Bladen County native elected to national board of directors


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GREENVILLE – The vice chancellor for legal affairs for East Carolina University, who is also a native of Bladen County, has been elected to the board of the National Association of College and University Attorneys.

Donna Gooden Payne, university counsel and vice chancellor for legal affairs at ECU, was elected June 28 to a three-year term as a member-at-large on the Board of Directors of the National Association of College and University Attorneys during its annual conference in San Francisco.

The board is composed of attorneys representing universities across the country, currently including Princeton University, University of Kentucky, the University of Michigan and Yale University.

Payne, a member of NACUA since 2002, has served for eight years on NACUA’s Editorial Board for The Journal of College and University Law. In addition, she has also served on the NACUNOTES Editorial Board, the Committee on Legal Education and the Committee on Program for the Annual Conference.

Prior to joining ECU in 2008, Payne served as university attorney and chief of staff at The University of North Carolina at Pembroke and as a partner and associate at Hester, Grady, Hester & Payne in Elizabethtown. While in private practice, she served as general counsel for Bladen Community College and for the Bladen County Board of Education.

Payne’s nonprofit board experience includes among others serving at the national level on the Board of Directors of the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs. She is a member of the American Health Lawyers Association and a certified mediator, including past service to the NC Office of State Personnel in its employee mediation and grievance process.

Payne is a graduate of East Bladen High School and The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where she was a Morehead Scholar. She earned her law degree from the University of Texas at Austin.

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