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Office Of Legal Affairs, Ethics, and Compliance

About Us

Craig E. Burgess, J.D.

Position: General Counsel
Office: Richards Hall 205
Phone: 706-507-8234


B.S., The Citadel
J.D., University of South Carolina

License: South Carolina (1992); Georgia (2009)


Craig Burgess, Columbus State University's first General Counsel, joined CSU in June 2016. Burgess was General Counsel of South Carolina State University immediately prior to CSU, providing counsel to the land-grant HBCU as it endured numerous regulatory and accreditation challenges, as well as spearheading SCSU's response to several state and federal investigations. Licensed in Georgia and South Carolina, Burgess is a seasoned trial attorney with more than 40 trials as first-chair counsel in federal and state courts. His more than 25 years of legal experience includes his tenure as an Associate and Partner with Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough, LLC in Charleston, South Carolina and Senior Litigation Counsel for BellSouth and AT&T in Atlanta, Georgia.

Mr. Burgess is currently pursuing a Master of Science in Cybersecurity Management from the TSYS School of Computer Science, a unit of the D. Abbott Turner School of Business. He is also teaching a Department of Criminal Justice course, Mock Trial and Advocacy, during Spring Semester 2020.

Richard Barrow, J.D.

Position: Director, Office of Risk Management
Office: Richards Hall 206A
Phone: 706-507-8233


B.B.A., Columbus State University
J.D., Thomas Goode Jones School of Law, Faulkner University


Ric Barrow is the first full-time Director of Risk Management for Columbus State University. He joined in 2015, and was under the Vice President of Business and Finance; and he has recently been added to the General Counsel's team. He was born and raised in Columbus, GA, graduating from Columbus High in 2005; Columbus State with a BBA in Marketing in 2009; and his Juris Doctorate at Faulkner University in 2012. While at Faulker he was a member of the Phi Alpha Delta legal fraternity, held a 3L practice card in which he was counsel for multiple cases for the Family Violence Clinic, and he was honored as a Public Interest Fellow after completing the required Pro-Bono work. He lives in Columbus now with his wife Laura Beth Barrow and their daughter, Wren.

Sarah Secoy

Position: Interim Director, Center for Accommodation and Access / Title IX Compliance Coordinator
Office: Schuster Center 110
Phone: 706-507-8755

Shanita L. Pettaway, J.D., Ph.D.

Position: Contracts Manager and Policy Coordinator
Office: Richards Hall 206
Phone: 706-507-8904


MPA, Southern University and A&M College
M.Ed., Auburn University
G.Cert., College and University Teaching, Auburn University
J.D., Southern University Law Center
Ph.D., Auburn University


Dr. Shanita L. Pettaway serves as the University's Contracts Manager and Policy Coordinator. She holds a Doctor of Philosophy, Administration of Higher Education, from Auburn University, a Juris Doctor from Southern University Law Center, a Master of Public Administration from Southern University and A & M College, a Master of Education, Administration of Higher Education, from Auburn University, and a Graduate Certificate in College and University Teaching from Auburn University. She is a recipient of the President's Graduate Opportunities Fellowship (2017), Auburn University; Dr. Imogene Mathison Mixson Endowment Graduate Award, Auburn University (2016); and Chancellor's Public Service Award, Southern University Law Center (2011). She is an inductee of Phi Beta Lambda Business Fraternity, Alpha Kappa Mu National Honor Society, Delta Mu Delta International Honor Society, Phi Alpha Delta Law Fraternity, Golden Key International Honor Society, and The Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi.