Throughout his legal career, Mr. Cole has been engaged in a broad general practice that encompassed a wide range of legal matters with emphasis on client counseling, research, writing, policy development, and coordination of litigation efforts with outside counsel. His higher education career began in 1982 at Southwest Texas State University (now Texas State University – San Marcos), where he served as Assistant University Attorney, Students’ Legal Advisor and Assistant to the Dean of Students. From 1984 to 1988, he was University Attorney for East Texas State University (now Texas A & M University-Commerce) and advised clients at that institution’s campuses in Commerce and Texarkana. In addition to providing legal counsel, he also served as Secretary to the Board of Regents and government relations liaison. From 1988 to 2018, Cole served as the chief legal officer of Appalachian State University. In response to requirements of the North Carolina Government Ethics Act, he was appointed to serve as Appalachian’s first ethics liaison to the North Carolina State Ethics Commission and served in that role from 2006 to 2018. He joined Campbell University as Interim General Counsel on October 1, 2020 and transitioned to the position of Deputy General Counsel as of August 2, 2021.
Dayton and his wife, Cathy, have 5 adult children and 8 grandchildren.