WSU general counsel departing after 32 years

Rich Hill, the general counsel at Weber State University, is transitioning roles after 32 years of service.

“I’m not retiring, I’m making a transition,” Hill said.

In his time with the university, Hill tracked issues and gave counsel in over 50 areas of law. Hill said his contributions ranged wide and far, including contract patents, trademarks, grievances, litigations, real estate, among many others.

Hill identified the evolution of Weber State into a full, reputable, four-year university among the most memorable parts of his time with the school.

“When I first came up here, Weber State was a college with about 13,000 students,” Hill said. “It is now a comprehensive, four-year university with multiple master’s degrees.”

Over his 32 years with the university, Hill has seen WSU’s enrollment rise to levels on par with the other large universities in the state. According to their respective enrollment reports, in 1990 the University of Utah had 23,500 enrolled students, Utah State University had 16,400, Brigham Young University had 30,000, Utah Valley University had 8,700 and Weber State University had 13,000.

Comparing that to 2021’s statistics, the UofU had 34,400 enrolled students; USU had 27,400; BYU had 36,400; UVU had 41,200; and WSU had 29,700. From 1990 to 2021, WSU had an increase in enrollment of 128.5%, more than doubling its student body.

Looking to WSU’s future, Hill expressed his desire to see the school continue to grow and shared some thoughts on possible legal issues that may arise. “Freedom of speech, government regulation, diversity and inclusion will probably be the three big issues that the university will be facing in the next ten years,” Hill said.

Hill also mentioned the new Title IX regulations may be coming out soon. Title IX is part of the Education Amendments of 1972. It fights against discrimination based on sex and gender in higher education receiving funding from the federal government.

Hill is still undecided on what the future will hold for him, but did say there are multiple opportunities he is considering. One of these opportunities would still include working with WSU in some capacity.