Jeffrey Orleans’ practice is in higher education law, with specialties in athletics governance and administration, Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, generally and in athletics specifically, and other issues in discrimination and affirmative action, governance, and employment. He is also a consultant to the Knight Commission on Intercollegiate Athletics, a member and immediate past Co-Chair of the NCAA Gender Equity Task Force, the court-appointed referee for Quinnipiac University’s Title IX consent degree, and a steering committee member for a Princeton University project in home-based early-childhood development services.

Jeff brings to this work over four decades of legal, policy, and administrative leadership as government attorney, university counsel, conference commissioner, NCAA governance participant, and outside counsel and consultant – working in and with organizations of all sizes and scopes, across both traditional and emerging issues in college athletics and civil rights, and making consistent publication, teaching. and professional contributions throughout his career.

Jeff’s athletics work has included every type of conference and institution in all three NCAA Divisions, and is broadly informed by long experience across other campus areas, including admissions and financial aid, governance and due process, town-gown relations, and responses to social issues such as fair labor standards and endowment investment criteria. He focuses not only on knowing and complying with the law, but on helping institutions build strong, compliant, and financially sustainable athletics programs.

Jeff’s career has focused on cutting-edge areas, starting as a new attorney in the U.S. Department of Health Education and Welfare in 1972 when he helped to write the original regulation implementing Title IX’s sex-discrimination provisions, and co-authored the first law review article about Title IX. His recent work addresses college athletes’ speaking out about public issues, and the question of whether “revenue-sport” athletes should or could be “paid to play.”

Career highlights include:

  • Consultant to NCAA institutions and conferences in athletics strategic planning, leadership, administration, and gender equity, and for executive searches, beginning 2009
  • Executive Director, Council of Ivy Group Presidents (Commissioner of the Ivy League), the nation’s broadest-based Division I athletics conference, 1984-2009
  • Special Assistant to the President, University of North Carolina system, focusing on system-wide desegregation, implementing Title IX and Section 504 of the 1973 Rehabilitation Act, and faculty governance/due-process (co-author, U.S. Supreme Court amicus brief in Southeastern Community College), 1975-1984
  • Attorney, Civil Rights Division, Department of HEW and Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, focusing on Titles VI/VII of 1964 Civil Rights Act, Title IX, and Executive Order 11246, 1971-1975

Jeff is a former adjunct faculty member at Princeton University’s Center for Human Values and Woodrow Wilson School of Public & International Affairs. He and his wife, C. Tracy Orleans, Ph.D., Senior Scientist at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, have two adult sons. Interests include the San Francisco Giants; U.S. and Native American history, politics, archaeology,  railroads, geology, astronomy, and cosmology.

  • Honored by the Ivy League Presidents by naming of Ivy League Men’s & Women’s Cross-Country Championship Trophies (2009)
  • Princeton University’s Varsity Athletics Club Marvin Bressler Award honoree, for advancing the lessons taught by Athletics (2009)
  • Columbia University/Barnard College Athletics Consortium honoree for career-long leadership to enhance athletic opportunities for girls and women (2004)
  • Named NACUA Fellow in recognition of exemplary service in the practice of law on behalf of college and university clients (1990)
  • Ivy League responsibilities included NCAA/Ivy governance, rules administration and championships for 8000 athletes annually in 33 sports, development of broad-based women’s opportunities, definition/administration of Ivy athletic admissions and amateurism standards, and coordinating initial Ivy responses to international fair labor standards issues
  • Recent/current NCAA consultant and speaker with regard to Title IX, “adaptive” athletics opportunities pursuant to Section 504, and environmentally sustainable athletics. NCAA governance service in addition to current Gender Equity Task Force includes NCAA Division I Leadership and Management Councils, initial (1993) Gender Equity Task Force, Restructuring and Financial Aid/Amateurism Committees, and Collegiate and University Commissioners Associations
  • National Association of College and University Attorneys (NACUA) member beginning 1978; service includes Board of Directors, Journal of College and University Law Co-Editor and Editorial Board/Publications Committee service and Co-Chair 1979-83), presenter at numerous Annual Conferences and continuing legal education programs
  • Creator, publisher and executive editor for online Ivy League 50th Anniversary (2006-2007), Ivy League Women’s Championships 25th Anniversary year-long celebration (1998-1999), and annual written and online Ivy League Black History celebrations
  • Founding Board member and former Secretary, Princeton (NJ) Parks & Recreation Fund; former Co-President, Princeton Regional High School Scholarship Foundation
  • Committee service for the National Association of State Universities and Land-Grant Colleges, American Council on Education, National Association of College & University Business Officers
  • Participant in the NJ Public Defender Office of Dispute Settlement’s Civil Mediation Course (2011) and the New York City Support Center for Nonprofit Management’s Interim Executive Director Course
  • Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Expert Panel on Student Risky Drinking (2009-10)



Jeffrey Orleans has written for numerous publications, including Journal of College and University Law, Duke Journal of Gender Law & Policy, Journal of Law and Education Record, NCAA News, New York Times, University of Connecticut Law Review


J.D., Yale Law School, 1971

B.A., Yale College, 1967, cum laude

Fellow in Public Affairs, CORO Foundation (San Francisco) – 1967-68


District of Columbia