Aaron D. Lacey, Partner
Direct (314) 552-6405
Fax (314) 552-7405
An experienced higher education attorney, with time served both as outside and in-house counsel, Aaron's practice is dedicated entirely to assisting postsecondary institutions and their partners to advance their educational and operational objectives while navigating complex regulatory environments. The former Senior Vice President of Regulatory Affairs & Strategic Development for Vatterott Educational Centers, Inc., Aaron deeply appreciates the ever-increasing regulatory considerations that affect the day-to-day operations of postsecondary institutions, and the practical challenges associated with managing such considerations in a manner that is both efficient and cost effective.
Aaron counsels clients with regard to the myriad federal, state, and accrediting agency laws and standards that govern institutions of higher education, and has experience relating to the Title IV federal financial aid programs, institutional disclosures and reporting, and the requirements of the Clery Act, HIPAA/FERPA, Title IX, ADA, TILA, SEVIS, and Export Controls. Aaron also represents institutions and lenders in administrative proceedings before state licensing entities, accrediting agencies, and the U.S. Department of Education, to include matters arising from audits, program reviews, and investigations of the Office of Inspector General.
In support of institutional initiatives, Aaron assists clients with the management of regulatory and government agency relationships, postsecondary mergers and acquisitions, contract drafting and negotiation, policy creation and implementation, strategic planning, and compliance systems design.
In his position at Vatterott, Aaron oversaw regulatory, compliance, and government affairs matters for Vatterott's 24 campus locations in the Midwest and Southeast United States, as well as for its online division. He managed all company interactions with postsecondary regulators, including those relating to audits, investigations, reporting and licensing requirements, student and employee complaints, and institutional development. Aaron also provided legal counsel on the federal, state, and accreditor provisions applicable to the company's schools, and managed aspects of the company's public relations and strategic development efforts.
Before joining Vatterott, Aaron served for nearly eight years as a postsecondary education attorney in Washington, D.C. There he provided regulatory and policy guidance to postsecondary institutions, represented them in federal, state, and accreditor proceedings, and assisted them in the drafting and negotiation of a wide variety of agreements, including domestic and international articulation, consortium, licensing, marketing, and agency contracts, and in the case of institutional sales and acquisitions, stock and asset purchase agreements.