Careers at UMass Amherst

UMass Amherst COVID-19 Response: The University of Massachusetts Amherst is currently re-examining open positions as our campus monitors and responds to the novel coronavirus pandemic. At this time, hiring priority is being given to positions that are critical to academic, research, and business continuity. Searches for current openings may be placed on hold or cancelled. Candidates will be contacted directly by the hiring department with regard to the status of their current application(s). We appreciate your patience and flexibility during these unprecedented times and thank you for your interest in the University of Massachusetts Amherst.

A&F HR Executive Director

Apply now Job no: 504220
Work type: Staff Full Time
Location: UMass Amherst
Department: VC Admin & Finance Office
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 A&F Executive Director, Human Resources (EDHR) is responsible for the strategic and operational direction of the human resources function in the Administration and Finance (A&F) executive area and reports directly to the Vice Chancellor. The EDHR is a member of the A&F senior management team and manages the activities of human resources directors and staff performing such roles in A&F.  The EDHR serves as the primary liaison for A&F with the campus Human Resources executive area, including the Vice Chancellor and HR Business Partners, in areas of recruitment, employment, compensation, employee relations, labor relations and training and development initiatives.  As a key member of the A&F leadership team, the EDHR develops and manages human resources strategic planning, metrics and process improvement to create a positive, productive and inclusive workplace.


Essential Functions

  • Plan, develop, organize and implement A&F HR business plans that are aligned to both the overall University strategy and direction set by the Vice Chancellor.  Coordinate HR strategic planning and goals with A&F departments to achieve an inclusive and respectful work environment.    Provide supervise and guidance to A&F department human resource leads.
  • Manage all aspects of employee and labor relations by providing advice and counsel to management.  Provide proactive guidance and coaching to resolve front-line employee relations and labor relations issues. Partner with central employee and labor relations staff on complex matters.  May lead or assign investigations related to such matters and represent A&F at hearings, union bargaining and arbitrations.  
  • Develop and effectively communicate human resources strategies to meet changing business needs through organizational structure redesign, succession planning, and creation of new positions and roles.
  • Continually assess changing skill set needs and the effectiveness of retention and performance management initiatives. Conduct training and development sessions to address challenges posed by workforce skill requirements. Assess training needs and develop relevant training programs in conjunction with the university HR Workforce Learning and Development and HR functional areas (Compensation, Benefits, Labor Relations, etc.).
  • Oversee new hire and promotional salary offers through engagement with the senior management to ensure alignment with University policies and procedures, pay practices, compensation philosophy and market conditions.
  • Oversee orientation and assimilation of new employees and new senior leaders to the respective department responsibility area.  Manage new manager and new employee orientations in personnel policies, processes and procedures and new HR software implementations and updates.
  • Assist in the design and implementation of departmental and institutional goals for achieving non-discrimination and creating a respectful, inclusive environment that is supportive of diversity.
  • Maintain membership in regional and national academic and professional HR organizations with a focus on leading, advancing and influencing the management of HR and widespread use of industry best practices.  Remain current on employment law and compliance and act as the lead on Accessibility, MCAD and EEO issue resolution with appropriate HR personnel.
  • Contribute towards creating a positive and respectful workplace defined by personal and professional competence, integrity, and collaboration.
  • Use access to sensitive and/or not yet public university related information only in the performance of the responsibilities of position and exercise care to prevent unnecessary disclosure to others.
  • Understand responsibilities with respect to Conflict of Interest, Title IX, Clery and other compliance requirements and behave in ways consistent both with law and with University policy.


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

  • Bachelor's degree in Business, HR, or other related field             
  • Seven years progressive HR experience in either Specialist or Business Partner roles with at least three years experience in the management of a human resources team.
  • Ability to develop and execute talent management, performance management, compensation planning and administration, employee relations and labor relations programs at every level of the enterprise. Ability to plan and implement major change initiatives for the enterprise or for the HR Function.
  • Executive presence, ability to formulate, present and execute complex strategies, policies and programs.
  • Excellent overall business acumen. Superior verbal and written communication skills
  • Ability to be a collaborative HR professional and team player.
  • Knowledge and ability to apply complex concepts, practices and procedures within the general business, academic and human resources environments. Ability to promote ideas and proposals persuasively including with the use of data and analysis as appropriate.
  • Ability to cultivate influential and credible relationships with senior management across the campus. Ability to resolve difficult and personal employee, student or leader  issues in a composed, professional and confidential manner.
  • Ability to assess and effect the balance required between University policies and practices, human resources operating principles, the identified business need and the needs of the staff member or student.


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

  • Master's degree in Business, HR, or other related field
  • JD with progressive HR experience in either Specialist or Business Partner roles.
  • PHR or SPHR certification.
  • Experience in higher education or the public sector.
  • Significant experience with the design and execution of recruitment and hiring strategies.
  • Experience in designing and executing integrated performance management and employee development programs.


Salary Information

Salary commensurate with experience


Special Instructions to Applicants

Please submit a resume, cover letter, and contact information for three professional references by January 19, 2020 to ensure priority consideration. The position may remain open until filled. 


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: Eastern Standard Time
Applications close:

Back to search results Apply now Refer a friend

Share this:

| More

Returning Applicant?

Login to complete your application and/or apply for more positions.


Job Alerts

We'll send you an email when a position becomes available that matches your search criteria


Human Resources

Visit Human Resources for more information on benefits, payroll, health insurance, retirement and general information about working at UMass Amherst.