Human Resources Partner, Academic Affairs Division

Providence, Rhode Island
Jul 10, 2018
Institution Type
Four-Year Institution

Rhode Island School of Design (RISD or the College) seeks a talented and experienced human resources professional to provide support and services to Academic Affairs. The Office of Human Resources supports RISD’s vibrant community by offering a variety of programs and services that are designed to meet the personal and professional needs of its employees. The Human Resources team is committed to furthering RISD’s vision of creating and sustaining a diverse, equitable and inclusive community.

Founded in 1877, RISD has earned an international reputation as a leader in art and design education. It is recognized for its renowned faculty of artists and designers, the breadth of its specialized facilities, and the intensity of its studio-based approach to learning—an approach where critical thinking informs the making of works by hand. Approximately 2,500 students from around the world study at RISD, pursuing full-time bachelor’s or master’s degree programs in 19 fine arts, architecture, or design majors, complemented by essential study in the liberal arts.

The RISD Museum, with the third largest college or university museum collection in the country, is an integral part of the institution and a resource for the College and the larger community. RISD’s mission incorporates artistic and scholarly achievement with social impact, and the institution has played a vital role in preparing students for leadership roles in all sectors, as demonstrated through the outstanding and varied accomplishments of its 27,000 alumni.

The College is located in Providence, Rhode Island, which offers its own vibrant art scene and is conveniently located between two other major cultural centers: Boston and New York. The RISD campus is contiguous with the campus of Brown University and the two institutions share social, academic, and community resources.

The Human Resources Partner (HRP) is a strategic and trusted liaison who supports diversity, inclusion, and equity initiatives, and the development and delivery of human resources policy, programs, and services for employees and departments that make up Academic Affairs. Reporting to the Director of Employment and Employee Development, the Human Resources Partner will join RISD at an exciting time as the inaugural Vice President of Social, Equity and Inclusion will lead the implementation of the Social Equity Inclusion Action Plan to operationalize the vision through formulating policy, evaluating progress, identifying opportunities, and locating areas of concern across the campus.

The successful HRP will demonstrate the knowledge and skill to engage across a wide variety of individuals and identities through meaningful interactions characterized by respect, mutual understanding, and reciprocity. The HRP will promote a culture of inclusion, providing advice and counsel aimed at enhancing performance through coaching, counseling, training, and career development. The successful candidate will provide advice and recruiting expertise to search committees and individual hiring areas to creatively source, relocate, and retain talented and diverse faculty and staff; provide accurate and robust advice, interpretation, and guidance to employees and managers regarding the full range of human resources and College policies and processes; work within federal and state laws to minimize risk for the College and to support the day to day needs of the Academic Affairs in resolving complex problems. The HRP will conduct investigations in response to Title VII and Title IX allegations, and partner with internal or external subject matter experts in delivering a full range of integrated HR solutions to the division of academic affairs.

The successful candidate will possess a bachelor’s degree in a related field or equivalent combination of education and experience with significant experience advising directly on a range of human resources, management and employee related issues within a complex environment. RISD is seeking a human resources generalist with a knowledge of multiple human resources disciplines, strong knowledge of federal and state laws and regulations including Title VII and Title IX, and a demonstrated understanding of inclusion and diversity issues in the workplace.

The ideal candidate will champion and promote a workplace that is supportive of its members regardless of their identities and beliefs, and is genuinely open to multiple perspectives. The successful candidate will exhibit experience partnering with divisional leaders, managers, and employees on a wide variety of human resources issues, and will demonstrate strong interpersonal, communication, presentation, and listening skills. The ability to build trust and work collaboratively with all members of the community is integral to this role. The successful candidate will have the capacity to deal with ambiguity and navigate paradox in recommending solutions. A candidate who is bi-or multilingual and has prior union experience is desirable.

Review of applications will begin August 7, 2018 and continue until the position is filled. A resume and cover letter explaining how the applicant meets the qualifications specified in this announcement may be submitted via the Spelman Johnson website at Confidential inquiries and nominations for this position may be emailed to Ellen Heffernan at [email protected]. Applicants needing reasonable accommodation to participate in the application process should contact Spelman Johnson at 413-529-2895.

Visit the Rhode Island School of Design website at:

Rhode Island School of Design recognizes diversity and inclusivity as fundamental to its learning community and integral to an art and design education. We welcome candidates whose experience in leadership and higher education has prepared them to contribute to our commitment to diversity and excellence. RISD is an Equal Opportunity Employer. Employment decisions are made without regard to race, color, religion, sex, age, national origin, disability, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, genetics, or any other protected characteristic as established by law.

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