The Opportunity

The College of Wooster invites inquiries, nominations, and applications for the position of associate vice president for human resources. This experienced leader will oversee all human resource services, along with providing thoughtful leadership for processes and practices related to human resources for the college.

As America’s premier college for mentored undergraduate research, The College of Wooster is a private liberal arts college in Wooster, Ohio that enrolls 2,000 students. Founded in 1866 by the Presbyterian Church as the University of Wooster, it officially has been non-sectarian since 1969, when ownership ties with the Presbyterian Church ended. From its creation, the College has been a co-educational institution. Wooster is a member of The Five Colleges of Ohio, Great Lakes Colleges Association, and the Association of Presbyterian Colleges and Universities. Wooster is located in northeastern Ohio approximately 50 miles from Cleveland, and 35 miles from of Akron.

The Position

Role of the Associate Vice President for Human Resources for The College of Wooster

Reporting to the Vice President for Finance and Business, the Associate Vice President for Human Resources (AVP) leads the Human Resources Department which supports all facets of employee recruitment, development, and experience. The department oversees appropriate compensation and benefits packages for all staff and supports both staff and academic recruitment, hiring, development, and appreciation. The AVP will be responsible for strategic leadership and management of all aspects of human resources and will analyze and oversee critical data and human resources-related compliance. The AVP will provide leadership in advancing staff success and continue the development of College policies and best practices to maintain a positive and fair working environment that attracts, develops, supports, and retains a qualified, high-performing, diverse, and inclusive workforce.

The AVP serves as a lead in resolving employee concerns and is responsible for continued growth of a climate of trust, collaboration and responsibility.  The AVP partners with the elected Staff Committee to discuss important issues facing the College and questions relating to employee policies and benefits, and to develop fruitful approaches to communication and collaboration across campus.  The AVP will work closely with the President, the Cabinet, and other campus leaders on all aspects of the College’s activities to provide subject matter expertise and guidance in all areas of human resources and will contribute to the institution’s strategic planning goals, which enable the mission of the College.

History of the Position

Lorraine Forcinito has served as the associate vice president for human resources since 2020. She will depart from Wooster in October 2021 to Texas.

Opportunities and Challenges of the Role

The new associate vice president for human resources (AVP) must possess an understanding of best practices in human resources, as well as in advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion. The AVP should be a thought leader and capable of innovative creative solutions in working strategically with faculty, staff, and students. The emphasis on providing leadership in human resources and strengthening systems and structures will be a priority for the AVP.

Additional challenges and opportunities for the new associate vice president for human resources as articulated by stakeholders are as follows:

  • The new AVP will need to be politically savvy and able to coordinate services and collaborations across institutional units, and with a variety of employee classifications/types including full-time, part-time, administrators, faculty, contractual, and coaches.
  • The new AVP will provide anti-racist leadership in fostering a climate of transparency, diversity, inclusiveness and respect.
  • The new AVP will need to be collaborative and be able to harness and direct a team that works seamlessly with each other, as well as with others throughout the institution.
  • The new AVP will work towards creating a plan to address recruiting and retaining a more diverse workforce.
  • It is preferable that the new AVP have a strong background in leading a human resources unit as they will be expected to assess the current system to determine needed refinements and adjustments to maintain current best practices and standards for compliance and service.
  • The new AVP will need to review benefits as they relate to inequity between classifications of employees.
  • The new AVP will continue the review of employee training and rebuild this area to include professional development and performance issues improvement.
  • Wooster desires a knowledgeable and forward-thinking human resources professional who can review salary structures and develop a plan for the institution to address salary compression.
  • Stakeholders noted that Wooster has an institutional culture that emphasizes a strong sense of community, mutual support, and a collaborative approach to work. The new AVP will find a supervisor and administrative peers who are welcoming and promote open communication.
  • The new AVP will be expected to lead a talent recruitment and retention plan.

There are some early areas of focus for the new AVP—utilization of technology, team and trust building with human resources staff, development of consistent hiring and onboarding practices, strengthen student employment processes, clarification of policies and process guidelines, and advocacy for needed technology upgrades.

Measures of Success

At an appropriate interval after joining the College of Wooster, the following overall expectations, projects, and key strategic initiatives and will initially define success for the associate vice president for human resources:

  • By partnering with the chief diversity equity and inclusion officer, The AVP will have made progress towards the desired outcomes of the diversity, equity, and inclusion goals for the college.
  • The AVP will have maintained a proactive, highly visible, well-respected, and established leadership presence on campus. This leadership presence will have been credible, collegial, collaborative, and positively received.
  • The AVP will have analyzed, contributed to, and defined human resources plans and goals that implement industry best practices that serve the department and campus moving forward.
  • The staff reporting to the AVP will feel supported and valued, and also be defined as a strong, highly functioning, well-regarded, and resilient team that works with synergy and shared provision of service.
  • The AVP will have assessed the impact of programs and services and utilized data-driven decisions for improvements in processes and operations.
  • The AVP will have demonstrated an ability to partner with Cabinet leadership to facilitate a working environment at the College that promotes a balance of a strong commitment to the success of the College that respects a positive work-life balance for employees. – or something like that. Trying to get at the partnership between the two that will make the College a place where people really want to work.

Qualifications

Qualifications and Characteristics

The successful candidate will have a bachelor’s degree or equivalent work experience in human resources, organizational development, labor relations, or a related field, with a master’s degree preferred, and a minimum of seven to ten years of progressive and successful experience, including supervisory experience, in a broad array of human resources functions. The successful candidate will also possess proven managerial ability with specific training in supervisory/management skills and responsibilities; demonstrated success in managing complex projects; demonstrated experience building consensus, working with teams, exhibiting sound judgment, practicing flexibility, and working within a constantly changing environment. Highly desired qualifications and skills include the ability to lead, experience in implementing inclusive anti-bias change and in fostering continuous improvement across an organization; experience overseeing and managing technology related to human resources operations; a solid commitment to customer service, working courteously and effectively with students, faculty, and staff, excellent administrative, organizational, oral, and written communication, interpersonal, and public relations skills; commitment to a team-oriented leadership style; ability to build enduring, collaborative working relationships that engender trust and respect; and an ability to work with and recruit/retain a diverse faculty and staff, as well as an unwavering commitment to diversity, equity, and to promoting an inclusive campus climate.

Further qualifications as outlined in the institutional job description include:

  • Broad human resources knowledge in employment recruitment, development and retention, as well as in human resources related compliance and regulatory matters.
  • Demonstrated success in recruiting and retaining an excellent and diverse faculty and staff.
  • Demonstrated cultural competencies.
  • A sophisticated approach to organizational leadership and to building an inclusive workplace.
  • Ability to lead and develop a team; demonstrated success in leading human resources staff and programs.
  • Knowledge regarding approaches to setting appropriate compensation and benefits for all employees.
  • Willingness and ability to build strong relationships across campus.
  • Demonstrated ability to communicate effectively, persuasively, and credibly with a wide range of audiences including faculty, staff, administrators, students, job applicants, and external organizations.
  • Strong leader, team player, self-starter with the ability to influence and motivate all levels of the college.
  • Exceptional interpersonal skills with high degree of sensitivity and ability to handle complex, emotional issues in a rational, equitable and appropriate manner.
  • Strong collaborative skills.
  • Sound judgement, a direct and open communication style, ability to facilitate productive dialog and to solve problems.
  • Strong attention to detail and deadlines with experience driving projects to fruition in a timely and accurate manner.
  • Ability to build a culture of teamwork and trust, and the ability to motivate employees who are undergoing change.
  • Ability to perform quantitative analyses, utilize computerized systems, and excel at verbal and written communication.
  • Experience with leveraging integrated human resources information systems, web-based systems, and media technologies to advance the strategic priorities and the operation of human resources and in support of college-wide institutional assessment and strategic planning.
  • Demonstrated commitment to diversity, inclusion, and a customer-service orientation.
  • Integrity, confidentiality, good judgment, and a strong commitment to fiduciary responsibility are critical to this position.

Additional capabilities and attributes identified as important by Wooster stakeholders include the following:

  • have a high level of emotional intelligence, empathy, and concern for others, including the ability to navigate controversy with civility and respect;
  • be a strong collaborator who is able to work with administration as well as faculty, staff, and students;
  • demonstrate a commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion and social justice that is evolving as the institution grows;
  • be knowledgeable about benefits and bring solutions to increased cost challenges;
  • be aggressive and forward-thinking in advancing the college;
  • be entrepreneurial—able to generate innovative solutions to complex workforce problems;
  • be a visionary and possess the ability to translate institutional strategy into operational goals;
  • possess a communication style that builds trust, collaboration, and encourages team building;
  • articulate a sophisticated understanding of current human resources trends and best practices;
  • hold a demonstrated knowledge of policy, legal issues, and crisis/emergency management; and
  • possess a commitment to professional growth for the college and development for faculty and staff members.

Institution & Location

Overview of the Human Resources Department

Human Resources provides essential services to the College of Wooster community in the areas of:

  • Policies and Procedures
  • Recruiting and hiring qualified staff
  • Designing and administering employee benefits
  • Staff compensation
  • Leave administration
  • Staff development and training
  • Student employment
  • Non-Discrimination and Sexual Assault

https://www.wooster.edu/offices/hr/

Leadership of the Division

Jim Prince, Vice President for Finance and Business/Treasurer

Jim Prince serves as the College’s chief financial and business officer.  Mr. Prince manages and oversees the College’s budget process, business office, facilities and facilities planning, investments, grounds, purchasing, the bookstore, and food services.  Mr. Prince works with the President, the Board of Trustees, the senior leadership team, faculty, and staff to ensure a successful and stable financial future for the College.  Mr. Prince supports and staffs the Board of Trustee’s Finance, Investment, Audit, and Building and Grounds Committees, communicating all aspects of financial and budget planning, oversight of college investments, annual audits and risk management, and responsibility for capital projects.

Mr. Prince came to the College of Wooster from Kalamazoo College in Michigan, where he served as Vice President for Business and Finance since 2009.  While at Kalamazoo, Mr. Prince created a five-year budget modeling tool to assist with financial forecasting, provided leadership for the development of the College’s master plan, and oversaw the planning and execution of several major capital projects.

Mr. Prince has over 37 years in higher education administration, including senior positions at Geneva College in Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania; Clarke College in Dubuque, Iowa; Simpson College in Indianola, Iowa, and Bethel College in Mishawaka, Indiana.

https://www.wooster.edu/bio/jprince/

Institutional Overview

Institutional background

Wooster offers an excellent, comprehensive liberal arts education, culminating in a rigorous senior project, in which each student works one-on-one with a faculty mentor to conceive, organize and complete a significant research project on a topic of the student’s own choosing.

Through this distinctive program, every Wooster student develops abilities valued by employers and graduate schools alike: independent judgment, analytical ability, creativity, project-management and time-management skills, and strong written and oral communication skills. Founded in 1866, the college enrolls approximately 2,000 students.

  • 96% of Wooster graduates are employed within 6 months of receiving their diplomas.
  • 91% of Wooster grads are accepted in their top choice graduate school including Columbia, MIT, and Carnegie Mellon.
  • 94% of alumni believe their Wooster experience developed the key skills of critical thinking and effective writing.

Every year since 2002 U.S. News & World Report has asked college presidents and deans to name schools with outstanding undergraduate research opportunities and senior capstone programs, only two schools have made both lists every year: Wooster and Princeton.

https://www.wooster.edu/about/

Wooster, OH

Wooster is the county seat of Wayne County, Ohio. John Beaver, William Henry, and Joseph Larwill established the town in 1808. Residents named the town in honor of David Wooster, a hero of the American Revolution. Wayne County’s original seat of government was Madison, but county residents lobbied the Ohio legislature to move the county seat to Wooster. Wooster became the seat of government in 1811.

Wooster grew very quickly. In 1840, 1,913 people resided in the town. Eight churches, twenty-one stores, one bank, and a private school for women all existed in the town by 1846. Over the next several decades, Wooster’s influence continued to expand. In 1868, the Presbyterian Church established the College of Wooster. By 1889, the college had graduated 434 men and seventy-six women. That same year, twenty-four instructors taught almost seven hundred students. One year earlier, the city of Wooster contained eight newspaper offices, eleven churches, two banks and numerous manufacturing businesses, which primarily provided services or products to farmers in the surrounding countryside. In 1890, the town’s largest employer was the Underwood Whip Company. This firm manufactured whips and employed sixty-four of Wooster’s 5,901 residents. Other local businesses produced furniture, leather products, flour, animal feed, rye whiskey, granite, machinery, carriages, and numerous other items.

During the twentieth century, Wooster remained an important center of trade for local farmers. Illustrating farming’s importance to the local economy, Wooster is the home of the Ohio Research and Development Center for Agriculture. Many of the city’s businesses continue to manufacture items for Wayne County’s more rural residents. Many locals also find employment at the College of Wooster. With a population of 24,811 people, Wooster was Wayne County’s largest community in 2000.

https://ohiohistorycentral.org/w/Wooster,_Ohio

Mission Statement

The College of Wooster is a community of independent minds, working together to prepare students to become leaders of character and influence in an interdependent global community. We engage motivated students in a rigorous and dynamic liberal education. Mentored by a faculty nationally recognized for excellence in teaching, Wooster graduates are creative and independent thinkers with exceptional abilities to ask important questions, research complex issues, solve problems, and communicate new knowledge and insight.

Core Values

These are the values that govern our shared pursuits, the ideas that we hold true.

  • Education in the Liberal Arts Tradition
  • A Focus on Research and Collaboration
  • A Community of Learners
  • Independence of Thought
  • Social and Intellectual Responsibility
  • Diversity and Inclusivity

Graduate Qualities

By putting those values into action, the College helps students develop a very specific set of personal and intellectual capacities by the time they graduate. Read more about these graduate qualities.

Vision Statement

Our collective endeavor is to prosper as a distinguished independent liberal arts college, to thrive as a vigorous intellectual community, and to create a reputation that reflects our achievements. We seek to be leaders in liberal learning, building on our tradition of graduating independent thinkers who are well prepared to seek solutions to significant problems, to create and communicate new knowledge and insight, and to make significant contributions to our complex and interdependent world.

https://www.wooster.edu/about/mission/

Strategic Plan

Connect, Create, Discover: A Strategic Plan for the College of Wooster

Areas of Focus

Community

Create a vibrant, welcoming and strongly-woven campus community

Diversity & Inclusion

Grow our internationality, diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Academic Excellence & Innovation

Build on our history of excellence in the liberal arts and support strategic new academic pathways and connections.

Connected Learning

Deepen and make more universal connections between learning in the classroom and engagement with the campus, local community, and the world.

https://www.wooster.edu/strategic-plan

https://www.wooster.edu/about.diversity

https://wooster.edu/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/diversity-equity-inclusion-plan.pdf

Leadership

Sarah Bolton, President

Sarah Bolton is the 12th president of The College of Wooster and a professor of physics.

Bolton came to Wooster in July 2016 and led the final two years of the record-setting $190 million Wooster’s Promise comprehensive campaign, which resulted in 71 new scholarships, three new endowed professorships, 34 new endowed funds to support faculty, student research, and academic departments, and the creation of 10 endowed funds to support APEX, the College’s integrated center for student academic and career advising, planning and experiential learning.

In 2018, Bolton cut the ribbon on the $40 million state-of-the-art Ruth W. Williams Hall of Life Sciences. Gifts and commitments to Wooster’s Promise also contributed to the recent construction of the Brush Hall student residence, the transformation of Gault Schoolhouse into residential space, and the renovated Alley in the lower level of Lowry Center.

In her first year at Wooster, Bolton collaborated with students, staff, and faculty to create Wooster’s first Diversity, Equity and Inclusion strategic plan. As part of that plan, the College developed the Perry Williams Fellowship program, which has brought nine excellent early-career faculty members to Wooster, and secured a $1.1 million Mellon-foundation grant to strengthen interdisciplinary work and faculty diversity at the College.

Under her leadership, Wooster has grown to be the most international campus in Ohio, comprised of 40 percent U.S. students of color and international students hailing from 62 nations and 45 states as well as 25 percent Pell-eligible students. Bolton has led efforts to bolster equity, inclusion, and the sense of community on campus through the creation of a dedicated Title IX office and the hiring of the College’s first-ever Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer.

Wooster’s curriculum also has evolved during her time at Wooster. In 2018, the College established new core curricular requirements to ensure all students build their capacities for understanding issues of diversity, justice, and global engagement.

Bolton also initiated work to add new majors and minors in vibrant emerging fields, many of which are interdisciplinary. Wooster faculty developed four new majors in 2018 and 2019, including: environmental geoscience, statistical and data sciences, education, and environmental studies.

Bolton is currently leading Connect, Create, Discover, an inclusive strategic planning process that seeks to steward Wooster’s core strengths and mission while charting a course forward that inspires young people from across the U.S. and around the world to continue to come to the College to learn, thrive, grow, and graduate ready for lives of purpose in a globally interconnected society.

She serves on the boards of Wayne Economic Development Corporation, Culture of Respect, the Association of Presbyterian Colleges and Universities, as well as the Five Colleges of Ohio and Great Lakes College Association.

Prior to joining Wooster, Bolton served for six years as Dean of the College at Williams College in Williamstown, Mass., overseeing many aspects of student life, including building build programs for first-generation college students, strengthening academic advising, academic resources, international study, first-year residential life, and student safety. She chaired the Faculty Steering Committee and was a model for women in science.

Bolton came to Williams as an assistant professor of physics in 1995 and was promoted to associate professor in 2001 and full professor in 2007—the first woman to reach this milestone in physics at Williams. She served as chair of Williams’ physics department from 2007 to 2010 and won the college’s Outstanding Mentor Award for Fostering Inclusive Academic Excellence in 2009. As a professor, she advised a dozen senior theses and more than 20 student research projects.

Her research explores the properties of novel, nanostructured materials, which have features made up of only a few atomic layers. She uses lasers to measure the ways that energy moves in these quantum mechanical systems.

Bolton earned a bachelor’s degree in physics and biophysics from Brown University in 1988, a master’s degree in physics from the University of California at Berkeley in 1991, and a doctorate in physics, also from Berkeley, in 1995.

https://www.wooster.edu/bio/sbolton

Academic Programs and Faculty

Activism & Social Change
Africana Studies
Anthropology
Archaeology
Art History
Art – Studio
Biochemistry & Molecular Biology
Biology
Business Economics
Chemical Physics
Chemistry
Chinese
Classical Studies
Communication Sciences & Disorders
Communication Studies
Comparative Literature
Computer Science
Data Exploration & Communication
Digital & Visual Storytelling
East Asian Studies
Economics
Education
English
Entrepreneurship
Environmental Geoscience
Environmental Studies
Film Studies
Forestry & Environmental Studies
French & Francophone Studies
Geology
German
Global Impacts
Global & International Studies
Global Media & Digital Studies
History
Latin American Studies
Mathematics

Middle Eastern & North African Studies
Museum & Archival Studies
Music
Neuroscience
Peace Corps Prep
Philosophy
Physical Education
Physics
Political Science
Pre-Architecture
Pre-Engineering
Pre-Health
Pre-Law
Psychology
Public Health
Religious Studies
Russian Studies
South Asian Studies
Sociology
Spanish
Statistical & Data Sciences
Theatre & Dance
Urban Studies
Women’s, Gender, & Sexuality Studies

https://www.wooster.edu/academics/

Full-time faculty: 193

Full-time faculty holding Ph.D. or equivalent terminal degree: 96%

Number of staff: 439

Student-faculty ratio: 10 to 1

https://www.wooster.edu/about/facts/

The Student Body

Total enrollment (2020): 1,928

  • 54% female, 46% male
  • 24% U.S. students of color
  • 17% international
  • 31% Ohio, 69% non-Ohio
  • 46 states and 65 countries represented

Students living on-campus: 99%

https://www.wooster.edu/about/facts/

Application & 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 may be emailed to Laura Puckett-Boler at lpb@spelmanjohnson.com. Applicants needing reasonable accommodation to participate in the application process should contact Spelman Johnson at 413-529-2895.

Visit the College of Wooster website at https://www.wooster.edu.

It is the policy of The College of Wooster to not discriminate against any employee or applicant for employment, and to take affirmative action to employ and to advance in employment all persons, regardless of their status, and to base all employment decisions only on valid job requirements. This policy applies to all employment actions, including, but not limited to recruitment, hiring, upgrading, promotion, rates of pay or other forms of compensation and selection for training at all levels of employment. Employees of and applicants to The College of Wooster will not be subject to harassment, intimidation, threats, coercion, or discrimination because they have engaged or may engage in filing a complaint, assisting in a review, investigation, or hearing or have otherwise sought to obtain their legal rights related to any federal, state, or local laws regarding EEO for minorities, females, qualified individuals with disabilities, or qualified protected veterans.

The College of Wooster is an independent college of the liberal arts and sciences with a commitment to excellence in undergraduate education. The College values diversity, strives to attract qualified women and minority candidates, and encourages individuals belonging to these groups to apply. Wooster seeks to ensure diversity by its policy of making appointments without regard to age, sex, color, race, creed, religion, national origin, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, or political affiliation.

The College of Wooster is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer. Employment is subject to federal laws requiring verification of identity and legal right to work in the United States as required by the Immigration Reform and Control Act. The College of Wooster is a drug-free workplace.