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Human Resources Specialist (Hybrid Opportunity)

University of Massachusetts Amherst
UMass Amherst

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Job Details

Job no: 521098
Work type: Staff Full Time
Location: UMass Amherst
Department: Dean - Natural Sciences
Union: PSU
Categories: Human Resources, College of Natural Sciences, PSU A

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

Under the general direction of the Director of Human Resources, the Human Resources (HR) Specialist supports the Center for Agriculture and the Environment (CAFÉ) and 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.

Essential Functions

  • Supervises and directs 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, new hires, reappointments, all leaves, 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 positions for submission for approval. 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 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.
  • Acts as a liaison with Total Compensation staff to resolve compensation and classification issues. Manages the PageUp (applicant tracking system) 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 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 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.

Other Functions

  • Works collaboratively and effectively to promote teamwork, diversity, equality and inclusiveness.
  • Works in partnership with colleagues within the CNS community and across the campus to support the Dean’s strategic priorities.
  • Performs other duties as assigned in support of the mission and goals of the College of Natural Sciences.

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

  • Associates degree and five (5) years of human resource related experience OR a Bachelor's degree and three (3) years of human resource related experience. A bachelor's degree concentration in Human Resources, Business, or related field may be substituted for one (1) year of the required experience.
  • Knowledge of federal/state employment laws and the ability to interpret and apply academic/HR policies and collective bargaining agreements.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Must be proficient in Word, Excel, Adobe and able to run queries and navigate the enterprise HR system.
  • Uses access to sensitive and/or not yet public university related information only in the performance of the responsibilities of position and exercises care to prevent unnecessary disclosure to others.
  • Understands responsibilities with respect to conflicts of interest and behaves in ways consistent both with law and with University policy.
  • Contributes toward creating a positive and respectful workplace defined by personal and professional competence, integrity, and collaboration.
  • Understands and contributes to implementation of departmental and institutional goals for achieving non-discrimination and creating a respectful, inclusive environment that is supportive of diversity.

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

  • Experience in Higher Education.
  • PHR/SPHR certification.

About the College of Natural Sciences

The College of Natural Sciences (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 5 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.

About The Center for Agriculture, Food, and the Environment

The Center for Agriculture, Food, and the Environment (CAFE) at UMass Amherst is a major educational outreach and applied research center of the university. Its component units include UMass Extension, (with programs in agriculture, youth development, nutrition education for low-income audiences, and clean energy), Mass. Agricultural Experiment Station (a funder of faculty research), the UMass Cranberry Station (the only research and educational institution devoted to cranberry production), the Water Resources Research Center, and four education and research farms located in western Massachusetts. CAFE employs about 150 people, funds research by about 65 faculty members, sponsors 17 CAFE Extension Faculty located within six academic departments and has community-based participants in each region of the Commonwealth.

Physical Demands/Working Conditions

  • Typical office environment.

Work Schedule

  • Monday – Friday, 8:30am – 5:00pm.
  • 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 falls within the Professional Staff Union, it is subject to the terms and conditions of the Professional Staff Union collective bargaining agreement.

Salary Information

Level 26

PSU Hiring Ranges

Special Instructions to Applicants

Along with the application, please submit a resume, cover letter, and contact information for three (3) professional references. The search will remain open until filled.

As part of a commitment to their own multicultural community, CNS seeks an individual with a demonstrated commitment to diversity and one who will understand and embrace university initiatives and aspirations. (

UMass Amherst is committed to a policy of equal opportunity without regard to race, color, religion, caste, creed, sex, age, marital status, national origin, disability, political belief or affiliation, pregnancy and pregnancy-related condition(s), veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, genetic information, natural and protective hairstyle and any other class of individuals protected from discrimination 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 UMass Amherst to comply with the applicable federal and state statutes, rules, and regulations concerning equal opportunity and affirmative action.

Advertised: Feb 26 2024 Eastern Standard Time
Applications close: May 26 2024 Eastern Daylight Time


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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Whitmore Administration Building

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