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Director, Academic Labor and Employee Relations

Illinois State University
Normal, Illinois
Commensurate with experience
Date posted
Apr 11, 2024

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Position Type
Administrative, Academic Affairs
Employment Level
Employment Type
Full Time

Job Details


Job Summary

The Director, Academic Labor and Employee Relations provides strategic and operational leadership to the Academic Labor & Employee Relations (LER) section in the Provost’s Office. The Academic LER section will plan, negotiate, and administer labor contracts for ISU’s academic bargaining units; ISU currently has three academic bargaining units covering 650+/- instructional Tenured and Tenure Track Faculty, 550+/- instructional and clinical Non-Tenure Track Faculty, and 450+/- Graduate Teaching Assistants. In addition to management and oversight of academic labor contracts, the Academic LER section will consult with supervisory staff regarding performance issues for Tenured and Tenure-Track Faculty, Non-Tenure Track Faculty, Faculty Associates at the University’s laboratory schools, and Graduate Assistants.
The Academic LER section in the Provost’s Office is a new section at ISU. The majority of the duties of the Academic LER section are currently performed by the LER section of Human Resources. It is anticipated that the successful candidate will work closely with the LER section of Human Resources and that the Academic duties performed by the LER section of Human Resources will be shifted to the Academic LER section in the Provost’s Office over a period of time to be collaboratively determined by Human Resources and the Provost’s Office.
The duties performed in this role are professional, sensitive, and related to public relations. Extreme judgment is required for union contract negotiations, grievance administration, and discipline. The successful candidate must be able to shift priorities quickly. Problem resolution, research/ investigation, analytical, and persuasive skills are vital in this role.

Salary Rate / Pay Rate

Commensurate with experience

Required Qualifications

1. Advanced degree in a field related to labor relations or human resources (J.D. included)
2. A minimum of 5 years’ experience working in a labor relations environment.
3. A minimum of 5 years' experience serving as a chief spokesperson in union negotiations.
4. A minimum of 5 years' experience administering collective bargaining agreements, including contract interpretation and grievance processing.
5. A minimum of 5 years' experience administering performance management, including coaching and counseling supervisors on discipline steps up to and including the termination/discharge process.
6. Demonstrated ability to address sensitive issues with integrity and in an unbiased and effective manner.
7. Must reflect the collegiality, competence, and professionalism of a senior administrator in the Division of Academic Affairs.
8. Must be capable of consistently exercising professional judgment that represents the mission, values and priorities of the University and the Office of the Provost.
9. Must be comfortable working with ambiguity.
10. Must have strong oral and written communication skills.
11. Must have the ability to organize, analyze and interpret data and have strong attention to detail.
12. Must have the ability to effectively manage multiple priorities and constant interruptions on a daily basis and shift priorities as problems arise.
13. Must have the ability to meet deadlines, work independently, demonstrate initiative, and self-identify the tasks and workflow necessary to accomplish broader objectives.
14. Must have the ability to use Microsoft Office Outlook, Word, Excel, and PowerPoint and have adequate keyboarding skills to allow for the efficient creation of work product.

Preferred Qualifications

1. A record of accomplishment as a scholar or teacher at an accredited University with a doctoral degree or other terminal degree appropriate for the individual’s academic discipline .
2. Leadership experience in academic administration (e.g., Chair, Director, Assistant/Associate Dean, or Dean).
3. Knowledge of academic collective bargaining agreements, the Illinois Educational Labor Relations Act (IELRA)/the Illinois Educational Labor Relations Board (IELRB), and current trends in labor relations.
4. Experience in higher education human resources.
5. Experience in higher education labor relations.
6. Experience conducting compensation analysis.

Work Hours


Functional Expectations

Must be able to complete the following with or without a reasonable accommodation:
1. Remain at a workstation for extended periods
2. Move about in various locations on and off campus as needed to complete day-to-day work
3. Effectively communicate on a daily basis

Proposed Starting Date

June 1, 2024

Required Applicant Documents

Cover Letter
Three References
Writing Sample - Please provide a writing sample from a labor or employee relations capacity, such as a grievance response or letter. Sensitive information can be redacted.

Please Note: These documents are required to be submitted online in order to complete the application process. Please have these documents ready prior to clicking on "Apply"

Special Instructions for Applicants

The review process for job applications will start on April 22nd and will continue until the position is filled.

Contact Information for Applicants

Meghan Lugo,, (309) 438-5680, Human Resources


Illinois State University, founded in 1857, is the oldest public university in Illinois. Illinois State is a co-educational, residential university committed to fostering a small-college atmosphere with large-university opportunities and promoting the highest academic standards in teaching, scholarship, and community service. Serving more than 20,000 students, our six colleges offer 174 undergraduate majors, 97 master’s programs, 17 doctoral degrees, and 40 certificate options. We have repeatedly been named a “Great Place to Work” by the Chronicle of Higher Education.

Illinois State University is committed to and accountable for advancing equity, diversity, and inclusion in all of its forms. We embrace individual uniqueness, foster a culture of inclusion that supports both broad and specific diversity initiatives, leverage the educational and institutional benefits of diversity, and engage all individuals to help them thrive. We value inclusion as a core strength and an essential element of our mission.

Illinois State University is in the Central Illinois community of Bloomington and Normal, with a combined population of approximately 132,000, and conveniently located approximately two hours from both Chicago and St. Louis. The community is home to GROWMARK, Illinois Farm Bureau, State Farm Insurance International Headquarters, Rivian Motors, Illinois Wesleyan University, and Heartland Community College. The community has distinguished itself for its outstanding school systems and educational attainment, parks and recreation, health care, job growth, economic opportunity, and low crime. Please visit the Bloomington-Normal Area Convention & Visitors Bureau website at and Bloomington-Normal Advantage as for more information.

Illinois State University is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer

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