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University Counsel

University Counsel

Earl Nance

    Assistant Attorney General & University Counsel
  • 214 Koch Hall
  • Norfolk, VA 23529
  • 757-683-3144
  • rnance@odu.edu

Lead counsel for:

  • The Board of Visitors
  • President
  • Chief Operating Officer
  • Vice Presidents
  • Athletics
  • Foundation Relationships
  • Business Gateway activities


Earl Nance was appointed by Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli as university counsel at Old Dominion University, effective Nov. 14. He succeeds Pat Kelly in the position.

Nance has served as a senior assistant attorney general for the commonwealth of Virginia since 2006. Over the past five years, he provided legal assistance to various state agencies, including the Department of Historic Resources, the Department of Conservation and Recreation, Longwood University, Virginia State University, James Madison University, John Tyler Community College and Virginia Military Institute, serving in the Real Estate and Land Use Section.

He has 20 years of claim adjudication and risk analysis experience, including senior claims management, budgetary formulation and administration. He worked for 15 years as a real estate and business law attorney, performing insurance defense work and handling a varied financial service and transactional caseload.

Nance has successfully defended Employee Retirement Income Security Act claims involving senior officer compensation claims, and negotiated and resolved potential class-action discrimination suits involving former senior officers. He also resolved more than 25 cases involving age and other discrimination allegations.

A 1971 graduate of Auburn University with a bachelor's degree in history and speech communications, Nance was a pitcher in the Boston Red Sox organization from 1971-73.

He received a Juris Doctor from the University Richmond School of Law in 1976 and earned an M.B.A. from UR in 1994.

Associate University Counsel

James Wright

    Assistant Attorney General & Associate University Counsel
  • 214 Koch Hall
  • Norfolk, VA 23529
  • 757-683-3144
  • jdwright@odu.edu


Jay Wright was originally appointed by Virginia Attorney General Jerry Kilgore as associate university counsel at Old Dominion University in 2004.

Jay has served as an assistant attorney general for the commonwealth of Virginia since 2003. Over the past ten years, he provided legal assistance to various state agencies other than Old Dominion University, including the Science Museum of Virginia, the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, the Frontier Culture Museum, the University of Mary Washington, George Mason University, James Madison University, the Virginia School for the Deaf and Blind, the Virginia Community College System, the Virginia Department of Education and Norfolk State University while serving in the Education Section.

He has 22 years in the general practice of law where he worked as a real estate and business law attorney in the last 10 years of private practice.

Jay has always been heavily involved in community. He is a Life Member and a Senator of the Junior Chamber of Commerce. He is a past Scoutmaster and he is active within his Church.

A 1978 Honors' graduate of the University of Richmond with a bachelor's degree in history, he remained at the University of Richmond and received a Juris Doctor in 1981.

Lead counsel for:

  • Advice to the Academic Deans and Chairs.
  • IP issues.
  • Research Security issues.
  • Research misconduct.
  • Advice to the Office of Institutional Equity and Diversity.
  • EEOC and OCR complaints.
  • COIA issues.
  • Police Department Advisor
  • Real Estate and Construction issues.
  • Policy drafting and review.
  • Litigation - provide second chair support to first chair trial counsel in all legal actions in state and federal courts.
  • First line supervisory responsibility over office secretary, student workers, and interns.
  • Advice to the Faculty Senate.
  • Advice to the Faculty grievance Committee.
  • Advice to Student Services, including student discipline issues.
  • Classified employee grievance defense.
  • Classified employee disciplinary issues.
  • Title IX issues
  • Procurement, contract review, drafting and modification, including affiliation agreements and MOU's.
  • FOIA response coordination and advice.

Administrative Assistant

Felecia Wise

    Administrative Assistant
  • 215 Koch Hall
  • Norfolk, VA 23529
  • 757-683-3144
  • fwise@odu.edu


Felecia Wise joined the Office of University Counsel (UC) at Old Dominion University as an Administrative Assistant in April of 2010 ("GO MONARCHS!"). As an administrative assistant, Ms. Wise supports the technology and administrative efforts of the office. As the sixth of seven children of a retired Naval Officer, Ms. Wise' hometown is Virginia Beach.

Prior to coming to ODU, Ms. Wise was employed with the Virginia Beach City Public Schools for over 17 years. She began her career with the school system in the Human Resources department as secretary to Dr. Margaret R. Buxton, HR Specialist. During her tenure in the Administration building, she worked in the department of Curriculum and Instruction and the Office of Organizational Development.

After seven years in the Administration building, Ms. Wise was promoted as office manager and secretary to the principal at the alternative high school. For over 10 years, it was there where she fostered close working relationships with parents and staff to focus on what is best for students, demonstrated sharp technical acumen in using the district's databases and automated systems, trained, mentored, and supervised clerical staff , and contributed information gathering, needs assessment, and analytical skills for timely resolutions.

At the UC office she manages budget preparation, and tracks purchases and payments; schedules appointments for the Counsels, and prepares and maintains all travel arrangements for the Counsels; prepares and maintains all administrative correspondence, files and legal documents; records and tracks Counsels review of contracts, MOUs, and affiliation agreements; generate and prepares numerous reports based on the information that is maintained in ODU's databases; initiated and now oversees the digital management of paper Case files in the office, and is the Website Content Manager for the office.

Ms. Wise graduated from the University of Phoenix with a Bachelor of Science degree in Database Administration, Associate of Art degree in Information Technology, earned her Life Insurance License, and is a Notary Public for the Commonwealth of Virginia. She is an active member of the University of Phoenix Alumni Association.