Vice President for Human Resources

Michigan, United States
Salary Not specified
May 12, 2021
Position Type
Executive, Other Executive
Employment Level
Employment Type
Full Time


Oakland University (OU) invites applications and nominations for the position of Vice President for Human Resources (VP/HR) (

Oakland University seeks an accomplished, dynamic, and visionary leader who fosters innovation and collaboration in a shared governance environment.

Reporting to the Chief of Staff, the Vice President for Human Resources (VP/HR) will have university-wide accountability for proactively leading human capital strategies and programs to build an effective and inclusive high-performance culture. The VP/HR leads, directs, implements, and exercises primary responsibility for all HR functions advancing best practices and human capital strategies in support of university goals.

The VP/HR will work closely with all executives, deans, academic departments and programs, faculty and staff in establishing and maintaining positive employee/labor relations. The successful candidate will be forward-thinking with the ability to cultivate trust. The VP/HR serves as a trusted confidante and problem-solver on some of the University's most sensitive and important issues and nurtures a spirit of mutual respect through open and effective communication, that leads to principled agreement and consensus.

The preferred candidate will be an experienced strategist who can develop an organization that is adaptive to change with comparable experience leading in a multi-faceted complex organizational environment with both centralized and decentralized operations. The VP/HR will have a proven track record of innovation, inclusive excellence and best practices when partnering across an organization and improving an organization's capability through the alignment of strategy, structure, people, rewards, metrics, and management processes. The VP/HR will leverage HR to accomplish key business objectives, implement cultural and organizational change, and ensure that the university has the capability, leadership, and bench strength to achieve its mission and long-term growth strategies.

• Bachelor's degree is required. A Master's or advanced degree in Human Resources, Business Administration, Public Administration, or a related field is strongly preferred. Additional professional HR certifications are also strongly preferred;
• Minimum of ten (10) years of proven and progressive leadership in HR operations and HR management experience in functional areas including, but not limited to, talent acquisition, classification and compensation, employee records and information systems, training and development, benefits administration, labor/employee relations, performance management, faculty and staff appointments and employee recognition;
• Basic knowledge of higher education HR policies and practices; knowledge of promotion and tenure processes and faculty governance preferred;
• Experience working in higher education or in a multi-faceted complex organizational environment with both centralized and decentralized operations;
• Experience managing represented and non-represented employee groups including responsibility for negotiating and administering collective bargaining agreements;
• Effective working knowledge of federal, state, labor and employment laws and regulations including Occupational Safety and Health Administration and workers' compensation reporting requirements;
• Excellent organizational, analytical, oral and written communication skills for articulate and persuasive communication and problem solving;
• Demonstrated commitment and experience to the enrichment of diversity of faculty and staff. Demonstrated knowledge and relevant abilities regarding diversity and diversity related issues important to the success of the university, including but not limited to national, regional, and state demographic trends and diversity in the workforce;
• Strong strategic visionary, with skills and ability to work with the executive team to develop an empowered, service-oriented culture and set direction for future;
• Dynamic, visible leader with excellent interpersonal skills and ability to interact with staff and faculty at all levels and cultures, with demonstrated record of collaboration and building partnerships to help shape the university and meet future demographic challenges;
• Technical savvy to drive efficiencies and engage workforce through innovations in technology solutions;
• Ability to expand leadership development to create agile leaders and workforce who can handle continuous change;
• Influential leader with ability to drive culture change and high performance in a multi-generational, globally diverse employee population in support of the vision of Oakland University;
• Skill in budget preparation and fiscal management.

Founded as Michigan State University-Oakland in 1957 following the unique donation of the vast Matilda and Alfred Wilson estate to support higher education, Oakland University (OU) ( is one of 15 public universities, located in southeastern Michigan. Oakland is classified by the Carnegie Foundation as a doctoral institution with "high research activity". OU has grown into a student-centered research institution with a global perspective. Operating independently since 1970, the University serves a diverse student population, and the institution is woven deeply into its surrounding community. Over its history, the University has grown to serve nearly 20,000 students, over 600 full-time and 200 bargaining unit part-time faculty and offers more than 140 bachelor's degree programs and 130 doctoral, master's degree and certificate programs. In addition to the main campus, OU delivers courses at the Anton Frankel Center and the Macomb University Center. With a strong foundation in the liberal arts and a robust cadre of professional schools, OU is poised to build upon its bold and remarkable past as it charts an exciting and even more powerful future. Guided by the University's 2025 Strategic Plan and Reimagining Oakland University (ROU), efforts are underway to enhance student success, grow research and scholarly activity, advance diversity, equity and inclusion, and expand the institution's visibility both in the region and nationally.

Applications should include a letter of application and curriculum vitae. Applications and nominations will be accepted until the position is filled. Confidential review of materials and screening of candidates will begin immediately. Harris Search Associates is assisting Oakland University for this search. Please send your application to the email address below or contact Jeffrey Harris, Managing Partner, for further details.

Tel: 614-798-8500
Cell: 614-354-2100

Creating and maintaining a diverse, equitable and inclusive campus is a strategic priority for Oakland University. OU seeks applications from individuals who are interested in and committed to supporting and advancing its DEI institutional values. Oakland University encourages all qualified applicants to apply and be assured that there shall be no discrimination on the basis of race, sex, color, gender identity, gender expression, religion, national origin or ancestry, age, height, weight, familial status, marital status, disability, creed, sexual orientation, veteran status or other prohibited factors in employment, admissions, educational programs or activities.

Oakland University is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer committed to fostering a diverse, equitable and family-friendly environment in which all faculty and staff can excel and achieve work-life balance.