Senior Associate Chancellor for Human Resources

University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign
Illinois, United States
Salary Not specified
Jul 12, 2021
Employment Level
Employment Type
Full Time

Senior Associate Chancellor for Human Resources

Office of the Chancellor

University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign

The Opportunity

The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC), the flagship campus for the University of Illinois System, seeks an innovative, strategic, and visionary Chief Human Resources Officer (CHRO) leader to be its next Senior Associate Chancellor for Human Resources (SACHR). Reporting to Chancellor Robert Jones and working collaboratively with the system HR office and campus HR leaders, they will define and implement the next generation of Illinois Human Resources (IHR) strategies and policies that will proactively address university-wide human capital issues and opportunities. The new SACHR will be customer service oriented and capable of communicating adeptly across a broad range of audiences.  They will drive strategic change with a collaborative approach that fuels a culture of innovation and cooperation in the context of a large, complex, public research university. They will also ensure human resources policies and practices address the needs of a 21st century university while complying with state statutes and structures. Of utmost importance, the SACHR will foster an equitable and inclusive workplace environment with a clear focus on campus climate and a sense of belonging. They will bring HR best practices with a constant eye toward dynamic innovation in human capital strategies that ensures UIUC is a career destination for exceptional talent.

The University of Illinois is an Equal Opportunity, Affirmative Action employer that recruits and hires qualified candidates without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, national origin, disability or veteran status. For more information, visit

Challenges and Opportunities for Leadership

The Senior Associate Chancellor for Human Resources’ strategic priorities will include:

  • Strategic Planning: Developing a campus-wide Human Resources strategic plan that will complement the overall university strategic plan and create a roadmap for the IHR of the future that will be proactive, forward looking, and adaptable. IHR will foster a culture of communication, collaboration, and transparency across all human resource functions going forward while providing strategic support for human resources planning.
  • Team Building: Analyzing the IHR organizational structure to ensure the right people are in the right roles; analyzing IHR organizational culture to ensure talent is retained, professional development plans are implemented and employees most effective. Recruiting key talent for pivotal leadership and staff roles to meet campus-wide HR needs and employee commitment and engagement.
  • Policies and Procedures: Assessing current IHR policies and procedures and creating a policy system that provides a broad framework and clear direction for a decentralized campus to maneuver with a degree of autonomy that supports the academic mission of teaching, research, public service, healthcare, and economic development.
  • Talent Management and Development: With an eye toward making both IHR and the university a career destination, designing a complete review of talent management at UIUC including hiring and recruiting; career mapping/ladders, training and talent development; succession planning; and total rewards. This will include leveraging new delivery models that will help ensure employee commitment and engagement.
  • Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion: In partnership with the Office for Access and Equity (OAE), IHR will approach all strategy and work with a DEI lens that will make inclusion and belonging prominent at UIUC and significant for all on campus.
  • Labor and Employee Relations: Serving as an intermediary among labor negotiators, unions, and campus leadership in a complex and continually active labor environment where there are often multiple agreements requiring attention.
  • Government Relations: Strengthening the communication and collaboration among multiple groups including IHR, the State Universities Civil Service System (SUCSS), the University of Illinois System HR office, and the HR offices on the Springfield and Chicago campuses. Leveraging these relationships as resources to accomplish key people objectives with compliance and efficiency.

Core Duties and Responsibilities

The Senior Associate Chancellor for Human Resources has a number of significant responsibility areas at UIUC. These include:

Leadership and Management

  • Serves as a key member of the UIUC leadership team to drive strategies and objectives, and to determine the role and contribution of the human resources function in overall strategy achievement and mission advancement for UIUC.
  • Provides oversight for IHR, which is comprised of the following divisions:
    • Strategic Initiatives (including Dual Career, Wellbeing Services, and Employee Development & Learning)
    • Talent Acquisition
    • Temporary Staffing Services (self-supporting)
    • Compensation, Classification and Records
    • Labor and Employee Relations
    • HR Policy and Administration (including Board Office liaison)
    • HR Business Operations
    • Faculty/Staff Assistance Services
  • Advises the Chancellor and Provost on a wide variety of HR related issues, including potential impact of legislative changes at the federal and state levels.
  • Provides leadership to the UIUC's labor relations function, acting as a key advisor to the Chancellor and Provost. Serves as the final grievance authority on behalf of the Chancellor for positions covered by a collective bargaining agreement.
  • Guides the HR leadership team by establishing a vision and strategic priorities for IHR that are based in service, partnership, curiosity, innovation, and flexibility. Creates a transparent and inclusive culture thereby attracting talented HR professionals.
  • Contributes to the achievement of UIUC strategies and positions the workforce for the future.
  • Establishes accountability for achieving measurable results by leveraging the use of data, analytics, and new technologies to evaluate and advance the contributions of university-wide human resource programs and practices.
  • Ensures HR practices, programs and processes are results-focused, effective, and efficient and drive organizational and individual performance.

 Represents the IHR Office

  • Serves as the State University Civil Service System SUCSS Designated Employer Representative (DER) for the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.
  • Serves as the senior HR administrative contact for the University Ethics Office, the Office of University System Audits, and Legal Counsel.
  • Represents the UIUC on the University System HR Leadership team.
  • Participates and represents the UIUC in the Big Ten Academic Alliance CHRO group. Serves as the UIUC member of the AAU HR Institute.
  • Represents the Office of the Chancellor on various committees such as the Campus Threat Assessment Team, the Council of Academic Professionals, and the Staff Advisory Council.
  • Serve on system-level committees and steering teams related to HR policies, systems, and processes.
  • Partner with the Associate Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer for System HR and the respective chief HR officers at UIC, UIS, and UI Health on various HR initiatives and programs that impact the U of I System.

Key Responsibilities for Campus-Wide Collaboration, Communication, and Enhancement

  • Responsible for communicating key HR information to various constituencies including the Council of Deans, Unit Executive Officers, college and unit HR representatives, and employees. Serves as a resource to these constituent groups offering creative solutions to HR questions while adhering to rules.
  • Partners with faculty employment administrators in the Office of the Provost who oversee provost communications, faculty employee relations, faculty appointment records, dual career program, and faculty shared governance initiatives.
  • Strong advocate for technology innovations to support HR evolving campus HR needs.
  • Supports and directs an organizational culture change process to assure principles and philosophy alignment toward the achievement of institution-wide strategy and goals. Manages transition processes associated with change initiatives.
  • Engages with the UIUC’s shared governance process that assures effective accountability and integration of human resource policy and programs.
  • Grows the educational, professional, and operational skills and competencies of the people within UIUC to enhance their abilities to partner with leaders, deliver results, and provide outstanding service to frontline employee and campus partners.

Champions Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Initiatives

  • Values diversity, equity, and inclusion and builds a culture of respect and engagement.
  • Promotes effective employee services, initiatives and programs that nurture an inclusive and equitable learning and working environment.
  • Consistently engages with personnel to provide coaching, talent management, performance evaluations and work plans, information, and recognition.

The ideal candidate will possess:

Education and Experience

  • Bachelor's degree is required.  Advanced or terminal degree in a related area or equivalent applicable experience is preferred. Successful completion of a professional certification program such as PHR, SPHR, SHRM-CP, or SHRM-SCP preferred.
  • Minimum of ten years of progressively responsible experience in human resources administration. Ten years of related supervisory/management experience.
  • Thorough understanding of the challenges and opportunities at a large, comprehensive, research university or comparably complex enterprise, including public entities.
  • Deep passion and understanding for the missions of teaching and research, as well as an appreciation for the shared governance model of decision-making used in higher education.
  • Track record of managing complex organizations (including those which are heavily matrixed), developing people, and participating as a key member of a senior leadership team in designing and implementing major strategic initiatives and building broad cross-organizational momentum.
  • Core and substantive knowledge of all human resource functional and technical areas, including use of enterprise-wide technology platforms as tools for implementing strategic processes and priorities. Success in the creation, implementation, and integration of progressive human resource and talent systems, processes, and policies in a user-centric environment. Experience designing and implementing compensation structures and practices.
  • Experience leading strategic planning and organizational and culture change with the capability to integrate “people” strategies throughout a complex organization. Experience balancing enterprise strategy with day-to-day operations and aligning human resources with the broader enterprise.
  • Experience prioritizing diversity, equity, and inclusion practices across an organization achieving a culture of belonging and inclusivity for all constituency groups.
  • Experience in an organized labor environment with facility for working with unions, serving as an interface in collective bargaining activities to achieve common goals.


  • Excellent strategic planning and operational management skills with the ability to translate vision and strategy into clear, actionable goals.
  • Knowledgeable about the principles of process improvement, including best practices and techniques in collaborative teaming, organizational effectiveness, etc.
  • Business and financial acumen, as demonstrated by a clear ability to understand the broader strategy and market context of the university, identify its success drivers, and support them effectively both through HR strategies and broader recommendations.
  • Developer, promoter, and enabler of people, policies, and processes, with a proven ability to accelerate the pace of innovation and change across an organization.
  • Ability to appropriately scale functional areas of HR to achieve strategic goals of the organization and adapt talent to the pace of technological advances.
  • Commitment to human development and collaboration and an enthusiasm for advancing UIUC's human capital and organizational effectiveness.
  • Strong commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion, and proven ability to work with a diverse group of employees.
  • Exceptional interpersonal skills that inspire trust and establish rapport.
  • Personal and professional integrity, strong analytical skills and a commitment to collaboration, innovation, flexibility, creativity, and transparency.
  • Natural orientation to mission and service with strong understanding of the academic mission and context.
  • Creative and agile in approach to the business of the academic enterprise.
  • Advanced skills in group and team processes, including facilitation and group problem-solving skills.
  • Excellent presentation and communication skills, with the ability to present information to groups and individuals at all levels of the organization; this should include experience managing key relationships and the ability to communicate complex HR information to non-HR professionals.
  • Embraces the UIUC’s land grant mission and the important role its employees play in addressing the needs of UIUC's global and diverse constituents.
  • Sincere appreciation for the practice of shared governance and its role in decision making within a complex organization promoting a consultative and collaborative culture.
  • Ability to develop consensus and implement key strategies.
  • Flexible; can adjust priorities and accomplish goals in a dynamic and changing environment.

A complete Leadership Profile may be found at:

Nominations and Applications

The Search Committee will begin a review of applications mid-August and continue its work until an appointment is made. To assure full consideration, application materials should be received by August 13, 2021. Candidates should provide:

  • A letter of interest stating how the candidate’s experiences and qualifications connect with the required/preferred characteristics and priorities expressed in the position profile;
  • Curriculum vitae/resume;
  • Statement of contribution to diversity, equity, and inclusion;
  • Five professional references with emails, telephone numbers, and a description of the candidate’s professional relationship with each reference listed (references will not be contacted without prior written authorization from the applicant).
  • Applications and nominations should be sent electronically (PDF or MS Word) to:

 The search is being assisted by:

 Ms. Monica Burton, Principal, / (917) 825-2961

 Dr. Margaret “Peggy” Plympton, / (484) 554-4542

University of Illinois conducts criminal background checks on all job candidates upon acceptance of a contingent offer. Convictions are not a bar to employment. The University of Illinois System requires candidates selected for hire to disclose any documented finding of sexual misconduct or sexual harassment and to authorize inquiries to current and former employers regarding findings of sexual misconduct or sexual harassment. For more information, visit Policy on Consideration of Sexual Misconduct in Prior Employment.  As a qualifying federal contractor, the University of Illinois System uses E-Verify to verify employment eligibility.

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