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Cornell University embraces diversity and seeks candidates who will contribute to a climate that supports students, faculty and staff of all identities and backgrounds. We strongly encourage individuals from underrepresented and/or marginalized identities to apply.

As part of the university’s comprehensive vaccination program, all Cornell employees are required to have and provide proof of an FDA-or WHO-authorized or approved COVID-19 vaccine or have obtained a university-approved disability/medical or religious exemption, regardless of their role and work location.

New hires are required to provide documentation showing full vaccination status (that is, completion of two shots of the Moderna or Pfizer vaccine or one shot of the Janssen/Johnson & Johnson) before their first day of work. If a new hire’s vaccination is not complete or information is not received by their start date, the first day of work will be delayed. It is possible in some cases that an offer of employment may be withdrawn.

For additional information on Cornell’s Vaccination Compliance Program click here.

About the Department & Position

Cornell is successful because of its people- their commitment, innovation, drive, and compassion. Cornell has over 20,000 employees worldwide. Workforce Policy & Labor Relations (WPLR) provides strategic direction, leadership and counsel in the areas of labor relations, employee relations; non-academic human resource policy development and interpretation; unemployment insurance administration; and layoff policy administration.


As an Assistant Director for WPLR, you will report to, and work with the Senior Director of Workforce Policy & Labor Relations, providing strategic direction and leadership for the university’s labor relations function. You will serve as the University’s primary relationship manager participating in labor relations activities, including negotiations, grievances and arbitrations and consult and advise HR leadership across campus on matters related to union contracts. As an Assistant Director, you will use your skill and experience to lead the development and implementation of compliance-related trainings, including labor relations, employee relations and policy interpretation.  In addition, you will collaborate with the Senior Director, to ensure compliance with legal and internal audit requirements, develop and present programmatic recommendations for WPLR services, and provide significant expertise, principal consultation, and input to University HR strategy through collaboration with the Vice President for HR, team-based and individual means.


Successful Candidate Profile

You will possess a Bachelor’s degree with 5 to 7 years of related experience or an equivalent combination of education and experience. Areas of proven competency include:

  • Strong conceptual, analytical and systems thinking abilities with organizational change (or industrial & organizational psychology), having the ability to demonstrate project management and planning knowledge and skills.
  • Demonstrated sound political instincts coupled with proven ability to assess organizational gaps and to affect organizational change or improvement in collaboration with others.
  • You will have strong knowledge of labor relations. Demonstrate your ability to establish constructive relationships with union members and union leaders. The ability to influence and partner with internal senior leadership teams across the organization. You will have a proven track record of working within or leading teams within an organization.
  • Demonstrated good judgment and decision-making
  • Proven interpersonal, verbal, written and presentation skills. Ability to set up and maintain high standards in all output (e.g. reports, graphics, project plans.). Advanced computer skills including Word, Excel and PowerPoint.

In addition, the following would be a bonus:

  • Prior work experience at Cornell.
  • Experience in higher education or large organization is a plus.

**This is an on-site position, which is located on the Cornell campus in Ithaca, N.Y.**

Rewards and Benefits

  • Our benefits programs include comprehensive health care options, generous retirement contributions, access to wellness programs, and employee discounts with local and national retail brands. We invite you to follow this link to get more information about our benefits:
  • Our leave provisions include three weeks of vacation and 13 holidays: Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, Memorial Day, Juneteenth, Independence Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving and the day after, and an end of the year winter break from December 25-January 1.
  • Cornell’s impressive educational benefits include tuition-free Extramural Study and Employee Degree Program, tuition aid for external education, and Cornell Children’s Tuition Assistance Program.
  • You can also view additional information regarding job competencies, staff skills for success and pay ranges here. Actual compensation offer will be based on available budget and the finalist’s skills and experience.

No Visa Sponsorship is available for this position.

Background check may be required.

Notice to Applicants:

Please read the required Notice to Applicants statement by clicking here. This notice contains important information about applying for a position at Cornell as well as some of your rights and responsibilities as an applicant.

EEO Statement:

Diversity and Inclusion are a part of Cornell University’s heritage. We are a recognized employer and educator valuing AA/EEO, Protected Veterans and Individuals with Disabilities. We also recognize a lawful preference in employment practices for Native Americans living on or near Indian reservations. Cornell University is an innovative Ivy League university and a great place to work. Our inclusive community of scholars, students, and staff impart an uncommon sense of larger purpose, and contribute creative ideas to further the university’s mission of teaching, discovery, and engagement.

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