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In 2020, lawyer Sophie Zdatny was named Chancellor of the Vermont State Colleges System. Prior to this appointment, she served the System as Associate General Counsel for three year and as General Counsel for three years. Last week she announced her intention to step down as Chancellor after a successful three-year tenure. She is credited with positively transforming the system despite the challenges of assuming office during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Prior to joining the Vermont State Colleges System, Zdatny spent more than five years with the law firm Dinse, Knapp & McAndrew in Burlington, Vermont, where she represented a number of higher education clients. She previously practiced employment law with Allan Karlin & Associates in Morgantown, West Virginia, following a two-year federal clerkship with Judge Irene Keeley of the Northern District of West Virginia, and two years with Kay, Casto & Chaney, PLLC. She also taught appellate advocacy and served as an adjunct professor in the Immigration Law Clinic at West Virginia University’s College of Law.

Zdatny is a graduate of the West Virginia University College of Law.

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When Nichols College appointed Glenn M. Sulmasy, JD, LL.M, as its 8th President in 2021, an acclaimed international law and national security expert with experience in academics, law, and government service, with 24 years of prior experience in higher education, no one imagined he may have had a sordid past. Prior to joining Nichols College, he served as provost and chief academic officer of Bryant University. Before that he served as Deputy University Counsel and later led the Humanities Department at the United States Coast Guard Academy (USCGA), in New London, CT. However, now Sulmasy is tangled in allegations of a cover-up of a rape while he was an attorney working for the Coast Guard, and unfolding information about a questionable past.

Sulmasy has taken a voluntary leave from his position pending a Coast Guard investigation. The investigation was launched after an officer alleged she had been raped while at the Coast Guard Academy and that two lawyers for the Coast Guard had discouraged her from pursuing the complaint further. Things have taken a turn for the worst amid information uncovered by CNN claiming that when Sulmasy was a Dean with the Coast Guard Academy, he exchanged more than 100 sexually suggestive text messages with woman, prompting a recommendation in 2016 to bring charges against him in the military court. Further, the Coast Guard has now banned Sulmasy from the grounds of the Academy and is considering taking the rare step of demoting an officer after retirement.

Sulmasy earned his JD at the University of Baltimore School of Law (cum laude and his LLM from UC Berkeley School of Law (Boalt Hall).

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A leading voice in the legal academy and higher education, Timothy Fisher’s review of May it Please the Campus: Lawyers Leading Higher Education, appears in the most recent issue of the Touro Law Review and can be accessed at:

This is the third review, following one by Dean Nicholas Allard at the Jacksonville School of Law, and one by Professor Nancy Rapaport.

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