Vice President for Human Resources and Chief Human Resources Officer

Pennsylvania State University, University Park
University Park, Pennsylvania
Sep 18, 2017
Executive Administration Jobs
Vice Presidents
Institution Type
Four-Year Institution

The Pennsylvania State University, one of the country’s most highly regarded universities, seeks an accomplished and visionary leader to serve in the critically important role of Vice President of Human Resources and Chief Human Resources Officer. This executive will have university-wide accountability for human resources policies and practices (except Penn State Health). As a member of the President’s senior executive council, the CHRO will provide leadership across all human resources organizations and foster strategic collaborations that drive organizational effectiveness in support of the university’s mission and vision.

Penn State is a public, land-grant, research-intensive university with campuses and facilities throughout Pennsylvania. Founded in 1855, the university has a threefold mission of teaching, research, and public service. Its instructional mission includes undergraduate, graduate, professional and continuing education offered through resident instruction and online delivery. Annual enrollment at its 24 campuses totals more than 100,000 graduate and undergraduate students, making it one of the largest universities in the United States.

Penn State Human Resources strives to deliver solutions that attract, retain, and engage a diverse workforce that will contribute to the university’s identity as a world leader in higher education. Penn State’s CHRO will be the principal steward for the university’s human capital, providing strategic leadership and service to sustain the university’s reputation as an employer of choice. The CHRO will establish and promote a vision and strategy that attracts, develops, and supports a workforce of human resources professionals who will advance the university’s mission.

The new CHRO will play a pivotal role in fully implementing a comprehensive transformation of HR policies, practices, and technologies over the next several years. This is a unique opportunity to complete the design and implementation of an HR system and culture specifically tailored to adding value to a world-class research institution. As the university adopts this comprehensive plan, it seeks a CHRO with a successful track record of leadership and management during a period of significant institutional change.

This is an outstanding leadership opportunity that requires an innovative, highly driven executive who is connected and engaged with faculty and staff, and focused on contemporary human resource delivery practices. The successful candidate will possess broad human resources knowledge; expertise in strategic, collaborative, and consultative services; a sophisticated approach to organizational leadership; and technical expertise in key areas of human resources. This leader will also bring experience leading human resources staff and programs in very large, complex, and multi-discipline enterprises.

The CHRO will demonstrate the core competencies and personal traits necessary for success, including intelligence, sound judgment, strong problem-solving skills, diplomacy, political savvy, a direct and open communication style, decisiveness, tolerance for organizational ambiguity, cultural awareness and sensitivity, and personal confidence and humility.

Nominations, expressions of interest, and applications should be sent via email to the university’s consultants, John K. Thornburgh and Melissa Fincher, at  To receive full consideration, applications should be received by November 15, 2017.  Please review the responsibilities and requirements described in the leadership profile available at

The University is committed to equal access to programs, facilities, admission and employment for all persons. It is the policy of the University to maintain an environment free of harassment and free of discrimination against any person because of age, race, color, ancestry, national origin, religion, creed, service in the uniformed services (as defined in state and federal law), veteran status, sex, sexual orientation, marital or family status, pregnancy, pregnancy-related conditions, physical or mental disability, gender, perceived gender, gender identity, genetic information or political ideas. Discriminatory conduct and harassment, as well as sexual misconduct and relationship violence, violates the dignity of individuals, impedes the realization of the University’s educational mission, and will not be tolerated.

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