Baylor University's Office of General Counsel employs 13 full time staff; eight attorneys, the director of governmental relations and four administrative staff. Members of the Office of General Counsel participate in a number of higher education and professional organizations, including the National Association of College and University Attorneys (NACUA), National Association of College and University Business Officer (NACUBO), Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education (NASPA), EDUCAUSE, Higher Education Legal Managers (HELM), Independent Colleges and Universities of Texas (ICUT), Council for Christian Colleges and Universities (CCCU) and International Association of Privacy Professionals (IAPP).
Christopher W. Holmes
Christopher Holmes is responsible for providing legal advice to Baylor in a number of areas including corporate governance, litigation, and compliance. Prior to coming to Baylor in 2002, he served as general counsel to Dallas Baptist University and worked in private practice in Dallas. Holmes has previously served on NACUA’s board of directors and is a recipient of NACUA’s First Decade Award for his volunteer service to the organization. Holmes is a frequent speaker on legal issues for NACUA and other higher education organizations. Holmes received his J.D., with Honors, from the University of Texas School of Law in 1991 and a B.A. in political science from Baylor University in 1988.
David E. Alexander
Assistant General Counsel
David Alexander joined the Office of General Counsel as Assistant General Counsel in August 2016 after a 25-year career in private practice in Pocatello, Idaho, with Racine Olson Nye Budge & Bailey, Chtd. He also served as General Counsel and Chief Compliance Officer for Idaho State University from 2012 to 2015. He graduated from Trinity University in San Antonio in 1983, and after four years covering sports for an Arkansas newspaper, David earned a J.D. from Washington University in St. Louis in 1990. After graduation, he served as a law clerk for Judge Harold Satz of the Missouri Court of Appeals. His responsibilities at Baylor include student conduct issues, FERPA compliance, Title IX, and disability accommodation compliance.
Felicia F. Cruz
Director of Legal International Services
Felicia Cruz joined the Office of General Counsel in 2004 as a Legal Secretary. She currently serves as Director of Legal International Services for Baylor University in the Office of General Counsel and has held that position since 2014. She also serves as Assistant Secretary to the Board of Regents. Felicia currently has 24 years of legal experience in various fields. She coordinates the immigration and work authorization programs for faculty and/or staff at Baylor. She provides support to all attorneys and staff within the Office of General Counsel and assists with legal needs of other university departments.
Christopher Egbunike is a Staff Attorney for the Office of General Counsel. Christopher received his B.A. in Biology/Pre-Medicine from Baylor University in 2013 and his Juris Doctorate with a concentration in Intellectual Property from Texas Tech University in 2020 along with his MBA, and Master of Engineering. Prior to coming to Baylor, Christopher worked in Texas Tech’s Office of Research Commercialization as a Patent Analyst and Prior Art Researcher. He additionally worked in Texas Tech School of Law’s Tax Clinic, where he represented low-income clients before the I.R.S and volunteered as a Quality Reviewer for the Coalition of Community Assistance in Lubbock, TX. His primary areas of responsibility include: patents, intellectual property, and technology transfer.
Governmental Relations Director
Rochonda Farmer-Neal is the Governmental Relations Director for Baylor University. Prior to coming to Baylor in 2008, she worked in government relations with both public and private entities. As Director, she serves as a liaison between the university and various entities. Rochonda oversees the federal and state governmental relations teams as well as monitors proposed legislation. She serves as an Advisor to Baylor Ambassadors, a student organization that advocates on federal and state issues impacting college students. Rochonda is an alumni of Texas Woman’s University and Baylor University. She is an active volunteer and serves on several community and government organizations.
David R. Iler
David Iler is primarily responsible for coordinating litigation for the University and assisting the General Counsel on other matters as requested. Prior to coming to Baylor, David spent over 31 years in the litigation department of Norton Rose Fulbright (formerly Fulbright & Jaworski). David received his B.A. from Baylor University and his J.D. from Baylor University School of Law. He previously served as an adjunct faculty member at University of Houston Law School.
Irene S. Olvis
Manager of Legal Operations
Irene Olvis joined the Office of General Counsel in 2020 with 30 years of legal experience in various fields; received her B.S. in Business-HRM from Western Governors University, Paralegal Certification from the University of Arizona, and is a Certified Yellow Belt in Lean Six Sigma. Irene has previously served as Family Readiness Advisor to MATCS-1 serving Marine families, and Administrative Aid to Texas State Representative during the 74th Legislative Session.
Duties within the Office of General Counsel include management of departmental operations, administration, budget, accounts payable, litigation support services, and contract management of practicums and internship agreements.
Assistant to General Counsel & Government Relations
Jill Perry serves as the assistant to the General Counsel and Director of Government Relations. She coordinates scheduling, travel, and provides support to both offices. Jill received her BBA in Marketing and Entrepreneurship from Baylor University as well as an MBA from Louisiana State University at Shreveport. She worked in the House of Representatives prior to her time at Baylor.
Joanie S. Pustejovsky
Assistant General Counsel
Joanie Pustejovsky joined Baylor’s Office of General Counsel in March 2020, transitioning from representing Baylor University for over fourteen years in the Tax and Compliance Office. Joanie received her BBA in Accounting and MAcc, Magna Cum Laude, from Baylor in 2003 and her Juris Doctorate with a concentration in Business Litigation from Baylor University School of Law in 2006. Her primary areas of responsibility are risk management, insurance, construction, aviation/travel and intern/practicum agreements.
Christopher "Kit" Riehl
Associate General Counsel
Kit Riehl is an Associate General Counsel for Baylor University. Kit joined Baylor's Office of General Counsel in June 2002. Before coming to Baylor he spent ten years in private practice in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Kit received his Juris Doctor from Baylor University School of Law. His primary areas of responsibility at Baylor include: intellectual property, sponsored research, technology transfer, and trademark licensing.
Associate General Counsel
Lisa Turner is an Associate General Counsel for Baylor University. Lisa received her J.D. from Arizona State University. She has earned two M.S. degrees and a M.A. from Dallas Theological Seminary. Prior to Baylor, she served in the federal government where her duties included teaching at a post-J.D. law school. She also served as the senior lawyer for an educational organization responsible for a range of programs, including technical schools through a SACSCOC accredited university which awards master and doctoral degrees. Her primary areas of concentration at Baylor include employment law, athletics, and policy review and support.
Legal Support Specialist
Brandy Vowels is a Legal Support Specialist in the Office of the General Counsel where she assists all attorneys with various tasks and monitors requests for international travel, domestic travel and special event programs. She received her B.A. in Political Science from Texas A&M University as well as her Paralegal Certification from Southeastern Paralegal Institute in Dallas.
Associate General Counsel, Chief Privacy Officer and HIPAA Privacy Officer
Doug Welch joined the Office of General Counsel in 2006, and has also served as Chief Compliance Officer for the University. He is primarily responsible for providing counsel to the University’s offices for advancement & development, endowment & investments, information technology services and real estate services, as well as assisting with litigation management and serving as the institution’s Chief Privacy Officer and HIPAA Privacy Officer. Doug is a frequent speaker on data privacy issues in higher education at regional and national conferences. Prior to coming to Baylor, Doug was in private civil trial and appellate practice in Lubbock, Texas. He also served as adjunct law faculty at Texas Tech University School of Law, teaching Legal Research & Writing. Doug graduated from Baylor in 1986 with a BBA in Accounting and from Texas Tech in 1992 with a Doctor of Jurisprudence, where he also served as Editor-in-Chief of the Texas Tech Law Review. After graduation, he served as Briefing Attorney for the Hon. Sam R. Cummings, US District Judge for the Northern District of Texas. Prior to law school, Doug worked as a CPA for Arthur Andersen & Co. in Houston.