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Vice Chancellor and Chief Human Resources Officer

University of Massachusetts Amherst

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Job Details

University of Massachusetts Amherst
Vice Chancellor and Chief Human Resources Officer

Founded in 1863, the University of Massachusetts Amherst (UMass) was originally established as Massachusetts Agricultural College under the Federal Morrill Land-Grant Colleges Act. Today, it is the flagship and largest campus in the University of Massachusetts System. With over 6,300 faculty and staff and more than 30,000 students, UMass is the largest public university in New England and is ranked among the top 30 public universities in the nation. UMass is dedicated to providing a world-class, accessible education and advancing progress for the people of Massachusetts and beyond. In addition, UMass Amherst has a rich history of supporting social justice and efforts to improve diversity, equity, and inclusion on campus. Its LGBTQ+ and women's centers were among the first established in the nation, and the campus is ranked as one of the best in the country for LGBT+ students. The campus, located on nearly 1,450 acres in the scenic Pioneer Valley in Western Massachusetts, provides a rich cultural environment in a suburban setting yet close to major urban centers.

The Position
Reporting to the chancellor, the vice chancellor and chief human resources officer (VC/CHRO) will support the mission of the UMass Flagship campus by providing effective human resources programs and services. The VC/CHRO provides oversight and strategic leadership in the areas of talent acquisition and recruitment (selection and retention), compensation, human resources business partnerships, employee engagement initiatives, education and staff training/development, employee and labor relations, and other centralized day-to-day human resources operations so that centralized human resources services are fully engaged and consistent. In addition, the VC/CHRO will provide leadership and guidance to institution's 11 collective bargaining units representing over 90% of University employees. This position works across and with all of the campus' decentralized Human Resources offices to transform the Human Resources function into an effective, strategic resource on campus with a true client service delivery model.
The VC/CHRO oversees 6-8 direct reports and a dedicated staff of 76 with an annual budget of $6.4M.

The successful candidate must have a master's degree and a demonstrated record of progressive and substantive responsibilities and management of human resource functions—including experience supervising and managing a team of human resource professionals in a complex organization with union employees and demonstrated experience in negotiations with large segments of a workforce. Broad knowledge of benefits, employment, compensation, human resources systems, organizational development, employee relations, labor relations, collective bargaining, recruitment, talent management, equal opportunity and affirmative action, and training and development are necessary. The successful candidate will ensure and maintain professional responsibility and stewardship of the university by adhering to ethical standards of professional conduct and act in a manner consistent with the University's mission and core values of learning, community, diversity, responsibility, integrity, and quality comprehending and applying all university and departments policies, procedures, and legal requirements relevant to competently fulfilling the role of VC/CHRO. This position must cultivate influential and credible relationships with vice chancellors and deans across the campus and resolve difficult and personal employee, student, or leader (vice chancellor, dean, department head, etc.) issues in a composed, professional and confidential manner. The VC/CHRO must have a solid executive presence; demonstrated labor union experience; the ability to formulate, present, and execute complex strategies, policies, and programs; excellent overall business acumen; superior verbal and written communication skills; and the ability to effect transformative change.

Preferred qualifications include experience in higher education and/or the public sector, experience in leading strategic planning efforts, and HRCI or SHRM certification.

Application and Nomination
Review of applications will begin December 6, 2023, and continue until the position is filled. A resume with an accompanying cover letter may be submitted via the Spelman Johnson website at Nominations for this position may be emailed to Heather J. Larabee at Applicants needing reasonable accommodation to participate in the application process should contact Spelman Johnson at 413-529-2895 or email

The salary range for this position is $300K - $360K.

Visit the UMass Amherst website at

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.

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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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