2530
Sandra Poel
Administrative & Legal Assistant
(512) 463-1808
Therese Sternenberg
Assistant Vice Chancellor
(512) 463-6376
Legal Assistant
(512) 245-4980
Legal Assistant
(409) 880-8249
Legal Information Coordinator
(936) 294-2426
Legal Assistant