The Opportunity

Founded in 1874, Colorado College is an independent, coeducational, liberal arts and sciences college of bold ideas, located in the beautiful city of Colorado Springs on the Front Range of the Rocky Mountains at the foot of Pikes Peak. Ranked among the top 25 national liberal arts colleges by U.S. News & World Report, Colorado College enjoys an unequivocal mission: to provide the finest liberal arts education in the country.

What makes Colorado College distinct is its combination of program, place, and people; it is a unique institution in terms of geography and pedagogy. Set in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains, Colorado College is the only selective liberal arts college in the region and enrolls just over 2,000 undergraduate students. In 37 academic departments, faculty engage students directly and prepare them for leadership in the 21st century. The college’s signature academic program, the “Block Plan,” is an intensive academic schedule that allows students to immerse themselves in a single subject for three and a half weeks, rather than balancing several courses over a semester. One example of the college’s innovative work is its integration with the world-renowned Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center (now the Fine Arts Center at Colorado College), which has greatly expanded arts programming and sparked new interdisciplinary learning opportunities. Students at Colorado College learn more than theoretical approaches; they learn to embrace the importance of diverse backgrounds and viewpoints and appreciate how diversity enriches their understanding of the world.

The Position

Role of the Director of Human Resources for Colorado College

Reporting to the senior vice president of finance and administration, the director of human resources provides strategic leadership, planning, and administration of human resources programs and services including recruitment and employment, performance excellence, total rewards (compensation and benefits), professional development, employee relations, policy development and compliance, and organizational development. The director will develop and administer human resources strategic planning, forecasting, and administrative oversight on effective policies, procedures, and programs; stay abreast of human resource trends, laws, regulations, best practices, and technologies; and ensure all human resources policies, practices, and programs comply with applicable federal and state laws and regulations. The director will collaborate and coordinate with compliance partners across the institution to support the College’s compliance needs and responsibilities, ensure efficiency, and oversee the development, implementation, and maintenance of a comprehensive employee-relations strategy that incorporates leadership effectiveness, employee engagement, conflict resolution, mediation, disciplinary actions, and alignment with inclusive practices. The director will provide vision, integrity, and a team-oriented approach to the Office of Human Resources and lead a professional staff (exempt and non-exempt) to oversee systems, processes, and budgets, ensure high levels of performance, address performance concerns, provide support, guidance, assessment, and opportunities for professional growth and development, and build a team culture that upholds innovation, experimentation, life-long learning, adaptability, institutional and personal evolution, and cultural dexterity. The director will provide advice, counsel, and coaching to college leadership on complex human resource-related matters and issues, and support an antiracist agenda by understanding, engaging with, and promoting diversity, inclusion, and equity in all aspects of human resources programs and services.

Additional responsibilities of the director include the following:

  • Consult and work closely with legal counsel on employment, litigation, and compliance issues;
  • Contribute to the development and implementation of the Finance & Administration division’s strategic plan to build a shared understanding the college’s antiracism work and commit to dismantling the institutional structures that uphold racial inequality in Colorado College’s workplace, city, and society;
  • Develop, administer, and monitor the HR budget;
  • Promote a culture of safety and environmental protection by working in a safe manner; immediately reporting unsafe situations and accidents; following college procedures; and participating in appropriate safety training;
  • Demonstrate environmental sustainability by using college resources wisely and supporting the college’s sustainability initiatives and innovation.

Opportunities and Challenges of the Role

The new director of human resources should be both tactical and relational. In addition to managing the daily operations of the HR department, the new director must meet rising demands and expectations from a broad range of constituencies, encourage team problem-solving, and serve as a key player in advancing the College’s mission and strategic priorities through attracting, developing, and retaining a talented and diverse workforce. In transitioning to Colorado College, the director may likely encounter the following opportunities, priorities, and challenges, as shared by key institutional stakeholders:

  • Stakeholders repeatedly noted that Colorado College has an institutional culture that emphasizes a strong sense of community, mutual support, and collaborative work. The director will find a supervisor and administrative peers who are welcoming and promote open communication. While much of the director’s job may be perceived as transactional in nature, Colorado College also seeks a knowledgeable and forward-thinking human resources professional who can implement best HR practices at the institution.
  • The director will be expected to design, implement, and lead a big-picture strategy that positions Colorado College as an employer of choice in the region.
  • It is expected that the new director will recognize and provide leadership to address the need to develop talent and benchmark strength at the College, and continue to support and renew the recruitment and retention of diverse talent.
  • The director will provide policies, procedures, and platforms that allow HR units to operate more efficiently.
  • Stakeholders shared that navigating the pace of the block plan and its impact on the campus can stimulate pressures and issues in the work environment.
  • The new director will likely encounter individuals and/or groups who will say “we need change.” The director should engage them in open dialogue and work to discern where systems are running smoothly and where there are pinch-points to be ameliorated. Colorado College administrators, faculty, and staff are enthusiastic by the opportunity this transition period provides to actively review the various elements of the human resources office, and will support the new director as they make a successful transition to the institution.

Measures of Success

At an appropriate interval after joining Colorado College, a number of accomplishments will define initial success for the new director:

  • Establish oneself as a highly visible, approachable leader on campus;
  • Provide clear evidence that they have built productive and collaborative relationships across the institution;
  • Demonstrate clear, effective communication, good rapport, and swift responsiveness to all College stakeholders;
  • Assess the human resources department and make recommendations for improvement by bringing forward new and innovative ideas;
  • Demonstrate that considerable progress has been made in further enhancing and advancing the recruitment process and the professional development program;
  • Serve as an internal “brand ambassador” for the institution and the employees, emphasizing that Colorado College is a great place to work.

Qualifications and Characteristics

A bachelor’s degree in human resources management, business administration, organizational development/administration, or other related field of study plus seven or more years’ experience in a senior leadership human resources management role, and a minimum of seven years supervising and managing staff are required. Previous experience managing change efforts and project management, along with specialized experience in at least five of the following areas, is required: organizational development, employee relations, compensation, job classification, professional development, recruitment, policy development and implementation, benefits, employment, HRIS, equal employment and affirmative action, investigation, and conflict resolution and mediation. The successful candidate must possess strong interpersonal and problem solving skills, with a proven record of building and maintaining strong, effective working relationships with a wide diversity of employee constituents. They must have the ability to manage confidential matters with tact and diplomacy, organize and prioritize work to meet deadlines, be flexible, self-directed, and goal oriented, and possess a positive work approach with the skills to promote a team-oriented environment. Demonstrated experience promoting and supporting diversity, equity, and inclusion, as well as an understanding of antiracism terminology and language, will be important in the selection process.

A master’s degree in human resources management, business administration, or other related field is preferred. SPHR certification and knowledge of values-based leadership principles and skills, human resources management experience in a higher education environment, and experience working with enterprise database systems are desirable.

Additionally, various stakeholders identified a number of characteristics, skills, actions, and/or abilities as important attributes of the director:

  • understands the dynamics of higher education;
  • proven abilities in the design, implementation, management, and review of human resources functions;
  • a strong communicator with the ability to support a wide variety of human resources functions who can work closely with faculty and staff to support their human resources-related questions and needs;
  • political savvy and the ability to de-escalate polarizing conflicts and issues;
  • highly collaborative—able and willing to establish credibility with all constituencies through excellent listening, communication, and relationship-building skills;
  • a consensus builder who demonstrates success at synthesizing multiple perspectives into cohesive and concise policies and processes;
  • strategic, deliberate, and intentional approach to operational efficiency—a “roll-up-your-sleeves” person in the areas of planning, development, and implementation of policies, procedures, and best practices;
  • creative—able to think outside the box and generate innovative solutions to complex problems;
  • adept at developing and empowering HR staff to solve problems and provide quality customer service;
  • superb judgment and high level of tact, diplomacy, and persuasive ability, as required in the discussion of key issues that have substantial impact on the College;
  • a systems thinker, creative problem solver, strategic risk-taker, and confident decision-maker;
  • demonstrated commitment to the value of diversity and inclusivity in higher education;
  • a leadership style that is inclusive, empowering, and approachable;
  • a strong supervisor who clearly communicates expectations, delegates effectively, and supports professional development and lifelong learning;
  • able to engage others and listen attentively to assimilate information and learn about the Colorado College environment and its work culture;
  • able to be transparent in acknowledging issues and prioritizing solutions and resources;
  • a seasoned, dedicated professional of impeccable integrity and high ethical standards who engenders trust in others;
  • understands national perspectives and best practices in human resources.

THE INSTITUTION, DIVISION, AND DEPARTMENT: AN OVERVIEW

The Division of Finance and Administration

The Division of Finance and Administration provides support for Colorado College’s students, faculty, staff, and community partners.  The division’s work is guided by the college’s mission—to provide the finest liberal arts education in the country, while developing habits of intellect and imagination that prepare students for lifelong learning and leadership.

Leadership

Robert G. Moore – Senior Vice President and Vice President of Finance and Administration/Treasurer

Moore is currently the senior vice president of Colorado College and is the vice president of finance and administration/treasurer. His areas of responsibility include endowment management, controller’s office, budget office, human resources office, facilities services, purchasing services, dining operations, bookstore operations, and operations of the managed properties of the college.

Prior to coming to Colorado College, Moore served as the vice president for budget and finance at the University of Colorado and as the vice president for finance and operations at the Colorado School of Mines. He has served as the deputy executive director for the Colorado Commission on Higher Education and as the staff director for the Joint Budget Committee of the Colorado General Assembly.

Moore currently serves as chair for the National Association of College and University Business Officers and is a past president for the Western Association of College and University Business Officers. He previously served on the Board of Directors for University Hospital and on the Douglas County School Board.

Overview of the Human Resources Division

Human Resources provides an array of services including employment opportunities, competitive total rewards, benefits and wellness, performance management, learning and professional development, employee appreciation and recognition, strategic and organizational development, and much more.

Mission

The Office of Human Resources provides exceptional services for talent acquisition, total rewards, performance excellence, and employment strategies and programming in support of the mission of Colorado College. We are committed to progressing and maintaining a diverse, inclusive, and open-minded environment where our employees are able to thrive and engage in life-long learning and development. Through collaboration, communication, transparency, and community engagement we deliver an unparalleled employee experience.

Vision

To be the best HR team that we can be for Colorado College!

Guiding Principles

  • Respectful and responsive interactions
  • High ethical and professional standards
  • Welcoming and inclusive approach
  • Commitment to continuous learning
  • Partnerships and honest communication

Institution & Location

Institutional Background and History

Colorado College’s history is one full of proud tradition and progressive culture. The conventions upon which the school was based continue to live through the current students, faculty, and staff. Established in 1874, two years before Colorado became a state, Colorado College’s history is a long and proud one as a coeducational institution. In the early years, before there existed so much as a permanent building, Colorado College gathered a small faculty whose roots ran to New England scholarship. Today’s faculty, although more diverse philosophically, still balances teaching and scholarship as the college’s traditional strength.

In 1871, General William Jackson Palmer, founder of the Denver and Rio Grande Railroad, laid out the city of Colorado Springs along his new line from Denver. Envisioning a model city, he reserved land and contributed funds for a college, which was to open on May 6, 1874.

The college’s first building, Cutler Hall, opened in 1880; the first bachelor’s degrees were conferred in 1882. Under President William F. Slocum, who served from 1888 to 1917, the campus took the shape it held until the 1950s. During this time, the college significantly expanded, improved the library’s holdings, and attracted leading scholars in a number of fields. Phi Beta Kappa was chartered in 1904.

Since the mid-1950s, the campus has been almost entirely rebuilt. New facilities include three large residence halls, Worner Campus Center, Tutt Library, Olin Hall of Science and the Barnes Science Center, Honnen Ice Rink, Boettcher Health Center, Schlessman Pool, Armstrong Hall of Humanities, Palmer Hall, El Pomar Sports Center, and Packard Hall of Music and Art. The Gaslight Plaza Building, previously known as the Plaza Hotel and the Plaza Building, was purchased by the college in March 1991 and was renamed the William I. Spencer Center in public ceremonies on October 5, 1991 to honor Bill Spencer, who served on the board from 1967 until 1991 and was chair from 1984 to 1991. The building houses development, communications, and human resources. Turn-of-the-century Bemis, Cossitt, Cutler, Montgomery, and Palmer Halls and the William I. Spencer Center are on the National Register of Historic Places.

The Colorado College campus has undergone significant changes over recent years, with the construction of the Western Ridge Housing Complex, the completion of the Russell T. Tutt Science Center, and the revitalization of the east campus, now home to several “theme” houses.

In 2008, the campus welcomed the opening of the Edith Kinney Gaylord Cornerstone Arts Center, an interdisciplinary arts building allowing for innovative, experimental, and collaborative projects in a unique space with state-of-the-art technology.

In the spring of 2013, Colorado College completed the addition of the Adam F. Press Fitness Center, a state-of-the-art facility dedicated to the health of the college community. The renovations to El Pomar Sports Center and the addition of the Adam F. Press Fitness Center have reinvigorated and energized the college’s access to health and wellness and continue to be a huge asset for students, faculty, and staff.

Perhaps more significant than the physical development of the campus is its academic vigor. The college’s curriculum includes a number of interdisciplinary programs: Southwest studies, feminist and gender studies, Asian studies, biochemistry, environmental sciences, neuroscience, Latin American studies, Russian and Eurasian studies, and race and ethnic studies, as well as a strong across-the-curriculum writing program and a thriving Summer Session.

The citizens of Colorado Springs over a century ago were so proud of their young town’s progress and prosperity that they filled a Century Chest full of descriptive memorabilia. A splendid ceremony in 1901 at Colorado College marked the sealing of the large steel-riveted box, which stands today in the college’s Tutt Library. It was opened on January 1, 2001, and contains more than 100 essays and photographs depicting community life a century ago.

About Colorado Springs, Colorado

The Ute, Arapaho, and Cheyenne peoples were the first recorded inhabitants of an area which would become Colorado Springs. As part of the land included in the United States’ 1803 Louisiana Purchase, the current city area was designated a section of the 1854 Kansas Territory. In 1859, after the first local settlement was established, it became part of the Jefferson Territory and then that of El Paso County. Colorado City, at the Front Range confluence of Fountain and Camp creeks, was formally organized on August 13, 1859 during the Pike’s Peak Gold Rush. It served as the capital of the Colorado Territory from November 5, 1861, until August 14, 1862, when the capital was moved to Denver.

Today, Colorado Springs is a home rule municipality that is the largest city by area (194.9 square miles) in Colorado as well as the county seat and the most populous municipality of El Paso County, Colorado.  Located 60 miles south of Denver, in east central Colorado, the city stands more than one mile above sea level; the city lies near the base of Pikes Peak, which rises 14,115 feet above sea level on the eastern edge of the Southern Rocky Mountains.

Colorado Springs has an estimated population of 472,688 and a metro population of approximately 738,939, making it Colorado’s second most populous city, behind Denver, and the 39th most populous city in the United States. The United States Air Force Academy opened in 1958 just north of Colorado Springs. The city also is home to 24 national sports governing bodies, including the United States Olympic Committee, the United States Olympic Training Center, and USA Hockey. The Metropolitan Policy Program at Brookings found Colorado Springs to be the fastest-growing city for millennials, and in 2018, U.S. News & World Report named Colorado Springs the most desirable place to live in the United States.

Mission and Vision

At Colorado College (CC) our goal is to provide the finest liberal arts education in the country. Drawing upon the adventurous spirit of the Rocky Mountain West, we challenge students, one course at a time, to develop those habits of intellect and imagination that will prepare them for learning and leadership throughout their lives.

Our unique system provides students with the most immersive and we feel rewarding method of learning possible. It offers in-depth study of a subject, oftentimes covering far more material than most semester-based programs, at demanding and inspiring levels.

We offer unparalleled access to the outdoors, and CC students are no strangers to the adventurous spirit that flourishes here in the Rocky Mountain West. This attitude is something that is instilled into everything we do here. Curiosity is the driver, and ingenuity is the outcome.

Our academic environment challenges our students and drives them toward discovery. The nature of the Block Plan enables students to truly find and pursue their passions. Additionally, many courses venture elsewhere beyond the classroom–whether it be studying astronomy at our Baca campus or simply taking your readings outside. CC allows students and professors alike to make their college experience whatever they choose it to be.

At CC, we pride ourselves not solely upon academic rigors and standards, but also on the traits it seeks to bring out in its students. We encourage and facilitate numerous opportunities for student volunteer work, such as BreakOut trips, as well as offering students leadership positions both on campus and within the local Colorado Springs community. Leadership is something that we strive for in everything we do at CC, because the leadership skills cultivated here will allow students to become leaders in whichever careers they pursue.

Strategic Plan

As Colorado College moves forward with new strategic initiatives, our mission remains the same—providing the finest liberal arts education in the country. Yes, it’s a simple statement. But in these complicated times, it helps everyone at the college to focus clearly on what is most important—connecting our primary goal to our daily work.

How do we back up such a bold statement? With the Block Plan and our distinctive place in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains. Both support our strategic focus with a spirit of adventure—a rigorous exploration that develops habits of intellect and imagination.

We believe the best liberal arts education in the country is the one that engages students most directly and best prepares them for learning and leadership in the 21st century. In a time of rapid change and globalization, a liberal arts education is more important than ever to give students the opportunity to think creatively and to focus on details while being able to see the big picture. As a recent survey of 700 employers in the United States indicated, businesses are desperately seeking qualified candidates who can communicate effectively, adapt to new situations, solve problems, and make decisions. In other words, they need highly skilled liberal arts graduates.

At Colorado College, students learn more than theoretical approaches to the arts and sciences—they learn firsthand from faculty and staff who have dedicated their lives to creating a better world. Students learn the importance of diverse backgrounds and viewpoints—and they appreciate how diversity enriches their understanding of the world. Every day they see these lessons in action.

They also receive an educational experience that draws inspiration from the spirit of the Rocky Mountains. We believe the liberal arts involves an intellectual adventure, one that requires challenging hearts and minds in new ways, as well as providing space for reflection and contemplation—and our natural surroundings provides the perfect environment for these types of engagement.

Colorado College builds habits of intellect and imagination to succeed in a challenging, complex world.  That’s what the finest liberal arts education in the country offers its students.

Read the entire Colorado College Strategic Plan, “Building on the Block:”

Leadership

Jill Tiefenthaler became Colorado College’s 13th president on July 1, 2011 and announced her departure from the institution effective June 2020. After Tiefenthaler’s departure Robert G. Moore, senior vice president and vice president of finance and administration/treasurer, and Mike Edmonds, vice president for student life and dean of students, were appointed acting co-presidents by the Colorado College Board of Trustees and will remain in this role until the president-elect, L. Song Richardson, assumes the presidency on July 1, 2021.

L. Song Richardson, President-Elect

L. Song Richardson, a legal scholar, dedicated educator, lawyer, and expert on implicit racial and gender bias, was appointed the 14th president of Colorado College in a unanimous vote by the Colorado College Board of Trustees on December 9, 2020. She was announced via a video that included an introduction by trustees and perspectives from the CC student body, faculty, and staff, as well as a powerful message from Richardson to the CC community.

Richardson is currently the dean and chancellor’s professor of law at the University of California, Irvine School of Law. At the time of her appointment as UCI Law’s second dean, she was the only woman of color to lead a top-30 law school. She holds joint appointments in UCI Law’s Department of Criminology, Law, and Society, and in the Department of Asian American Studies. She received her AB from Harvard College and her JD from Yale Law School.

Richardson’s interdisciplinary research uses lessons from cognitive and social psychology to study decision-making and judgment in a variety of contexts. Her scholarship has been published by law journals at Harvard, Yale, Berkeley, Cornell, Duke, and Northwestern, among others. She is working on a book that reflects on the current reckoning with anti-Blackness that is occurring across the United States and its implications for law and policy.

Her legal career includes partnership at a criminal defense law firm and work as a state and federal public defender. She was also an assistant counsel at the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. She was a Skadden Arps Public Interest Fellow with the National Immigration Law Center in Los Angeles and the Legal Aid Society’s Immigration Unit in Brooklyn, NY.

Richardson frequently speaks on the science of implicit bias and its influence on decisions, perceptions, and judgments. She has consulted with public and private entities developing practices to address racial and gender disparities. She is a leading expert on race and policing and has worked with police departments addressing the impact of race on their policing practices.

Her awards and recognitions include the American Association of Law School’s Derrick Bell Award, which recognizes a faculty member’s extraordinary contributions to legal education through mentoring, teaching, and scholarship; the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association Trailblazer Award; being named one of the Top Women Lawyers in California; and being chosen as one of the two most influential Korean Americans in Orange County.

Richardson is a member of the American Law Institute. She is on the Executive Committee of the Association of American Law Schools and serves on the Board of Equal Justice Works. In 2020, she was appointed by California Governor Gavin Newsom to the California Penal Code Revision Committee.

The Student Body

Female:                                                  1,264

Male:                                                     1,006

Total:                                                    2,270

American Ethnic Minority: 616

International: 162

Unspecified: 33

White:                                                  1,459

Student to Faculty ratio:  10:1

ABOUT THE BLOCK PLAN

Introduced in 1970, Colorado College’s Block Plan is an intensive and immersive academic schedule that allows students to engage with a single subject for three and a half weeks. With this approach, CC students are not required to juggle multiple subjects throughout a semester. The entire college runs one block at a time, with each block covering the same amount of material as a semester system.

What is the result? Students can choose to study the film industry on location in Hollywood, then find Jupiter during evening labs in Barnes observatory, or traverse the natural wonders of the Southwest as a field archaeologist. Classes are small, hands-on, and highly focused.

The Block Plan Basics:

  • A block lasts for three and a half weeks, beginning on a Monday and ending on the following fourth Wednesday.
  • One block is equal to one class on the semester plan.
  • The plan offers four blocks per semester (eight blocks per year), plus optional half blocks in the winter and during Summer Session in the summer.
  • Class typically meets 9 a.m. to 12 p.m., Monday through Friday, with applicable labs in the afternoon, but professors are free to schedule classes in the format they feel is most suited to the subject matter.

Affording both ample independence and guidance, the Block Plan keeps undergraduates energized and engaged during their four years at Colorado College.

Benefits Overview

Employees of Colorado College have the following benefits, among others, available to them:

  • Medical insurance
  • Dental insurance
  • Vision insurance
  • Life and disability insurance
  • Prescription drug plans
  • Retirement plans
  • Flexible spending accounts
  • Education assistance
  • Employee assistance program

Application & Nomination

Review of applications will begin June 24, 2021, 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 Quincy Martin III at qm3@spelmanjohnson.com. Applicants needing reasonable accommodation to participate in the application process should contact Spelman Johnson at 413-529-2895.

Visit the Colorado College website at www.coloradocollege.edu

Colorado College is an equal opportunity employer committed to increasing the diversity of its community. We do not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, gender, age, religion, gender identity or expression, disability, or sexual orientation in our educational programs and activities or our employment practices.