Kevin P. McDonough is a senior member of the Firm's Higher Education Practice Group. He concentrates his practice in the areas of Higher Education and Not-For-Profit Law. For over 25 years, he has counseled and advised universities and colleges in a wide variety of higher education matters ranging from day-to-day academic issues, student affairs and faculty issues and business operations to more complex matters such as strategic planning, governance and compliance, new program development and acquisitions, government investigations/audits, and the formulation and implementation of long term, multi-phase campus development plans.
In addition to working with the Firm’s many higher education clients, Kevin also serves as outside General Counsel to several colleges and universities. This combination of experience provides Kevin with unique insight, understanding and in-depth knowledge of the legal issues and challenges that arise in higher education today. Kevin, together with the other members of the Firm’s higher education team, regularly provide our clients with guidance on matters including academic affairs; federal and state regulatory compliance (e.g., FERPA; Clery Act); the development and implementation of policies, codes and administrative procedures; campus safety and security; governance and board issues; student and residential life issues; internal grievance and disciplinary procedures; contract review and negotiations; financial aid; staff training; labor issues; faculty and employee matters; and discrimination, harassment and Title IX claims before the U.S. Department of Education's Office of Civil Rights (“OCR”), the New York State Division of Human Rights, and in federal and state courts.
An important aspect of Kevin’s practice that has developed over the last seven years is representing smaller higher education institutions facing financial distress because of various challenges, including declining enrollment, demographic changes/shifts in college age populations, and the impacts of the worldwide COVID pandemic. Kevin has been lead counsel in the Firm’s representation of several high profile situations involving colleges facing closure and seeking solutions/alternatives/ options which all involve complex choices and difficult decisions. One of the most challenging determinations for the leadership team and the Trustees of a college is deciding when and how to cease academic instruction and carry out an orderly wind-down and closure, should circumstances compel that course of action. Based on his recent and extensive experience in guiding institutions through this process, Kevin and his colleagues are able to work closely with colleges in such situations. As importantly, because of this recent and extensive experience, Kevin and his colleagues have developed solid working relationships and gained the trust of key regulators and accreditors who are critical to successful outcomes.
Kevin also advises a number of not-for-profit institutions on a wide variety of matters, including governance, contracts, litigation, real estate, zoning, and land use matters. Over the years, he has also served as trial counsel for higher education institutions, not-for-profit and religious entities in federal and state courts and in administrative proceedings.
Kevin served four years on active duty in the U.S. Army from 1981 through 1985, attaining the rank of Captain.