Human Resources Specialist

Amherst, Massachusetts
Sep 24, 2017
Institution Type
Four-Year Institution



Human Resources (HR) Specialist

College of Natural Sciences 


Under the general direction of the Director of Human Resources, the Human Resources (HR) Specialist supports the College of Natural Sciences (CNS) in meeting its operational and strategic objectives, with a high degree of judgment, initiative, and leadership.  Serves as an advisor and consultant on matters related to human resource management, personnel policies and procedures.

About CNS:  CNS includes 13 departments and 2 schools, serves over 7,000 undergraduate students and nearly 1,000 graduate students, and has a presence in 18 buildings on Campus.  In addition, CNS is responsible for five research and education farms and 13 extension offices throughout Massachusetts.  At any one time, CNS maintains approximately 2,200 employee appointments.  Appointment types include tenure system faculty, part-time and full-time lecturers, permanent and temporary staff members, post doctoral research associates, research fellows, graduate teaching assistants, and student employees. 


  • Supervises and directs College personnel support. Maintains current knowledge and understanding of legal and regulatory requirements and Campus policies, practices, and procedures. Responsible for interpreting University HR policies and procedures for the College. Oversees and monitors personnel actions and requests for compliance with the established campus policies, procedures, and guidelines. Interprets contracts to ensure new appointments meet criteria for employment.  Identifies compliance issues and contacts managers to discuss and determine resolution. Consults the Office of the Provost on personnel matters and for policy clarification, as needed. Provides queries and reports and troubleshoots HR questions, as requested. Ensures HR processes throughout the College are coordinated effectively and facilitates the College's transition from paper to electronic processes. Maintains and safeguards confidential personnel records and files. Has Dean level signature authority on personnel actions.
  • Provides oversight and management of personnel processes and actions to include, but not limited to new hires, reappointments, sabbatical leaves, Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), periodic multi-year review (PMYR), anomaly and employee evaluations. Creates and maintains databases for monitoring personnel activity.  Completes complex, college-level personnel actions as required.  Serves as a key resource to departmental staff. Approves (senior) research fellow and postdoctoral research associate positions for submission to the Office of the Provost.  Maintains a database to track pre-UMass postdoctoral experience to determine salary increases, per the union contract.  Consults with the Assistant Graduate Dean in the Graduate School to ensure adherence to all policies.
  • Manages and administers college hiring by advising and assisting appointing authorities and hiring managers in all aspects of the search process for faculty, staff, postdoctoral research associates, (senior) research fellows, and departmental assistants. Facilitates the hiring process by consulting on search committee selection, advertising, formal hire offers, etc. Works with hiring managers to develop clear, accurate and results-oriented job descriptions; oversees the submission of staff classification review requests. Serves as Job Description Resource Person and acts as a liaison with Total Compensation staff to resolve compensation and classification issues. Manages Interview Exchange process, entering positions for posting and determining appropriate time for distributing information to search committees.  Reviews search documentation and ensures compliance with University employment process. Advises on Fair Labor Standards Act issues and compliance.
  • Manages Faculty Additional Compensation process.  Review Additional Compensation forms to ensure compliance with University, State, and Federal Circular A21 rules and regulations.  Reviews submissions and analyzes Principal Investigator eligibility to ensure consistency with federal rules and regulations regarding both description of services and amount of additional compensation requested; reviews grant budget documentation, as needed.  Develops and manages a database to track CNS Faculty Additional Compensation submissions.  Monitors annual base salary limitations specific to respective federal agencies (NSF, NIH).  Contacts departments to determine a resolution if submission is not in alignment with fund or budget.
  • Through the Academic Personnel Workflow System (APWS), coordinates, monitors and assists with tenure, reappointment through tenure decision year (TDY), and promotion cases, ensuring that cases are prepared on time and in accordance with the Red Book and union contract. Works with the Chair(s) of the College Personnel Committee to establish a schedule of meetings to review faculty personnel cases.
  • Recommends staffing needs; hires, trains, and evaluates support staff.  Assesses training and staff development needs, determines additional training needed and implements appropriate programs. Ensures that College-level and department/program supervisors have the tools and information they need to set performance goals, communicate expectations, and conduct evaluations. Develops collaborative working relationships with Central HR.  Organizes and schedules informational human resource meetings for college and departmental personnel representatives.  Creates and writes informational handouts for reference to explain new processes, procedures, or contract updates.



  • Associate’s degree in Human Resources Management, Business Administration, or other Management field, plus 5 years of relevant experience as an HR generalist is required.


  • Knowledge of federal/state employment laws and the ability to interpret and apply academic/HR policies and collective bargaining agreements, required.
  • Must have the ability to speak and write clearly and concisely; work through problems, develop solutions and foster resolution and action; balance numerous demands; evaluate competing priorities, weigh issues prior to taking action, and keep projects moving forward productively and efficiently; provide practical, solution-driven initiatives; handle confidential information in a discreet manner, accept direction; and work cooperatively with others, required.
  • Must have communication skills sufficient to clearly and concisely articulate ideas, concepts and proposals and to interact with a wide range of diverse people; critical thinking skills to conduct complex analyses and research; and facilitation/negotiation skills, required.
  • Must be proficient in Word, Excel, Adobe and able to run queries and navigate the enterprise HR system, required.



  • Bachelor’s degree in Human Resources Management, Business Administration, or other Management field, plus 3 years of relevant experience as an HR generalist is preferred; OR
  • Bachelor’s degree in any field, plus 4 years of relevant experience as an HR generalist is preferred.


  • Experience in higher education is preferred.


  • Certification from Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM) as a Professional in Human Resources (PHR) or Senior Professional in Human Resources is preferred.

Professional Staff Salary Administration Program Position Level 26


The University of Massachusetts is committed to a policy of equal opportunity without regard to race, color, religion, gender, gender identity or expression, age, sexual orientation, national origin, ancestry, disability, military status, or genetic information in employment, admission to and participation in academic programs, activities, and services, and the selection of vendors who provide services or products to the University.  To fulfill that policy, the University of Massachusetts is further committed to a program of affirmative action to eliminate or mitigate artificial barriers and to increase opportunities for the recruitment and advancement of qualified minorities, women, persons with disabilities, and covered veterans.  It is the policy of the University of Massachusetts to comply with the applicable federal and state statues, rules, and regulations concerning equal opportunity and affirmative action.

Applicants should apply by the priority deadline of October 11, 2017 in order to ensure consideration.  Search will remain open until position is filled.  To apply provide a letter of application, resume and contact information for three professional references.

Please apply at:

On-Campus applicants are defined as Amherst Campus non-student employees

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