Website Vassar College

Vassar College­—located in New York’s scenic Hudson Valley—is an

Vassar College, a distinguished private liberal-arts college in New York’s Hudson Valley, invites applications and nominations for the position of Associate Vice President for Human Resources (AVP-HR). Reporting to the Vice President for Information Technology and Human Resources, the AVP-HR leads an evolving human resources program designed to ensure that Vassar is a dynamic, top-tier employer by providing expertise, resources, and services to attract, develop, motivate, and retain a talented, engaged, diverse workforce within an inclusive and supportive professional environment.

The AVP-HR must be a collaborative, innovative, and inclusive leader ready to provide strategic counsel and bold, visionary direction. They will understand and be drawn to the College’s liberal arts mission and values, be a strong relationship builder with high emotional intelligence, and have a sophisticated understanding of contemporary human resources issues.

As the College’s chief HR officer, the AVP leads the implementation of the Human Resources multi-year strategic plan, develops and directs major human resources initiatives, orchestrates policies, procedures, and systems pertaining to all human resources activities, and oversees a team of nine professional staff. While Vassar Human Resources directly serves the employment and performance needs of the College’s non-Faculty employees, many of its initiatives shape the lives of every single College employee – a total of 2,600 staff, faculty, and student employees.

Across all responsibilities, the AVP-HR will maintain an employee-centered approach and respond to the changing needs and expectations of the College community with a demonstrated commitment to Vassar’s mission and values.


A minimum of seven years of progressively responsible experience in human resources leadership, preferably in a higher education institution or similarly complex organization

Experience developing impactful, employee-centered human resources programs, including building, implementing, and evaluating innovative workplace initiatives

Strong relationship-building skills and the ability to effectively collaborate with and meet the diverse needs of staff, administrators, faculty, and students in a culture of shared governance

Substantial experience leading or overseeing leaders in a proactive, positive labor relations function; experience and expertise in strategy and programs that optimize the workplace environment, performance, and job satisfaction of all employees in a partially unionized environment

Excellent negotiating skills with the ability to reason and compromise

Strong knowledge of federal and state legal requirements for human resources as well as industry best practices

Experience supervising, mentoring, and developing a team with varied professional training and functional expertise

Strategic and inclusive communication (written and verbal) acumen with experience in proactive, effective change management

Organizational agility and the ability to manage expectations and competing priorities

The highest standards of professional and personal integrity and the ability to set the standard for character, competence, and service by demonstrating sensitivity, discretion, good judgment, and accountability in all personnel and institutional matters

Bachelor’s degree required; advanced degree in human resource management or a related field preferred

Vassar invites candidates who may bring a greater depth of experience in some but not all of the functional areas of the portfolio and would be eager to learn more about how such candidates would approach leading the full portfolio.

This position requires the AVP-HR to live within commutable distance to Vassar’s campus and to maintain a regular campus presence. A full version of the position description can be found here.

To Apply

Vassar College has retained Opus Partners ( to support this recruitment. Craig Smith, Partner, and Abigail Maynard, Senior Associate are leading the search. Inquiries, applications, and nominations should be sent to [email protected]. The search process will unfold with the greatest possible attention to candidate confidentiality. Required application materials include a resume and cover letter. The cover letter should reflect how qualifications and experience match those described in this leadership profile, including examples of demonstrated commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion within the context of the AVP-HR role.

Vassar College is deeply committed to increasing the diversity of the campus community and to promoting an environment of equality, inclusion, and respect for difference. The College is an Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action employer, and especially welcomes applications from veterans, women, individuals with disabilities, and members of racial, ethnic, and other historically underrepresented groups.

To apply for this job email your details to