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The Office of the General Counsel serves as legal counsel to the University of Central Florida Board of Trustees, acting for and on behalf of the University as an institution. Legal services are provided to the Board of Trustees and to the President, Provost, vice presidents, deans, unit heads, and other representatives of the University acting in their capacity as employees. The Office of the General Counsel also serves as legal counsel to the University’s Direct Support Organizations.

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The mission of the Office is to facilitate and advance the education, research, and service missions of the University, by providing: collaborative legal counsel for informed decision-making and creative problem-solving; legal advice and training; reviewing University contracts and other commercial activities; representing and advocating for the University; timely awareness of legislative, regulatory, and legal developments affecting the university. The strategic goals of the Office are: to be a valued and trusted partner, recognized for our creatively, expertise, and commitment to achieving client objectives; to promote legal compliance and minimize legal risk in a way that does not necessarily delay the achievement of the University’s objectives; and to maintain the highest standards of professional ethics and integrity.

Youndy C. Cook, serves as Vice President and General Counsel.

Youndy Cook

Youndy C. Cook, serves as Vice President and General Counsel. As the General Counsel, she leads the Office of the General Counsel in providing legal services to the entire University and its DSOs.

Our Team

For information on specific attorney practice visit our Attorney Areas by Specialty page by clicking the link.



Areas of responsibility

Areas of responsibility



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Onchantho Am

Associate General Counsel, College of Medicine

Dawn Castro

Associate Director for Gift Administration

Jordan Clark

Associate General Counsel

Nicholas Colon

Contract Coordinator

Elimar Diaz Martinez

Legal Assistant II

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Maria Ffrench

Legal Services Coordinator

Rebecca Hanus

Associate General Counsel


Christopher Johnson

Legal Assistant

Shainoor Ladha-Karmali

Associate General Counsel, College of Medicine; HIPAA Privacy Officer

Amanda Leite

Legal Services Coordinator

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John Malek

Principal Legal Counsel, Health Affairs

Melanie Meisner

Senior Coordinator and Contracts Manager

Craig Novick

Associate General Counsel

Tanya Perry

Legal Services Coordinator

Rebecca Pluguez


Sara Potter

Associate General Counsel

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Paula Sagarino

Manager for Health Affairs Initiatives

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Sandra Sovinski

Deputy General Counsel, Office of Research

Richard Welsh

Senior Associate General Counsel

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Robert Wilson

Senior Associate General Counsel, Office of Research

Clerk of the University

Located in the General Counsel’s Office in Millican Hall 360, the Clerk of the University handles all petitions and/or requests to the University of Central Florida. The current Clerk of the University is Rebecca Pluguez. The documents that must be filed in this office include the following:

  • Petitions to adopt, amend, or appeal a regulation;
  • Requests for copies of a proposed regulation;
  • Requests for notice of regulation-making meetings and public hearings on proposed regulations