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VSU hosts Chief Legal Affairs Officer candidates

Written by Kelsey Dickerson, Editor-in-Chief

VSU continued its search for the Chief Legal Affairs Officer on June 21 with the first of three open-campus sessions. Karla Walker, a local lawyer and partner at Copeland, Haugabrook and Walker, presented at the first session.

Faculty, staff and students were welcome to the session and given a form to evaluate Walker’s credentials.

Walker began her presentation by introducing herself. Born in New Haven, Connecticut, she attended Yale University where she graduated with a B.A. in history. Walker matriculated to Mercer University’s school of law.

“I’m proud to say that once I attended Mercer University’s school of law in Macon, I still live in Georgia, and I love it,” Walker said. Walker has lived and practiced general law in Valdosta for 20 years, a background which she feels makes her the perfect candidate.

Walker is closely involved with citizens of Valdosta outside of her job. She sits on the Community Development Block Grant advisory committee and spear-heads S.E.L.F.I.E, a yearly event promoting career education for young adults. She also hosts a weekly legal advice segment on V96.7 and serves as the youth pastor at her church.  “This community is near and dear to my heart,” She said.

According to Walker, her involvement in the community and work as a general practitioner has tied her to VSU.

The Chief Legal Affairs Officer legally advises all employees of VSU in matters concerning the university. The officer also ensures that VSU works within state and federal laws, and the policies of the Board of Regents. “It (the position) is designed to create a fair and equal environment for the students to operate in,” Walker said.

“Do I have any reason to believe that I’m going to come in here and be superwoman and save the University? No,” Walker said. “Am I telling you that the university needs saving? Absolutely not. What I’m saying is…I take it that seriously.”

The session ended with a short question and answer period, where both faculty and staff asked questions regarding Walker’s experience.

Two more candidates, Lee Davis and Trent Coggins, remain for open sessions. Davis will present July 5 at 2 p.m., and Coggins will present July 7 at 1:30 p.m. Open sessions take place in the student union theater and are open to all faculty, staff and students. Attendees may complete surveys at all sessions to evaluate and recommend each candidate.

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