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Donica Thomas Varner To Serve as Interim General Counsel and Secretary

May 19, 2017

Donica Thomas Varner has been appointed interim general counsel and secretary. She will assume the role when Sandhya Subramanian leaves the position to become the general counsel at Dartmouth College on July 1. Varner will begin her appointment on June 5 in order to ensure a systematic transition of duties.

  Photo by Donica Thomas Varner

"I'm thrilled that Donica Varner is joining Oberlin's leadership team at this important time,” says President Marvin Krislov. “Her legal acumen and astute judgement will serve the college and conservatory well."

Varner brings to Oberlin more than 23 years of experience as a litigation attorney and higher education law practitioner. She began her legal practice with Detroit-based law firms representing public and private employers in the areas of employment and labor law. She left private practice to join the legal staff at Wayne State University, where she represented the university in trial and appellate courts, regulatory investigations, and labor negotiations. Varner later joined the legal staff at the University of Michigan, where her practice focused on student affairs, employment, immigration, litigation, and international engagement issues. Most recently, she served as associate general counsel and practice group leader for the faculty, staff, and student legal practice group in the Office of the Vice President and General Counsel at the University of Michigan. Varner is a graduate of North Carolina State University and the University of Michigan Law School.

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  • Write anything you like as long as it’s civil and productive. Attack ideas if you wish, but not people. Oberlin = love, remember? (Seriously. Be nice or your comment will be removed.)

So exciting to have yet another Detroiter joining the Oberlin community!

Kameron Dunbar (May 25, 2017)

Wonderful news! It is comforting to know that we will have such an accomplished person in this sensitive and challenging position when it becomes vacant. There appear to be several urgent items on the College's plate yet to resolve. Thank you for the appointment, Pres. Krislov and welcome, Ms. Varner!

Pam Brooks (May 23, 2017)