MORGANTOWN -- William H. Hutchens III has been named West Virginia University's general counsel and vice president for legal affairs.
Hutchens has been practicing law in West Virginia for 22 years and has a broad background in civil litigation, corporate law, higher education law and business and contract law. For the past nine years his primary focus has been civil litigation of large, high profile cases, as a partner in Jackson Kelly PLLC's Morgantown office.
Hutchens replaces Kim Croyle, who stepped away from the job last month shortly after accepting it. She cited pregnancy as the reason for not staying in the post.
Hutchens will be responsible for providing legal counsel and guidance to WVU, representing or coordinating representation of WVU in judicial and administrative proceedings, including lawsuits and negotiations with other entities and organizations.
"Bill Hutchens has the type of diverse background and experience in higher education law that we were looking for as we filled this position," said WVU President James P. Clements. "As a former attorney for this University, Bill is familiar with our system and will be able to provide strong leadership and guidance right away. I am pleased to welcome him back to WVU."
Hutchens said he is honored to be selected as part of the president's leadership team.
"What drew me back to the University was the unique place it's in today with a dynamic new president and the team that he's building," Hutchens said. "One thing that struck me during the interview process was that while the University has grown and changed, the personality of the institution remains the same. There's a strong sense of pride there, and I'm so impressed with the hard working and intelligent people I'll be working with."
Hutchens lives in Morgantown with his wife, Pat, who is also an attorney with Jackson Kelly PLLC. The couple has four grown daughters, two of whom are currently WVU students, and two grandchildren.
Prior to working with Jackson Kelly, he worked as an attorney for WVU and has taught graduate courses at the College of Human Resources and Education. He earned his undergraduate degree from Marshall University and his law degree from WVU.
Hutchens will report jointly to the WVU Board of Governors and the University president. His appointment becomes effective March 15.
At WVU, Hutchens will oversee a staff of seven attorneys, two senior legal administrative assistants and two legal graduate assistants. His annual salary will be $197,000.