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Director of Human Resources, College of Natural Sciences

Apply now Job no: 507433
Work type: Staff Full Time
Location: UMass Amherst
Department: Dean - Natural Sciences
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

Under the direction of the Associate Dean for Administration, Finance & Operations (AFO), the Director of Human Resources for the College of Natural Sciences (CNS) oversees all human resources functions for the largest academic unit on the University of Massachusetts Amherst campus and ensures uniform compliance with legal and regulatory requirements and University policies, practices, and procedures. The Director guides CNS on all aspects of human resources management, including, but not limited to, faculty and staff search processes, strategic planning, training programs, and professional development. In addition, the Director represents CNS in employee grievance matters, serves as CNS’ primary human resource liaison to the Office of the Provost and the Office of Human Resources, and has signatory authority.

About CNS: CNS includes 13 departments and 2 schools, serves 7,000 plus undergraduate students and nearly 1,000 graduate students, and has a presence in 18 buildings on Campus. In addition, CNS is responsible for five 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.

Essential Functions

Recruitment and Hiring:

  • Serves as the College’s primary manager of all aspects of faculty and staff recruitment and proper search procedures. Develops recruitment strategies and utilization goals, identifies ways to strengthen applicant pools, and manages the search process, from requisition to completion.
  • In consultation with the Dean, Associate Dean for AFO, various Assistant/Associate Deans, Department Heads/Chairs, and the Office of the Provost, manages faculty-hiring protocols, including tenure track offers.

Strategic Planning and Organizational Effectiveness:

  • Provides leadership and guidance to staff performing HR-related duties throughout the College.
  • Works with senior personnel throughout CNS, including Department Heads/Chairs, to analyze organizational structures and staffing patterns, evaluate options to increase effectiveness and efficiency, develop staffing projections, identify immediate and long- term human resources needs, and ensure optimal utilization of existing positions.
  • Advises senior personnel on ways to identify, address, and facilitate solutions for routine employee issues.
  • Ensures that training opportunities are maximized through various actions, such as monitoring the usage by CNS personnel of training programs and serving as a bridge to other Campus offices, such as Workplace Learning and Development. Collaborates with the CNS Director of Faculty Development Programs on the provision of faculty workshops.

Compensation and Classification:

  • Consults with senior personnel throughout CNS, including Department Heads/Chairs, regarding all aspects of compensation policies, guidelines, and procedures.
  • Advises supervisors on the writing of clear, accurate, and results-oriented job descriptions.
  • Serves as CNS’ primary liaison to the Office of Human Resources when resolving compensation and classification issues.


  • Provides leadership and guidance to ensure uniform compliance with legal and regulatory requirements and campus policies, practices, and procedures.
  • Conducts research, engages in training and education sessions, and makes inquiries in relevant subjects to keep abreast of current developments in management and personnel. Educates supervisors and senior managers as needed on emerging and changing policies and regulations.

Annual Faculty and Staff Review Processes:

  • Ensures compliance with annual faculty and staff review requirements and coordinates processes relative to performance and/or compensation, including, but not limited to, merit, anomalies, faculty reappointment, and tenure reviews.
  • Establishes academic year schedule for the College Personnel Committee (CPC) and serves as an on-going resource for its members.

Labor Relations:

  • Represents CNS in the processing of employee complaints, and/or grievances. Works with the Office of the Provost and the Office of Human Resources to resolve personnel issues. Ensures appropriate procedures followed in disciplinary matters.

Other Functions

  • Performs other duties as assigned in support of the mission and goals of the College of Natural Sciences.
  • 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.

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

  • Bachelor’s degree, preferably in Human Resources, Business/Public Administration, or related discipline.
  • 7 years of diverse experience in human resources and personnel administration. Knowledge of best practices in compensation and performance management. Working knowledge of current human resources best practices and state/federal employment laws.
  • Excellent interpersonal skills and ability to interact effectively and work productively in establishing and maintaining harmonious working relationships with a diverse population of employees and students. Strong service orientation that demonstrated proactive relationship building and customer-focused problem solving.
  • Demonstrated leadership abilities, management skills, and supervisory experience. Commitment to inclusion and awareness and understating of diverse thought, cultures, race, gender, and other differences. Commitment to employee development and engagement.
  • Ability to take initiative, work independently, manage multiple proprieties, follow though and meet deadlines.
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills, including presentation skills.
  • Proven competence with spreadsheets, word processing, electronic calendars, and central data systems.
  • Proven record of developing and implementing new ideas.
  • Ability to exercise extreme discretion and judgment in matters of a sensitive or confidential nature.
  • Experience with organizational development and employee training.

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

  • Master’s degree in Human Resources, Business/Public Administration, or related discipline.
  • Experience working in a unionized and/or higher education environment.
  • Certification from the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM-CP or SHRM- SCP) or the HR Certification Institute (PHR or SPHR).

Physical Demands/Working Conditions

Typical office environment.

Additional Details

This position directly manages 1 staff member and indirectly manages 2 staff members. This position provides functional supervision to 14 staff members in various departments throughout CNS.

Work Schedule

  • Monday – Friday 8:30am – 5:00pm.
  • Required to work occasional nights and weekends.

Salary Information

Salary commensurate with skills and experience.

Special Instructions to Applicants

Submit a cover letter, resume, Statement of Contribution to Diversity (see below), and contact information for three professional references. Apply by March 14, 2021 in order to ensure priority consideration. Search may remain open until a suitable candidate pool has been identified.

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. In addition to application materials above, candidates will need to submit a Statement of Contribution to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. The Diversity Statement should identify past experiences and future goals. These contributions may result from lived experiences, scholarships, and/or mentoring, teaching, and outreach activities. (


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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