umnproud College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences, University of Minnesota

Working Title:             Director of Human Resources

Reporting To:              Chief Operating Officer

Classification:              Director of Human Resources 9363GT

College Overview

The College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences (CFANS) is looking for a Director of Human Resources to be a strategic partner in helping CFANS deliver on its three part mission of research, outreach and education.  CFANS comprises 13 academic departments, ten research and outreach centers across Minnesota, the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum, the Bell Museum, and dozens of interdisciplinary centers that span the college, the university, and the globe. With 2200 undergraduate students, 650 graduate students, 240 faculty, and 800 staff, CFANS is the second largest college in the University of Minnesota.

At CFANS, we aim to inspire minds, nourish people, and enhance the natural environment, and we believe that’s only possible if everyone feels seen, heard and respected.  CFANS embraces equity and inclusion and prioritizes purpose-driven scientific discovery for us to build a better tomorrow together.

Description of Position

The Director of Human Resources is responsible for the overall leadership, strategic planning, coordination and execution of the Human Resources function.  This role is responsible for creating, directing, and executing the practices and programs needed to support the college’s mission and promote a positive, inclusive culture, including management consulting; workforce planning, organizational design and effectiveness; employee and leadership development; performance management; recruitment and retention; education, training, development, and mentoring; compensation; engagement; employee and labor relations and equal opportunity.  This role reports to the Chief Operating Officer of CFANS, serves on the Dean’s Leadership Team, and leads and develops a strong team of HR professionals (5 direct reports).

  • The Director partners with CFANS senior leadership in administration, academic departments, and centers to develop and implement a comprehensive human resources program for CFANS faculty, staff, students, and administrators.
  • The Director will create and implement strategic and tactical policies and processes for the human resources function of CFANS and work collaboratively with the University’s Office of Human Resources to ensure that CFANS efforts are aligned with university-wide human resources policies, programs, and strategic initiatives.
  • The Director will support and supervise the work of a team of five direct reports whose work supports the compensations, employee and labor relations, project management and training needs of the college.


Strategic Leadership

  • Lead and oversee the development, implementation and assessment of short-term and long-term HR strategies and goals, including anticipating emerging issues that will affect policy and program development within CFANS.
  • Continuously improve the development of and lead a forward-thinking, client-oriented, human resources organization for CFANS.
  • Collaborate with CFANS leadership and stakeholders from a variety of backgrounds and identities to advance strategic direction, to facilitate and manage change and ensure compliance with employment laws, HR policies and best practices.
  • Develop long-term HR strategies to increase the recruitment and retention of staff and faculty from underrepresented identities.
  • Develop strategies and coach supervisors to support a culture of accountability, respect, and employee engagement.
  • Work with the University’s Office of Human Resources and serve on university-wide committees and task forces to ensure alignment with university-wide policies, programs, and strategic initiatives.

Employee and Labor Relations

  • Provide leadership, guidance and training on employee/labor relations issues, including corrective action processes and grievances. Employee relations include labor represented groups, civil service, P&A staff, and faculty.
  • Oversee or conduct investigations into employee complaints and advice on responding to complaints and resolving conflicts or disputes.
  • Consult with collegiate and administrative leadership regarding specific matters of faculty or staff performance and behavior.
  • Partner with the University’s central offices in all required matters:  Office of General Counsel, Office of Human Resources, Office of Conflict Resolution.
  • Provide consultation, risk assessment and coaching to help resolve  performance and interpersonal relation issues.

Organizational Development

  • Partner with CFANS’ Assistant Dean in the Office for Diversity, Equity & Inclusion to integrate DEI best practices into HR policies and processes.
  • Collaborate with CFANS finance department to manage procedures that affect both units such as payroll actions, position budgeting and annual merit salary increase processes.
  • Perform strategic analysis to identify root problems and impacts across CFANS.
  • Set priorities and provide leadership and accountabilities in implementing key projects and HR initiatives to support the strategy of CFANS and University goals.
  • Support college-wide process of organizational development that addresses issues such as succession planning, workforce development, employee retention and change management.

Training and Development

  • Lead the performance appraisal processes across the college, performance development plans and programs.
  • Establish an employee training system that addresses CFANS training needs including training needs assessments, new employee orientation and onboarding, staff and faculty development programs, and the measurement of training impact.
  • Ensure implementation of action plans related to the employee engagement survey results.


  • Provide advice and expertise on evaluating appropriate starting salaries and increase requests, ensuring internal equity and competitive compensation.
  • Develop and implement compensation policies and practices including special pay situations for promotions, augmentations, bonuses, merit increases, and retention offers.
  • Lead competitive market research, University-wide analysis of pay practices and levels to recruit and retain superior faculty and staff.
  • Monitor all pay practices and systems for effectiveness and equity.


  • Ensure that HR and related management practices comply with law, policy, rules and contracts in addition to HR and DEI best practices.
  • Maintain knowledge of relevant employment laws. Oversee investigations into complaints of violations of employment laws or policies. Ensure that HR team members maintain knowledge of applicable employment laws and HR policies.
  • Advise and consult on HR risk management. Take appropriate actions to minimize risk, including providing timely and effective investigations, as well as consultation and advice to managers, leaders, and other HR professionals.
  • Provide escalation for consultation and investigation of HR issues that are particularly complex or sensitive, including mandated reporting to the EO/AA Office and partnership with the Office of Human Resources, Office of the General Counsel and Office of Conflict Resolution, as necessary.

Required Qualifications

  • BA/BS degree in HR or related field, plus 10 years of related HR experience to include supervisory responsibilities.
  • Demonstrated experience and commitment to advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion in the workplace with individuals with diverse identities and underrepresented groups.
  • Success working and leading in a complex, multi-layered and collaborative environment.
  • Demonstrated leadership ability and an ability to influence others directly and indirectly.

Preferred Qualifications

  • Advanced degree in HR or related field.
  • Working knowledge of employment laws, rules and regulations affecting human resources.
  • Extensive experience and knowledge in HR practices areas.
  • Experience interpreting collective bargaining agreements with corrective action and grievance processes.
  • Ability to work effectively with ambiguity, use sound judgment and discretion.
  • Exceptional interpersonal skills and ability to communicate effectively orally and in writing across all levels of the organization.
  • Experience in higher education and/or public sector employment setting.
  • Skills and/or training in change management and conflict resolution.

Desired Competencies

  • Communications and Teamwork:  Demonstrates the ability to express thoughts clearly and concisely; shows good active listening skills; and able to tailor messages appropriately to audience. Builds working relationships to resolve problems and achieve common goals.  Offers assistance, support, and feedback to others.  Ability to communicate effectively, succinctly, and persuasively in writing, orally and interpersonally.
  • Diversity:  Is respectful and effectively works with individuals from culturally diverse populations. Demonstrates a commitment to and understanding of diversity and inclusiveness.  Demonstrates sensitivity and awareness of challenges and institutional barriers for people from under-represented populations, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression.
  • Motivation:  Shows initiative, anticipates needs, and takes actions.  Ability to be self-directed, take appropriate action and be efficient and resourceful in fulfilling responsibilities.
  • Accountability/Reliability:  Takes ownership for own work.  Accepts responsibility for mistakes and learns from them.  Follows through on commitments, is dependable and trusted to work independently.

Instructions for Diversity Statement* (Required to be included with application materials)

Applicants are required to submit a diversity statement for this position. CFANS values and is actively invested in diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) throughout all of our academic programs. Please review the CFANS definition of diversity and the DEI strategic plan for the college.

Please provide a diversity statement that details your professional experiences in DEI. Experiences may include:

  • Working with diverse communities or local organizations.
  • Your own educational experiences, such as courses or workshops you have participated in and how you anticipate incorporating what you have learned in your future work.
  • Experience creating, evaluating, or revising policies and procedures through a DEI lens.
  • Experience in DEI recruitment and retention activities.


Salary is competitive and commensurate with experience and qualifications.

Minimum Starting Salary:  $135,000

The University of Minnesota offers a comprehensive benefits package including:

  • Competitive wages, 11 paid holidays
  • Generous vacation and sick leave
  • Low-cost medical, dental, and pharmacy plans
  • Health care and dependent daycare flexible spending accounts
  • Excellent retirement plans with generous employer contribution and immediate vesting
  • Employer paid disability and life insurance
  • Wellbeing program with reduced insurance premiums
  • Tuition reimbursement opportunities covering 75% of eligible tuition
  • Opportunities for growth and promotion
  • Employee Assistance Program

For more information regarding benefits, see Summary of Benefits.

How to Apply

Applications must be submitted online at (search for Job Opening ID 351700). To be considered for this position, please click the Apply button and follow the instructions. You will be given the opportunity to complete an online application for the position and attach a cover letter and resume.

Required application materials:

  1. Resume or Curriculum Vitae
  2. Diversity Statement* (please see instructions above)

For questions regarding this position, please contact Anna Lee at [email protected]

Additional documents may be attached after application by accessing your “My Job Applications” page and uploading documents in the “My Cover Letters and Attachments” section.

To request an accommodation during the application process, please e-mail [email protected] or call (612) 624-UOHR (8647).


The University recognizes and values the importance of diversity and inclusion in enriching the employment experience of its employees and in supporting the academic mission. The University is committed to attracting and retaining employees with varying identities and backgrounds.

The University of Minnesota provides equal access to and opportunity in its programs, facilities, and employment without regard to race, color, creed, religion, national origin, gender, age, marital status, disability, public assistance status, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression. To learn more about diversity at the U:

Employer Requirements

  • Any offer of employment is contingent upon the successful completion of a background check. Our presumption is that prospective employees are eligible to work here. Criminal convictions do not automatically disqualify finalists from employment.
  • Please note: All employees at the University of Minnesota are required to report complete vaccination against COVID-19 or submit documentation requesting a medical or religious exemption on their first day of employment. To learn more, please visit the University’s COVID-19 Response webpage.

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