University hires new legal counsel

The University of La Verne has appointed Hima Vatti as the new general counsel. Vatti replaces Doajo Hicks, who left the University in October of 2022. 

In her position Vatti, who comes to the University from Caltech, will provide legal support and guidance to the University in decisions involving areas of operation, instruction, research and administration.

“It (will) be really useful to have somebody to guide us in this field, and just have another member of the cabinet with expertise in the law,” said University President Pardis Mahdavi. “I think it will be very beneficial to all of us.”

Mahdavi introduced Vatti to the Faculty Senate during Monday’s Senate meeting. 

“I just really enjoyed my first couple of weeks here,” Vatti said during the Senate meeting. “Everyone has just been so friendly and welcoming, and I just really have been impressed with everyone, with everyone’s care for the University… And also our students, and I have to say one thing that’s really impressed me with this campus is how friendly our students are.”

Vatti, who declined to be interviewed by the Campus Times, started here last month. She brings to the president’s leadership team almost 20 years of experience as a lawyer and senior administrator in higher education. 

At Caltech for 15 years, Vatti served as an associate general counsel before beginning her role as Caltech’s assistant vice president for equity and equality investigations and Title IX coordinator. 

Previously, Vatti served as a trial lawyer for the U.S. Department of Justice, Civil Division; litigation counsel for the law firm O’Melveny & Myers LLP;  and as a Peace Corps Volunteer. Her first job in higher education was as associate director of Cornell’s office of research integrity and assurance.

Vatti earned her bachelor of arts in art history from Stanford and her juris doctor at Harvard. 

“She has a strong background both in higher ed and in the law, and so she was just a great fit,” Mahdavi said.

– Megan Mojica 

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