Director of HR - School of Public Health & Health Sciences

Job Details

Job no: 514051
Work type: Staff Full Time
Location: UMass Amherst
Department: Dean - Pub Health & Health Sci
Union: Non-Unit Exempt
Categories: Human Resources

About UMass Amherst

UMass Amherst, the Commonwealth's flagship campus, is a nationally ranked public research university offering a full range of undergraduate, graduate and professional degrees. The University sits on nearly 1,450-acres in the scenic Pioneer Valley of Western Massachusetts, and offers a rich cultural environment in a bucolic setting close to major urban centers. In addition, the University is part of the Five Colleges (including Amherst College, Hampshire College, Mount Holyoke College, and Smith College), which adds to the intellectual energy of the region.

Job Summary

The Director of Human Resources reports directly to the Associate Dean of Administration and Finance in the School of Public Health and Health Sciences (SPHHS). Works with Department Chairs and provides functional supervision to department administrative support staff to ensure work related to personnel matters is accurate and completed in accordance with University policies. Serves as the primary resource for the School regarding all matters relative to campus personnel policies and procedures, and serves as the primary liaison with management level campus offices relating to personnel matters.

Essential Functions

  • Human Resources:
    • Works with Talent Management to develop recruitment strategies and identify ways to strengthen applicant pools. Manages the requisition and offer processes. Provides search committee members with guidance and training on relevant recruitment processes. Responsible for ensuring that the School complies with all State and Federal regulations as well as University search procedures.
    • Advises managers and administration on all classification and compensation policies, guidelines, and procedures.
    • Works with managers within the School to develop clear, accurate, and results-oriented job descriptions for all positions and oversees all classification requests. Ensures compliance with the Fair Labor Standards Act. Makes compensation recommendations to managers in conjunction with Compensation based on employees in similar positions within the School or the University as well as trends within the field or the market. Works with managers to prepare high salary justifications.
    • Oversees the equity review process for the School and works with Compensation to ensure that employees' salaries are competitive (allows for the hiring and retention of the best employees) and meet strategic goals. Works directly with the Associate Deans, and Chairs to evaluate faculty salary increase requests; provides data, analyzes any inequities, and makes recommendations.
    • Reviews and prepares all personnel paperwork such as requisitions, search records, offer and acceptance forms, personnel action forms, reappointments, leaves, etc. on behalf of the Chairs or Dean. Ensures that personnel actions are prepared in accordance with established campus policies, procedures, and guidelines.
    • Responsible for managing School adherence to all university or union policies related to personnel actions such as sabbaticals, promotion & tenure, etc. Guides managers and the Personnel Committees on relevant personnel procedures; Ensures that processes such as promotion and tenure are done in a timely and consistent manner and that any recommendations are thorough, accurate, and redacted to ensure reviewer anonymity.
    • Manages personnel deadlines for the School; creates and manages databases and other tracking tools for monitoring all personnel actions such as staff & faculty evaluations, reappointments, sabbaticals and other leaves, etc. and their related deadlines.
    • Designs and manages the faculty and staff on-boarding process under the guidance of the AD of Administration and Finance. Facilitates School-focused new faculty orientation annually or bi-annually as needed.
    • Designs and manages the employee exit process under the guidance of the AD of Administration and Finance including the facilitation of exit interviews for faculty and staff. Provides recommendations to the managers regarding ways to improve the on-boarding process and ways to reduce turnover.
    • Ensures that managers have the tools and information needed to properly supervise their employees. Provides advice on how to communicate work expectations, establish performance goals, and conduct performance appraisals. Provides periodic training sessions for managers on how to properly complete the performance review process that has been put in place by the University. Ensures that managers complete relevant probationary period and annual performance reviews for all faculty and staff.
    • Counsels managers on ways to identify, address and facilitate solutions for employee issues. Advises managers on how to document performance or other issues and how to follow the progressive discipline process. Coordinates due process hearings and works with Labor Relations, union representatives, managers, and employees to resolve issues.
    • Coordinates and communicates with the Labor Relations office. Has principal responsibility to manage compliance with collective bargaining provisions. Assists managers with conducting meetings to resolve grievances or employee complaints. Conducts investigations as needed. Serves as point of contact for School staff who have inquiries or concerns about terms, benefits, or conditions of employment.
    • Assesses SPHHS training or workplace development needs and develops, implements, and manages appropriate trainings or development programs to fit the strategic goals of the School and University.
    • Works to create a diverse and inclusive workplace for all faculty, staff, and students. Ensures that all personnel practices are valid and reliable, and do not have adverse impact on underrepresented groups.
    • Designs, develops, and facilitates activities for faculty and staff in an effort to improve communication, relationships, and morale. Focuses on initiatives that will reduce turnover or will help the School achieve its strategic goals.
    • Maintains working knowledge of, and ensures adherence to, University, state, and federal human resources laws and policies as well as collective bargaining agreements relevant to the SPHHS.
    • Provides daily supervision to direct reporting staff; assigns primary duties as well as backup duties when staff complement is less than 100%; assesses performance; completes annual evaluations, provides ongoing training and support as needed to all staff performing HR-related activities. Supports HR-related work performed by other School staff such as the Dean's Assistant, Department Administrative Support Staff, Research Administration Specialists, Graduate Program Directors, etc. Ensures that all HR work is coordinated effectively and kept confidential.
    • Compiles and analyzes data, and creates reports as required by the Dean, ADs, Chairs, accreditation agencies, the Provost’s office, Human Resources, external Public Health and Health Sciences organizations, etc. Examples include diversity or affirmative action reports, turnover rates, overtime expenses, etc.
    • Develops collaborative working relationships with central HR. Serves as the functional liaison between the School and various offices on campus for all personnel-related matters.
    • Communicates policy changes to the Dean, Associate Deans, Chairs, Managers, etc. as procedures change or new policies are put into place. Ensures changes are implemented on schedule.
    • Safeguards and maintains confidential personnel records on behalf of the School.
  • Financial Management:
    • Makes recommendations to the AD of A&F and provides cost/benefit estimates regarding personnel decisions.
    • Under the direction of the Associate Dean of A&F, partners with the Director of Finance to develop standards around payroll, compensation, and overall School-level personnel management.
  • Strategy and Planning:
    • Provides information and data to develop immediate and long-term staffing needs. Develops staffing projections based on upcoming retirements, leaves, etc. Prioritizes new positions based on the strategic goals of the School, makes recommendations to the Dean and provides cost/benefit estimates.

Other Functions

  • Performs related duties as assigned or required to meet Department, School, and University goals and objectives.
  • Works closely with, and provides backup to the School’s Director of Finance.

Minimum Qualifications (Knowledge, Skills, Abilities, Education, Experience, Certifications, Licensure)

  • Bachelor's degree with 5 years of experience in increasingly responsible Human Resources positions.
  • Previous experience working in a managerial or supervisory capacity.
  • Demonstrated working knowledge of human resources practices, policies, and procedures.
  • Excellent interpersonal skills with the ability to interact effectively, and create and maintain harmonious relationships with a diverse population of staff, faculty, students, and off-campus constituents.
  • Demonstrated independent initiative. Must have the ability to stay on task and work productively with a minimum amount of supervision or guidance. Willingness to take on a variety of tasks related to the successful operation and administration of the School.
  • Ability to adapt and work effectively as the School grows; ability to work effectively under pressure.
  • Strong organizational skills and attention to detail with the ability to complete assignments in a timely manner, balancing the demands of concurrent and potentially competing projects. Strong written and verbal communication skills. Ability to write concisely, express thoughts clearly, and develop ideas in a logical sequence. Ability to read, understand, apply, and explain rules, regulations, and policies/procedures related to duties.
  • Ability to understand and follow complex oral and written instructions and create effective and efficient work processes.
  • Ability to exercise sound judgment, confidentiality and think through problems, organize and seek out information, identify key factors and underlying causes, and generate solutions or resolve discrepancies.
  • Strong computer skills including at least intermediate expertise with:
  • Email.
  • Calendar systems such as iCal, Outlook, or Google.
  • Word processing software such as Microsoft Word or Google Docs.
  • Spreadsheets such as Microsoft Excel or Google Sheets.
  • Microsoft PowerPoint.
  • Databases such as FileMaker or Microsoft Access. Ability to collect data from multiple sources and create new reports.
  • A proven track record of a demonstrated commitment to customer service.
  • Ability to promote a positive working environment, include collaborative, transparent, and engaging working relationships.
  • Leads, supports, and promotes a climate of diversity across staff, faculty and students; both in the School and across the University.
  • Preferred Qualifications (Knowledge, Skills, Abilities, Education, Experience, Certifications, Licensure)

  • PHR certification.
  • SPHR-CP certification.
  • HR experience in higher education.
  • Physical Demands/Working Conditions

    Typical office environment.

    Work Schedule

    • Monday - Friday, 8:30 am - 5:00 pm (40 hours/week).
    • This position has the opportunity for a hybrid work schedule, which is defined by the University as an arrangement where an employee’s work is regularly performed at a location other than the campus workspace for a portion of the week. As this position is non-unit, it is subject to the terms and conditions of the University of Massachusetts Board of Trustees Non-Unit (Professional/or Classified) Employee Personnel Policy.

    Salary Information

    Level 27

    Exempt Salary Ranges

    Special Instructions to Applicants

    Along with the application, please submit a resume, cover letter and contact information for three (3) professional references.

    UMass Amherst 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, UMass Amherst 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 UMass Amherst to comply with the applicable federal and state statutes, rules, and regulations concerning equal opportunity and affirmative action.

    Advertised: May 11 2022 Eastern Daylight Time
    Applications close:


    The University of Massachusetts Amherst is one of the preeminent public research universities in America. Nestled in idyllic Amherst, Massachusetts—often called “The top college town in North America”—the campus is consistently ranked among the top public research universities in the nation, and offers a rich cultural environment in a rural setting close to major urban centers. 

    As one of the nation's top public research universities – as measured by national and international rankings, academic citations, and research funding – the campus spends more than $180 million on research each year, demonstrating its contribution to the nation’s position as a technological and economic leader. The university works in conjunction with academic, government, and private partners to translate new knowledge and scientific discoveries into technical innovations and scholarly works that create opportunities for students, faculty and the public. 

    Eight schools and colleges offer more than 85 undergraduate majors, 68 master’s and 48 doctoral degree programs, many counted among the top programs in the nation and world. UMass Amherst is also home to New England's premier honors college.

    The 1,159 full-time faculty members are dedicated teachers and world-renowned researchers and the campus has regularly been listed among the top performers in terms of faculty awards. With over 24,000 students from all 50 states and over 70 countries, the student body is the most academically successful in the history of the campus. Students participate in 240 organizations, 21 NCAA Division I athletic teams, extensive intramurals, living-learning residence halls, community service, and internships. With one of the largest residential life systems in the nation, UMass Amherst houses approximately 12,000 students on campus. The university is enjoying a facilities renaissance, including new buildings in the sciences, the arts, and recreation. UMass Amherst is part of the Five College consortium with Smith, Mount Holyoke, Hampshire and Amherst colleges.

    As an employer, the University of Massachusetts Amherst is a national leader in developing family-friendly policies, benefits and amenities designed to help faculty members develop both productive careers and satisfying personal lives. The university offers one of the nation’s most generous parental leave policies. The university is also part of the Academic Career Network, a regional consortium formed to serve dual-career couples and encourage greater diversity in the academy.


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