Founded in 1910 as an all-women’s college until becoming coeducational in 1972, Radford University is a comprehensive, midsize public university that is student-focused, providing nearly 9,000 students with a diversity of outstanding academic programs. Nestled on 204 acres in the Virginia Highlands and well known for its strong faculty/student bonds, innovative use of technology in the learning environment, and vibrant student life on a beautiful campus, Radford University offers many opportunities to get involved and succeed in and out of the classroom. The University offers 76 bachelor’s degree programs in 47 disciplines, one associate degree, and six certificates at the undergraduate level; 28 master’s programs in 23 disciplines; six doctoral programs; and 13 post-baccalaureate certificates and one post-master’s certificate. A Division I NCAA and Big South Conference member, Radford University competes in 16 men’s and women’s varsity athletics.

The Position

ROLE OF THE POSITION

Summary

Reporting to the Vice President for Finance and Administration, the Assistant Vice President for Human Resources (AVP) is an administrative faculty position with leadership responsibilities and serves as Radford University’s chief human resource (HR) officer. The AVP serves as the administrator of all human resource functions and systems across the University, including policies and procedures covering employment (teaching and research faculty, administrative and professional faculty, and classified staff), compensation, benefits, performance management, employee relations, Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action, diversity outreach and engagement, talent development, and human resource information systems. The AVP leads proactive efforts to ensure a campus community free from sexual violence, discrimination, and harassment for students, faculty, and staff. The AVP provides significant leadership within the Division of Finance and Administration, demonstrating substantial expertise in human resource management and remaining current on trends in human resources and institutional equity. The AVP strives to promote and enhance the overall employee experience through a comprehensive focus on compliance initiatives such as Title IX and VAWA; diversity, equity, and inclusion; product and service development, delivery, and support; and the application of essential best practices and technologies. The AVP leads a dynamic team of 15 professionals, including five direct reports, and manages an annual budget of $1.3 million.

Specific Responsibilities

  • Provide strategic leadership, direction, and development to a comprehensive human resources operation that manages policies and programs covering employment, compensation, benefits, performance management, employee relations, training, and HR information systems.
  • Provide strategic leadership to the Office of Institutional Equity in supporting and advancing Radford University’s commitment to diversity, equity, and campus safety by providing education, guidance, and leadership to administrators, faculty, and staff in their efforts to recruit and retain a diverse workforce and student body.
  • Supervise, manage, and develop staff to support departmental functions.
  • Plan, organize, and direct the activities and resources of the departments.
  • Develop and implement HR and Title IX policies, programs, and services, demonstrating the most promising practices, ensuring compliance with applicable Commonwealth and federal laws, and utilizing an accessibility, diversity, equity, and inclusion (ADEI) lens.
  • Revise policies and procedures as needed to comply with changes in legislation and directives, as well as reflect the University’s strategic goals.
  • Support and implement HR technology to improve transactional efficiency, accuracy, response, and measurement.
  • Create and administer departmental budgets by monitoring and evaluating expenditures and recommending budget strategies and actions.
  • Provide advice and consultative guidance to senior administration on human resource policy matters, critical personnel issues, workforce utilization, and organization structure.
  • Develop and implement University-wide HR programs, policies, procedures, reporting, and organizational initiatives emphasizing quality, continuous improvement, and high performance.
  • Research, evaluate, develop, write, recommend, oversee, and maintain personnel policies.
  • Provide specific expertise, plus a broad view of the shared responsibility of the HR and Institutional Equity teams, for the operation and improvement of the University.
  • Develop comprehensive strategic recruiting, career development, performance management, succession planning, retention, talent development, compensation, and benefits to attract and engage diverse, high-performing employees in alignment with strategic institutional priorities.
  • Continuously evaluate existing talent management to maximize efficiency and meet the needs of the University.

OPPORTUNITIES AND CHALLENGES OF THE ROLE

The next Assistant Vice President for Human Resources at Radford University must possess a broad and deep understanding of national trends and best practices concerning human resources management, organizational design and development, recruitment and selection, compensation, benefits, information system management, employee relations, and institutional equity in a multifaceted and constantly evolving university setting. The AVP should be a dynamic leader who is capable of managing complex situations, committed to the well-being and support of the staff and faculty of Radford, dedicated to advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion, and prepared to immediately contribute at both a strategic and operational level to a vibrant public institution of higher education.

This position requires high standards of excellence, great attention to detail, and a futuristic, forward-thinking, strategic mindset. To be successful in this role, the AVP should possess a strong passion for supporting those with whom they work in an empathetic and humanistic manner, the ability to understand and continuously advance all aspects of a modern human resources operation, and a comprehensive grasp of the changing needs of today’s employees, particularly in a post-COVID world.

The Radford stakeholders were genuinely interested in discussions about this position and showed unified support for identifying a competent and visionary individual who can promote, develop, and uplift the staff, set a specific and broad range of departmental priorities, and boldly build a strong and vibrant human resources program that meets and exceeds the expectations of the Radford community. In addition to the minimum academic and experiential requirements described in the position announcement, the following opportunities, priorities, and challenges arose during stakeholder conversations.

  • Radford University has an institutional culture that emphasizes a strong sense of community and a collaborative work environment, so the AVP should work quickly to build rapport with the Human Resources staff, the Office of Institutional Equity staff, the Division of Finance & Administration, members of the President’s Cabinet, and other partners and colleagues throughout campus. It will be essential that the AVP commit to a comprehensive culture of collaboration, as Radford University is committed to building strong, healthy, and mutually supportive relationships as a foundational value upon which the community depends. Early in their tenure, the AVP should conduct a comprehensive “listening tour” to foster open communication, increased transparency, opportunities for feedback, and stakeholder involvement. Relationships and collaboration at Radford create an interconnectedness that fosters a very collegial environment, so the AVP should work diligently to develop and promote these partnerships from the beginning. The AVP will find a supervisor and administrative peers who staunchly promote this collaborative networking, are incredibly welcoming, and encourage open communication across the board.

 

  • The ability to grow, develop, and mentor a high-functioning professional staff while building a solid and dedicated team will be critical for success. The staff in each of the units managed by the AVP comprises staunchly committed professionals wholly devoted to the University, so the AVP must be a strong motivator with advanced supervisory and staff development skills. Navigating through the needs of these individuals will be a crucial task for the AVP, and they should be prepared to function with empathy, emotional intelligence, and a mentoring mindset. To do so, the AVP should prioritize quickly getting to know the leadership and other departmental staff as individuals, learn their particular needs and goals, develop trust and confidence across the board, ascertain and understand the various responsibilities they perform and roles they play, be available at all times, provide comprehensive professional development opportunities and support for all staff, and oversee the ongoing promotion of a strong, cohesive team. These efforts should encompass a continuing emphasis on increasing staff knowledge and skills in current national best practices in human resources, ADEI, and an evolving higher education landscape, improving morale, promoting confidence, and building trust across the departments. The AVP should foster a positive work environment and promote a healthy work/life balance for the staff.

 

  • The AVP should offer bold and decisive leadership in fostering a climate of transparency, diversity, inclusiveness, and respect, and should create a long-range plan to recruit and retain a more diverse workforce utilizing inclusive and non-biased practices. The AVP must be committed to advancing equal access in all opportunities, programs, services, and facilities of the University in support of the Office of Institutional Equity and the mission of Radford University.

 

  • The AVP should be a knowledgeable and forward-thinking human resources professional who is prepared to review benefits and salary structures, developing a comprehensive plan for the institution to address any issues of salary compression or other inequities. Superior employee relations skills and the ability to multitask and address the specific issues that arise for faculty and staff in various classifications are highly desired.

 

  • The AVP must have a strong background in leading a complex human resources unit, either in a higher education setting or a closely related environment. They will be expected to assess the current system to determine needed refinements and adjustments to maintain current best practices and develop innovations for compliance, a strong service ethos, and the overall advancement of the department. The staff will look to this new leader to provide strong support and stability, but the AVP should also have organizational development skills and experience that will allow them to look critically at the current organizational structure of Human Resources and make recommendations for future strategic realignment as necessary.

 

  • The AVP is considered a “working executive position,” meaning that the expectation is that the individual in this role will be accessible, approachable, and willing to “roll up their sleeves” and work with the staff in each unit under their purview to ensure the best possible employee experience. Working side-by-side with the team promotes unity, camaraderie, and a sense of community within the organization. Also, it shows them that the AVP, a top-level administrator, is willing to work on their behalf no matter the situation or circumstance. The AVP will be expected to be very visible and, in essence, serve as the “face” of Human Resources. The AVP should prioritize getting out of the office and being seen, attending campus events, participating in university-wide activities, collaborating across the institution, and spending quality time within the campus community. To accomplish this, the AVP should have excellent communication skills and articulate the position innovatively to relay the “story” of Human Resources and Institutional Equity across the University, to the administration, and beyond.

 

  • The AVP should review the Radford employee training processes, ensure robust professional development opportunities are available across all faculty and staff classifications and implement effective practices that promote performance improvement. Working closely with divisional and departmental leadership, the AVP should develop a campus-wide ethos of employee support that integrates with the overall University mission.

 

  • The AVP should develop and promote policies, procedures, and platforms that allow the various units to operate more efficiently over time. Additionally, the AVP must be politically savvy, able to coordinate services and collaborations across institutional units and with various employee classifications/types, and navigate the state government and bureaucracy in the Commonwealth of Virginia.

 

  • This is an exciting time to join Radford University, an outstanding opportunity for the successful candidate to put their professional mark on Human Resources and Institutional Equity, and a great occasion to strategically build a contemporary, 21st century, employee-focused department. There is tremendous support from the Vice President for Finance & Administration, President, peers/colleagues, and other campus leaders to develop and manage a dynamic, innovative, comprehensive, and forward-thinking Human Resources program, so the new AVP can look forward to visioning and strategizing with these campus partners to promote an equitable and supportive environment for all employees and to move the program forward over time. As priorities are developed and plans are initiated, the AVP should be prepared to identify programs and services that are working effectively, as well as those areas that are not as efficient or successful, and be willing to add, enhance, and sunset programs as necessary. Upon arrival, the AVP should expect a swift pace and a vibrant environment in which to work.

 

  • Stakeholders unanimously agreed that the New River Valley in which Radford is located is ideal for the outdoor enthusiast, with hiking, fishing, golfing, biking, and camping opportunities, to name just a few, within a short distance from campus. Charlotte, NC, is only two and a half hours away, and Washington, DC, is within a four-hour drive, so there is relatively easy access to larger urban areas on the East Coast if desired. Radford University and the Town of Radford have a positive and inclusive relationship, so there are ample opportunities for town and gown involvement. An individual can quickly make a positive impact, and stakeholders emphasized that getting involved on- and off-campus is easy. With a beautifully landscaped physical presence, an energetic new President, room for growth, and a cadre of colleagues always willing to work together to forge a better Radford, the new AVP will find an abundance of fantastic opportunities awaiting them in this role.

MEASURES OF SUCCESS

At an appropriate interval after joining Radf0rd, the items listed below will initially define success for the Assistant Vice President for Human Resources.

  • The Radford Human Resources staff and the Office of Institutional Equity staff are working together cohesively as a team, morale and staff retention are high, staff vacancies are being filled as quickly as possible, trust and respect are established in the department, the AVP is consistently available and willing to listen to staff, information sharing is abundant, and professional development opportunities are readily available.
  • The campus views the AVP as the “face” and leader of the Department of Human Resources, and the department staff are considered the “experts” on HR matters.
  • The AVP has undertaken a comprehensive assessment of the organizational structure of Human Resources and Institutional Equity and has begun implementing any necessary adjustments, utilizing concrete data and staff input.
  • Diversity, equity, and inclusion are foundational concepts throughout the Radford Human Resources Department in hiring, other internal practices, and outreach to the campus, ensuring that underrepresented communities at Radford feel valued, heard, and supported.
  • Timely responsiveness to internal customers has become a hallmark of Human Resources and Institutional Equity, and the AVP and staff are providing clear, consistent, and transparent communication regarding departmental processes, policies, and procedures to Radford leadership and the campus community, thereby improving the overall perception and image of Human Resources across the board.
  • Through the effective use of assessment tools, benchmarking, and satisfaction surveys, the AVP has implemented programs and initiatives which foster a collaborative and positive work environment that translates into high employee morale campus-wide.
  • Operational and strategic plans have been clearly and transparently established, and these plans include straightforward objectives and measurable outcomes that are assessed effectively and efficiently; subsequently, adjustments are regularly made based on these assessments, and robust feedback is solicited and utilized to affect the process in the future.

HISTORY OF THE POSITION

The Assistant Vice President for Human Resources is a foundational position for Radford University, evolving from a previous Director role to the current AVP position in 2017. The last AVP served in the position until February 2022, and Radford has now partnered with Spelman Johnson to conduct this critical search.

Qualifications

QUALIFICATIONS AND CHARACTERISTICS

An advanced degree in human resource management, public administration, business administration, or a closely related field, or an equivalent combination of education, training, and experience, is required. Progressively responsible executive-level management experience, resulting in comprehensive knowledge of human resource operations, programs, technology, and service delivery in a complex, highly-centralized organizational setting, is also required. Ideally, this experience should have occurred within higher education, for-profit or non-profit industry, healthcare, consulting, or some combination of all or some of the above. The successful candidate will possess broad and contemporary knowledge of all areas of human resources and institutional equity, a deep understanding of technology, extensive experience in data-driven decision-making, and a demonstrated commitment to diversity and inclusion.

In addition to the minimum academic and experiential requirements indicated above, other desired characteristics, skills, actions, and abilities noted from discussions with campus stakeholders include the following.

  • Administrative and managerial experience at progressive levels in a professional human resources setting (higher education experience preferred), with the ability to plan strategically, globally, and operationally
  • Sound leadership, supervision, managerial, and organizational-development abilities that inspire and develop staff, provide professional and personal development opportunities, promote unity and teamwork throughout the department, and build a strong organization of human resources professionals
  • Demonstrated vision and strategic planning abilities, particularly in the development of both short- and long-term plans around employee needs and institutional priorities
  • Technology skills, including knowledge regarding human resources information systems, the expertise to effectively extract pertinent data, and the ability to leverage hardware, software, and social media for maximum effectiveness
  • Excellent and transparent communication, interpersonal, and public relations skills, with the ability to effectively reach all levels of the Radford community
  • Demonstrated skills as an advocate and champion for diversity, equity, inclusivity, and accessibility, with a willingness to stand up for these values no matter the situation
  • A futuristic orientation and a willingness to try new opportunities, remain informed on trends and national best practices, and lead significant change processes as necessary
  • A depth of knowledge and understanding of the legal, compliance, and equity aspects of the departments (e.g., Title IX, VAWA, etc.)
  • Demonstrated collaboration skills with internal departments and external colleagues, with the ability to understand the importance of interconnectedness and partnerships that build trust at all levels
  • Creative problem-solving skills, with the ability to determine needs, quickly and appropriately address issues, and provide mutually beneficial solutions
  • High levels of expertise and experience around benefits and compensation
  • Strong employee relations skills, with the ability to have difficult conversations, make arduous decisions when necessary, and balance the needs of the people with the needs of the organization in all circumstances
  • The ability to change the campus perception that Human Resources is a “technical department” to one that perceives the department as a trustworthy resource for employees, emphasizing people over process
  • A comprehensive commitment to providing excellent customer service in all situations
  • The ability to multitask with multiple stakeholders who have diverse needs, adapt rapidly to changing conditions, and consistently be solutions-oriented with a “can do” attitude
  • Approachability and timely responsiveness, with a continuous focus on improving the employee experience
  • The ability to function effectively within a centralized institutional environment
  • The ability to balance ethical behavior, integrity, organizational success, employee advocacy, and the organizational mission and values in all instances
  • Solid budget and finance skills, with the ability to effectively devise and implement annual budgets, determine the ongoing financial needs of the department, and efficiently operate in what is typically a lean fiscal environment
  • The ability to recognize the strengths of the current team members and utilize these skills for the benefit of the department and the institution
  • The ability to listen carefully, ask knowledgeable questions, learn the culture of Radford and the Human Resources department, accept input from staff, and then make well-informed decisions
  • Energy and enthusiasm for the role, passion for the work, and a positive attitude, even in the face of adversity
  • Authenticity, self-awareness, and emotional intelligence
  • A strong and collegial partner as an integral part of the Finance & Administration leadership team

Institution & Location

OVERVIEW OF HUMAN RESOURCES

The Department of Human Resources at Radford University is committed to taking a leadership role in creating and supporting a highly productive, diverse, and qualified workforce at Radford University. The Department of Human Resources provides valued services, including benefits administration, team member services, team member relations, and training & leadership development that enables Radford University to attract, support, retain, and develop the diverse talent needed to achieve and sustain the University’s mission and vision.

 

DIVISIONAL LEADERSHIP

Stephanie Jennelle – Interim Vice President for Finance and Administration

Stephanie Jennelle currently serves Radford University as the Interim Vice President for Finance and Administration and Chief Financial Officer. Jennelle joined Radford University in 2010 and has served in several other capacities, including the Associate Vice President for Finance and University Controller. Jennelle is a Certified Public Accountant, and previous to her tenure at Radford University, she worked as the Auditor of Public Accounts (APA) on a variety of audits and special projects, including institutions of higher education. Jennelle is a graduate of Virginia Tech and has 19 years of service with the Commonwealth of Virginia.

 

INSTITUTIONAL OVERVIEW

Founded in 1910, Radford University has been granting graduate degrees since 1964. In 1972, after almost 60 years as an all-women’s college, Radford became coeducational and, in 1979, was granted university status by the Virginia General Assembly. In the fall of 2008, students enrolled in the University’s first doctoral program, and the first doctoral degrees were awarded in 2011. Dr. Bret S. Danilowicz became the University’s eighth President, effective July 1, 2022.

Radford University is a comprehensive, midsize public university that is student-focused, providing nearly 9,000 students with a diversity of outstanding academic programs. Well known for its strong faculty/student bonds, innovative use of technology in the learning environment, and vibrant student life on a beautiful campus, Radford University offers many opportunities to get involved and succeed in and out of the classroom. The University offers 76 bachelor’s degree programs in 47 disciplines, one associate degree, and six certificates at the undergraduate level; 28 master’s programs in 23 disciplines and six doctoral programs at the graduate level; and 13 post-baccalaureate certificates and one post-master’s certificate. A Division I NCAA and Big South Conference member, Radford University competes in 16 men’s and women’s varsity athletics.

Radford University Fast Facts:

  • Total enrollment: 8,998
  • Graduate enrollment: 2,485
  • 68 percent female, 32 percent male
  • 46 states (including Washington, D.C.), 56 foreign countries
  • 82 percent of full-time faculty hold doctorates or terminal degrees in their fields
  • Graduate assistants teach fewer than 3 percent of classes
  • Student to faculty ratio: 13:1
  • Average first-year class size: 24 (100 level courses), 20 (all undergrad courses)

Organizational Chart for Radford University

https://www.radford.edu/content/dam/departments/administrative/president-office/org-chart.pdf

MISSION, VISION, AND VALUES

Mission Statement

As a mid-sized, comprehensive public institution dedicated to the creation and dissemination of knowledge, Radford University empowers students from diverse backgrounds by providing transformative educational experiences, from the undergraduate to the doctoral level, within and beyond the classroom. As an inclusive university community, we specialize in cultivating relationships among students, faculty, staff, alumni, and other partners and in providing a culture of service, support, and engagement. We embrace innovation and tradition and instill students with purpose and the ability to think creatively and critically. We provide an educational environment and the tools to address the social, economic, and environmental issues confronting our region, nation, and the world.

Vision

Radford University aspires to be the premier, innovative, student-centered university in the Commonwealth of Virginia and beyond with a keen focus on teaching, research, and service.

Core Values

  • Student Empowerment and Success
  • Excellence
  • Inclusiveness
  • Community
  • Intellectual Freedom
  • Innovation
  • Sustainability

STRATEGIC PLAN

Radford University’s 2018-2023 Strategic Plan, Embracing the Tradition and Envisioning the Future, identifies the “hopes and dreams of Radford University and those it proudly serves, including our students, faculty, staff, alumni, community, and friends. Due to the work of so many, Radford University is poised for limitless opportunity and future success — success that is only possible due to the dedication and passion of individuals who devote themselves to the ideals and mission of our beloved university. Without question, Radford University has a storied history built upon strong tradition. With the implementation of Embracing the Tradition and Envisioning the Future, there is no limit to what the future holds and what we can achieve together as one Radford family,” as stated by President Hemphill, Radford University’s seventh President.

The goals identified within the five-year plan reflect the hopes and dreams of Radford University and those it proudly serves, including its students, faculty, staff, alumni, and community. To view the plan in its entirety, please visit https://www.radford.edu/content/strategic-planning/home.html.

INSTITUTIONAL LEADERSHIP

Dr. Bret S. Danilowicz –President

Bret S. Danilowicz, PhD, was selected as Radford University’s eighth president, effective July 1, 2022. He succeeded Brian O. Hemphill, PhD, who left Radford in June 2022 to accept another university presidency.

Before joining Radford, Danilowicz served since 2018 as the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs at Florida Atlantic University (FAU) in Boca Raton. In this role, he was the chief academic and administrative officer of a large public research (R2) university. In addition to supervising ten academic colleges with a budget of $330 million, Danilowicz provided oversight to related areas such as the Office of Undergraduate Studies, University Registrar, University Libraries, Office of Information Technology, and the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute. Previously, Danilowicz served as Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at Oklahoma State University from 2012-2018.

Danilowicz’s career has seen success in numerous areas. His work on FAU’s strategic plan ultimately drove improvement in academic programs, leading to the University’s first-ever rank in National Public Research Universities. As well, the University now ranks in the top 50 U.S. News and World Report lists for social mobility and the diversity of its student body, with programs in business, education, engineering, fine arts, medicine, nursing, and social sciences achieving their highest national rankings for one or more of their programs. In collaboration with the faculty senate at Florida Atlantic, Danilowicz launched a diversity, equity, and inclusion committee charged with identifying policies and practices which should be changed to improve diversity and inclusion efforts. As a result, one significant change was the addition of diversity and inclusion learning outcomes for all degrees.

Danilowicz earned a doctor of philosophy degree in zoology from Duke University, a master of business administration from Georgia Southern University, a master of arts in education from The Open University, U.K., and a bachelor of science in biology with a computer science minor from Utica College of Syracuse University. Additionally, Danilowicz held two postdoctoral fellowships at the University of Windsor, Canada.

Benefits Overview

BENEFITS OVERVIEW

Radford University offers a comprehensive package of Commonwealth of Virginia and agency-specific benefits available to employees. These benefits include health insurance, flexible spending accounts, leave, life insurance, and primary and supplemental retirement plans. To learn about the full benefits offered at Radford University, please visit https://www.radford.edu/content/human-resources/home/benefits.html.

Application & Nomination

Application and Nomination

Review of applications will begin immediately, and continue until the position is filled. To apply for this position please click on the Apply button, complete the brief application process, and upload your resume and position-specific cover letter. Nominations for this position and details about the status of this search may be emailed to J. Scott Derrick at jsd@spelmanjohnson.com. Applicants needing reasonable accommodation to participate in the application process should contact Spelman Johnson at 413-529-2895 or email info@spelmanjohnson.com.

 Visit the Radford University website at https://www.radford.edu/.

 Radford University does not discriminate with regard to race, color, sex, sexual orientation, disability, age, veteran status, national origin, religion, or political affiliation in the administration of its educational programs, activities, admission, or employment practices.