Following a nationwide search, UC Davis Chancellor Gary S. May and University of California General Counsel Charles F. Robinson have selected Michael F. Sweeney to serve as chief campus counsel. University of California President Janet Napolitano approved the selection, which is effective as of April 1, 2018.
“Mike’s history with UC Davis is extensive and impressive,” May said. “It’s because of Mike’s efforts more than a decade ago that we centralized and enlarged our civil rights and whistleblower compliance programs. He is a strong advocate for students, faculty and staff, and he is frequently on the front lines for improving policy for modern needs. The university will benefit greatly from his dedication and leadership.”
Sweeney has been interim chief campus counsel since June 8, 2017. Since joining UC Davis in 2007 as senior campus counsel, he has provided advice and counsel on a wide range of complex legal matters related to employment, contracts and grants, academic freedom, student affairs, athletics, and research. He has drafted complicated policies regarding freedom of expression and Title IX compliance. More recently, he led two legislative initiatives to expand the California Dream Act for undocumented students and to create a domestic violence privilege for California higher education CARE counselors, both of which resulted in new California laws on Jan. 1, 2018.
“Mike is a person of tremendous intellect and high integrity,” Robinson said. “Our attorneys throughout the UC system have benefited from his experience, and I value his wise counsel.”
“It is a great honor to work for this amazing institution, and to support all the members of this academic community,” Sweeney said. “I feel privileged to be a part of a campus that has made and will make such a positive difference in so many people’s lives.”
Prior to joining UC Davis, Sweeney was a civil rights attorney for the California Attorney General’s Office and the Department of Fair Employment and Housing.
Sweeney is a graduate of the University of California, Berkeley, and he received his J.D. from the University of San Francisco School of Law.