Website Northwestern University

Northwestern University seeks a strategic and service-oriented executive to serve as the inaugural Assistant Vice President for Human Resources, Support and Services (AVP). This is an incredible opportunity for a forward-thinking leader who brings a passion for fostering strategic collaborations and building partnerships that drive organizational effectiveness as well as experience leveraging technology and data analytics to ensure efficient processes and to provide superior service in support of the University’s mission and vision.

Northwestern is a comprehensive research university that is deeply interdisciplinary across multiple schools and units. Committed to excellent teaching, innovative research, and the personal and intellectual growth of its students in a diverse academic community, Northwestern provides a rigorous yet empathetic academic environment with a robust mixture of theory and practice and an emphasis on top-tier research, new knowledge, creative expression and practical application. Northwestern’s innovative, collaborative and multidimensional community delivers an impact that is rare in higher education. The university’s main campus is based in Evanston, Illinois, on the shore of Lake Michigan, with additional campuses located in downtown Chicago and Doha, Qatar. One of only four U.S. universities ranked in the top 20 across all graduate education categories and in the top 10 overall, Northwestern is proud to enroll 21,000 students (8,200 of whom are undergraduates) across its twelve schools and colleges with more than approximately 7,000 full time employees

Reporting directly to Lorraine Goffe, Vice President for Human Resources and Chief Human Resources Officer, the AVP for HR Support and Services will provide vision and leadership for a comprehensive portfolio including compensation, HR operations, payroll, tax, and reporting & analytics. The AVP will be responsible for leading a team of approximately 40 dedicated and highly skilled human resource professionals supporting an employee base of approximately 10,000 staff and faculty. The AVP will be charged with assessing current processes, infrastructure and practices to elevate service delivery standards and create efficiencies fostering a “One HR” culture by working across HR to eliminate silos and enhance the delivery of services to the University community.

The AVP will join the HR leadership team at a particularly exciting time for both the HR division and the University. With a new University president joining the community in the summer of 2022, the promise for new initiatives, and the opportunity to closely collaborate with the new Assistant Vice President for Human Resources, Employee Experience, in playing a critical role in HR transformation efforts and realizing the CHRO’s vision of realizing a world-class HR function.

The successful candidate will possess a Bachelor’s degree with a minimum of 10 years of progressive experience in human resources, organizational development, business or other related fields. Five years of senior leadership level experience, a master’s degree or relevant certification and experience in a higher education or healthcare (especially academic medicine) and working in a shared services environment are preferred. The AVP will bring experience leading HR system implementations with an appreciation for the downstream impact of decisions and the critical role communication, training and service play in community adaptation; an understanding of and experience with various state employment tax laws as they relate to an evolving national and global workforce with the introduction of remote and hybrid work arrangements; demonstrated experience optimizing HR systems and technology to align with and support organization priorities; an understanding of and appreciation for the essential connection between compensation and payroll; a reputation for data-driven decisions and experience with  HR analytics, metrics and strategies; a drive to pursue continuous improvement; and demonstrated evidence of leading organizational change, strategic planning, and elevating and increasing service standards within HR operations.

All applications, nominations, and inquiries are invited. Applications should include, as separate documents, a CV or resume and a letter of interest addressing the themes in the leadership profile at WittKieffer is assisting Northwestern University in this search, which will remain open until an appointment is made.

Application materials should be submitted using WittKieffer’s candidate portal.

Nominations and inquiries can be directed to:

Jeff Compher
Sarah T. Miller
[email protected]

Northwestern University values diversity and is committed to equal opportunity for all persons regardless of age, color, disability, ethnicity, marital status, national origin, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, veteran status or any other status protected by law.


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