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Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer

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Job Details

Work type: Executive Management
Major Administrative Unit / College: Administration
Department: Human Resources 10070642
Sub Area: FAS- Fac./Acad Staff
Salary: Salary Commensurate with Experience
Location: East Lansing
Categories: Human Resources, Executive Management, Full Time (90-100%), Non-Union

Working/Functional Title

Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer

Position Summary

Reporting to the executive vice president for administration and chief information officer, the VP/CHRO will help provide strategic direction and tactical support of institution-wide human capital management and will serve as a proactive partner to the president’s cabinet on all matters related to HR. The VP/CHRO oversees the delivery of HR policies, programs, benefits, and services for approximately 12,000 full- and part-time faculty and staff. The VP/CHRO will work collaboratively across campus to integrate high-quality Human Resources services throughout all facets of the university. Success in this role requires an effective communicator and strategic thought partner with demonstrated experience within a similarly sized and complex environment.


 The successful VP/CHRO will address the following opportunities and challenges:

  • Guide the transformation of the HR function toward becoming a true strategic partner to executive and administrative leadership and the populations served by the HR team, focused on both driving a culture of greater accountability, as well as supporting efforts in promoting MSU as an employer-of-choice.
  • Implement a collaborative strategy to successfully realign MSU’s outdated employee classification system.
  • Lead a service-oriented culture of innovation, accountability, and excellence. Develop and execute a robust talent management strategy that includes effective talent acquisition programs to ensure the appropriate recruitment and long-term retention of faculty, staff, and executive management employees.
  • Drive leadership development, performance management, training, and succession planning programs, geared toward the increasing interest in MSU’s progressive and forward-thinking strategic agenda.
  • Craft a compensation and classification system and strategy to ensure market-based, equitable wage and salary programs, and competitive and cost-effective benefits programs for administration, faculty, and staff.
  • Provide meaningful support to all levels regarding human resources issues. Assure the timely exchange of accurate information, reports, data, documents, trends, as appropriate to effectuate management and decision-making processes.
  • Actively cultivate cooperative and productive relationships with key constituents across the university, while emphasizing transparency and effective communications with the community, and improving the constituent experience.
  • Foster and provide leadership in diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives, ensuring MSU’s workforce honors individuality and protects the rights and dignity of all.

Equal Employment Opportunity Statement

All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, citizenship, disability or protected veteran status.

Required Degree


Minimum Requirements

Qualifications and Experience

The vice president will bring many, if not all, of the following professional qualifications, skills, and experiences:

  • Progressively responsible track record of demonstrated successes supporting a diverse workforce in planning, organizational effectiveness, problem-solving, hiring, retention, facilitation, and decision-making skills and competencies.
  • Demonstrated expertise with a record of achievement in evaluating proactive and competitive human resources practices and presenting recommended courses of action for development to executive and administrative leadership.
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills, as well as strong presentation and influencing skills.
  • Ability to work effectively and productively in a collaborative team capacity with creative approaches to organizational development opportunities.
  • Ability to create and implement effective communications strategies to broadly disseminate information regarding human resources strategies, objectives, and priorities.

Key Required Attributes:

  • A proven track record of fostering change management, process improvement, and development and implementation of effective and efficient business processes.
  • A proven track record of success as an executive HR leader in a higher education setting.
  • Strong management skills with experience working with decentralized and highly autonomous operating units. Demonstrated knowledge of the laws, regulations, and executive orders relating to human resource and affirmative action/equal employment opportunity issues and concerns.
  • Demonstrated expertise in budget management.
  • Participative management style – advocates team collaboration with a strong ability to influence. Ability to collaborate with multiple and diverse constituencies with a strong commitment to service and providing an excellent constituent experience. A history of building and developing teams. Displays empathy.
  • Demonstrated strong negotiation skills to successfully manage leadership and employee expectations.
  • Previous success providing effective coaching to direct reports to optimize their capabilities by providing feedback, advice, and suggestions to ensure success.
  • Ability to provide managerial support as needed, an approachable and compassionate listener.
  • Unquestionable ethics in establishing a workplace environment that promotes the dignity of people and the diversity of talent, while enabling others to serve society.
  • The successful candidate should ideally hold a bachelor’s degree in a relevant field, with an advanced degree preferred.

Required Application Materials


Michigan State University has retained the national executive search firm Isaacson, Miller to assist in this search. All inquiries, nominations, referrals, and applications should be sent in confidence to:

Rebecca Kennedy, Partner Stephanie Simon, Associate Isaacson, Miller

Together-we-will Statement

The university is requiring all MSU students, faculty and staff to be vaccinated against COVID-19 with limited exceptions. Learn more at:

Review of Applications Begins On



MSU Statement

Michigan State University has been advancing the common good with uncommon will for more than 160 years. One of the top research universities in the world, MSU pushes the boundaries of discovery and forges enduring partnerships to solve the most pressing global challenges while providing life-changing opportunities to a diverse and inclusive academic community through more than 200 programs of study in 17 degree-granting colleges.

Advertised: Nov 29, 2021 Eastern Standard Time
Applications close: Nov 29, 2023 Eastern Standard Time


Working at Michigan State University 

Spartans work every day to advance the common good in uncommon ways.

Together, we tackle some of the world’s toughest problems to find solutions that make life better—from alternative energy to better food safety to breakthrough medical and environmental applications achieved through rare isotope research.

We teach. We explore and we discover. We collaborate and lead. We innovate, inspire, and empower. We achieve our potential and create circumstances that help our students and others achieve theirs.

We're good at it, and we've been at it for more than 150 years.

The nation’s pioneer land-grant university, MSU began as a bold experiment that democratized higher education and helped bring science and innovation into everyday life. The revolutionary concept became a model for the nation.

Today, MSU is one of the top research universities in the world—on one of the biggest, greenest campuses in the nation. Home to nationally ranked and recognized academic, residential college, and service-learning programs, we’re a diverse community of dedicated students and scholars, athletes and artists, scientists and leaders.

In ways both practical and profound, we work to create a stronger, more sustainable, and more hopeful future for all.

Top Distinctions

U.S. News & World Report ranks MSU

  • 29th among the nation’s public universities
  • First in the nation for 19 years for graduate programs in elementary and secondary education
  • First in the nation for graduate programs in nuclear physics and industrial and organizational psychology
  • First in the nation for undergraduate program in supply chain

Recognized for 11 consecutive years as one of the top 100 universities in the world by Shanghai Jiao Tong University in its annual Academic Ranking of World Universities

Ranks 46th among public universities for in-state students in Kiplinger’s 2013 edition of Best Values in Public Colleges

Silver rating from the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education’s STARS program, which measures and encourages sustainability in education and research; operations; and planning, administration, and engagement

Member of the prestigious 62-member Association of American Universities

Only university in the country with on-campus medical schools graduating allopathic (MD) and osteopathic (DO) physicians, and veterinarians (DVMs)

Among the largest single-campus residence hall system in the country with 27 halls in five neighborhoods and two apartment villages.


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