Associate Vice President for Human Resources

The University of the Arts

Associate Vice President for Human Resources

Position:   Associate Vice President for Human Resources

Department:   Human Resources

Reporting to the Vice President for Finance and Administration, the Associate Vice President for Human Resources (AVPHR) serves as a collaborative business partner to University leadership on human resources matters and is responsible for strategic and tactical human resources planning, effectiveness and leadership.  Responsibilities include: Human Resource information systems; regulatory compliance; University human resource policy development, recommendation and implementation; organizational design; benefits and compensation benchmarking and analysis; ERISA/pension plan management and administration; talent management; and employee and labor relations strategy and planning in support of the University’s mission and strategic plan.  The AVPHR also provides HR advice and counsel for contractual university partnerships including but not limited to the Pew Center of Arts and Heritage.

The AVPHR manages 4 staff members whose functional responsibilities include but are not limited to: employee relations, HRIS, recruitment, evaluation, training, employee onboarding and wellness, records management, compliance, compensation and benefits administration, unemployment and workers’ compensation administration, and payroll.  The AVPHR ensures cross-training of HR staff to ensure departmental and position functional continuity and internal control.


  • Serve as advisor to the Vice President for Finance and Administration and other university leadership on all matters related to human resources issues, including faculty/staff engagement, compliance with financial matters.
  • Develop, recommend, implement and administer human resources policies and procedures, including but not limited to policies and procedures contained in the staff manual and faculty handbook.  Communicate changes in human resources policies to all affected constituencies in a clear, concise and timely manner.
  • Provide leadership in setting goals and analyzing ways to raise standards, increase quality of efforts and improve overall performance of the human resources function at the University.
  • Oversee recruitment, selection, hiring and promotion processes to ensure adherence to University policy and legal compliance.  Serve on and/or provide human resources support services to various University search committees, as appropriate.
  • Meet regularly with senior leadership and/or legal counsel to consult on strategic human resource matters.
  • Coordinate review, evaluation and analysis of human resources matters with legal counsel and other professional advisors as appropriate.
  • Maintains current and relevant skill set for human resource management in a higher education setting, actively engaging in professional associations and maintaining professional networks.
  • Develop, evaluate and manage staff in accordance with University, regulatory and contractual requirements.
  • Foster best practices and continual improvement of directly-supervised staff.
  • Serve as liaison to Board of Trustee committees on an as-needed basis.
  • Serve as primary liaison between University leadership and Staff Council.
  • Provide quality consultative services to senior leadership, department managers, department chairs, staff and faculty (partnering with the office of the Provost where appropriate) regarding the University’s human resources programs, policies and services including employee relations, recruitment, retention, performance assessment and performance management, organizational design, leadership development, succession planning, diversity awareness, employee events, compensation and benefits.
  • Monitor, administer and advise leadership and supervisors regarding collective bargaining agreements and labor relations.
  • Oversee, develop and manage programs and processes that support and correct employee performance, including the performance evaluation and management process for non-faculty employees.
  • Oversee compensation and benefits policies and programs for administration and staff; coordinate ongoing review and evaluation of market competitiveness of University wages and benefits.  Collect data from various survey sources, analyze such data and develop recommendations for compensation strategy, working with the Director of Institutional Research as appropriate.
  • Assume primary responsibility for maintaining the University’s legal compliance with all federal, state and local employment and labor laws.
  • Oversee the employee and labor relations function, including providing appropriate assistance and coaching to leadership and supervisory staff in the application of progressive discipline, performance improvement plans and terminations.
  • Collaborate with IT staff to support and manage payroll and HR information systems.
  • Oversee management of HR web site and all online HR resources.
  • Develop and administer departmental budgets in accordance with University policy, procedures and protocols.
  • Investigates grievances/complaints from employees for the purpose of reaching resolutions that provide a healthy work environment.
  • Other duties as assigned. 



  • Master’s degree in Human Resources Management or related field.
  • SPHR or other professional certification typical of senior HR generalists.
  • Minimum ten years’ relevant experience in a human resources management role.
  • Solid business acumen and problem-solving skills.
  • Outstanding technical human resources knowledge and familiarity with federal and state labor and employment laws.
  • Demonstrable success as a manager of staff.
  • Excellent leadership, managerial, organizational and time management skills
  • Proficient IT skills
  • Strong communication and customer service orientation as well as the ability to establish effective working relationships within a diverse population.


  • At least 5 years’ experience in a higher education environment
  • Experience in a unionized environment.

Method of Application:  For consideration in the selection process, interested persons must submit a letter of application, resume and the names, addresses and telephone numbers of three professional references to:  Associate Vice President for Human Resources, The University of the Arts, Personnel Services Department, 320 S. Broad St., Room 260, Philadelphia, PA 19102 or

Candidates are encouraged to submit materials in electronic format. 

Application Deadline:  Review of application materials will commence November 1 and continue until the position is filled.

The University of the Arts is the largest comprehensive educational institution of its kind in the nation, preparing students for professional careers in design, visual, media, and performing arts, and emerging creative fields.  The University is a private institution, offering both bachelor’s and master’s degrees. With a wide variety of undergraduate and graduate programs offered through the College of Art, Media & Design, the College of Performing Arts and the Division of Liberal Arts, our more than 2,000 undergraduate and  graduate students immerse themselves in a rigorous and well-rounded curriculum that prepares them to be the creative leaders of tomorrow, no matter what field they choose. 

Undergraduates also complete a rigorous humanities, science, and social science curriculum under the auspices of the Liberal Arts Division. The Continuing Education division provides enrichment, for-credit and certificate programs to adult learners as well as elementary and high school students.

The University evolved from two century-old institutions: the Philadelphia College of Art (PCA), which was founded as the Pennsylvania Museum School of Industrial Art in 1876, and the Philadelphia College of the Performing Arts (PCPA), which was founded as the Philadelphia Musical Academy in 1870.  In 1985, the two institutions combined and were rechristened “The University of the Arts” in 1987. 

The University is housed in 12 buildings located in Center City Philadelphia, primarily along South Broad St.—dubbed the Avenue of the Arts—between South Street and Walnut Street. These buildings—of which 10 are owned by the University—comprise some 750,000 square feet. They include such landmarks as the 180 year old Hamilton Hall, designed by John Haviland, Frank Furness’s 1875 addition to Hamilton Hall, and the 1800-seat Merriam Theater, built in 1918 as the Shubert Theater. The University’s buildings feature numerous specialized facilities including dance studios, recital halls, black box and proscenium theaters, recording facilities, and workshops for ceramics, glass, metals, sculpture, and wood.  Four of the University’s buildings are residence halls accommodating up to 600 students in apartment-style living.