February 13, 2013
Dear Faculty and Staff:
Last fall, the University’s Vice President and General Counsel, Dorothy A. Malloy, took a leave of absence for medical reasons. Her health has improved and, on the advice of her physician, she has returned to Villanova with a reduced work schedule in a different capacity. Although Dottie will no longer serve as Vice President and General Counsel, I am happy that she will be "Of Counsel," contributing to the significant work of that office and advising me on selected matters with an emphasis upon governance, policy development and dispute resolution.
Dottie joined Villanova in 1989 as its first General Counsel and was promoted in 1998 to Vice President and General Counsel. She was the first woman to serve on what is now called the President’s Cabinet. Dottie created the Office of the Vice President and General Counsel, building a staff that grew over time to meet the increasingly complex needs of the University. She attracted skilled lawyers who were committed to Villanova’s Augustinian and educational mission, which simplified the process of identifying her successor.
At its meeting yesterday, the Board of Trustees approved the appointment of Debra Fickler as Villanova’s new Vice President and General Counsel effective immediately. Debbie had been serving as the University’s Deputy General Counsel. In her new role, she will oversee all of the legal affairs for the University and advise the Board of Trustees, President, officers, deans and directors with respect to a wide variety of legal matters.
Debbie has served twice as Deputy General Counsel for Villanova, from 1998-2004, and returning in 2008. Prior to re-joining Villanova, she served as the first General Counsel of Saint Joseph's University and held the position of its corporate Secretary. Previously, Debbie served as Assistant and then Associate General Counsel at the University of Pennsylvania.
Debbie started her legal career as an Associate in the Philadelphia law firm of Ballard Spahr Andrews & Ingersoll. She also has served as an adjunct law professor at Temple University School of Law and Villanova University School of Law. She earned her bachelor’s degree in education and an MBA from Temple University. Debbie received her law degree from the University of Pennsylvania Law School (J.D., Magna Cum Laude), where she was named to the Order of the Coif and was an Associate Editor of the University of Pennsylvania Law Review.
Debbie is a member of the Bar of the Supreme Court of the United States, the United States Federal Court of Appeals for the 3rd Circuit, the Federal District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania and the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania.
Please join me in welcoming back Dottie and congratulating Debbie on her new role.