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Former SGA president T.J. Eaves returns as assistant general counsel

T.J. Eaves, former Student Government Association president at Western Carolina University, has returned to his alma mater in a new role – assistant general counsel.

Eaves, who earned his bachelor’s degree in business administration from WCU in 2012 before going on to obtain his law degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2015, has joined the university’s Office of Legal Counsel after serving as an assistant district attorney in Wake County for nearly four years.

T.J. Eaves

In his new position, Eaves will tackle a variety of legal matters in the areas of labor and employment, contracts, constitutional law, civil rights, open meetings, public records, law enforcement, administrative litigation, compliance, risk management, taxation, health care, construction, real estate, immigration, utilities, and ethics and conflicts of interest. He also will handle legal issues in the realm of athletics, student discipline and affairs, governance, information technology, policy development and review, intellectual property, technology transfer and sponsored research.

“We are glad to welcome T.J. Eaves back to Western Carolina University as part of the legal team,” said Shea Browning, general counsel. “His experience as a member of the Wake County District Attorney’s Office, his familiarity with the university’s structure and his interactions with many campus leaders from his time as SGA president leave him well-positioned to succeed in the role of assistant general counsel.”

As an assistant district attorney for Wake County, Eaves was responsible for Superior Court misdemeanor appeals and probation violations, trial preparation, case litigation and case management. He served as lead assistant district attorney for misdemeanor sex crimes and drunken driving specialty courtrooms, and he has Superior Court trial experience in felony drug, first-degree murder and obstruction of justice cases and in various misdemeanor offenses.

A member of the North Carolina Bar Association since 2015, Eaves serves on the Western Carolina University Alumni Board. He was an ex-officio member of the WCU Board of Trustees while he was SGA president, and he spoke during the March 2012 installation ceremony of late Chancellor David O. Belcher.

“As a graduate of WCU, it is a dream come true that I am able to return to such a special place,” Eaves said. “My time as student body president allowed me to work closely with Chancellor Belcher, and his legacy motivated me to return to higher education. As we welcome our next leader and look forward to the future of WCU, I am thrilled to be a part of the team.”

On the job at WCU since March 11, Eaves is filling a vacancy in the office created by the departure of J. Wesley Chancey, associate general counsel and Title IX coordinator.

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