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Associate Vice President, People & Culture
Adler University in Chicago, Illinois
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Date Posted 07/10/2020
Executive-Academic Vice President and Provost
Employment Type 2
Application Deadline Open until filled


Adler strives to be the leading academic institution advancing socially responsible practice, healthy communities, and a more just society. This mission starts at home, and the Associate Vice President of People & Culture (AVP) will be expected to ensure we live these values internally every day.

The Associate Vice President of People & Culture (AVP) will provide leadership and counsel to the President and Cabinet of the University. This executive will work broadly across all three campuses of the University to ensure a world-class working culture. Working across departments and coordinating multi-disciplinary teams, the AVP will take a creative and holistic approach to people and human resource-related issues - supporting a dynamic and mission-oriented staff and faculty of over 220 people, along with an additional adjunct faculty of 200, in both the US and Canada.

The AVP will be expected to review, revise and implement processes and policy that align the University with best and emerging practices in recruitment and hiring, management training and philosophy, performance evaluation, benefits and incentive structure, internal culture and communications, regulatory compliance and other core HR functions. The AVPs north star will be a focus on results and retention.

This position will be a great opportunity for an emerging HR leader to refine and develop this key function within a growing university. Formal HR functions are relatively young at Adler, building across the past 12 years, and are ready to become more formal and central within our learning environment. Entrepreneurial mindsets and HR experience in varied settings a plus. Diverse candidates are strongly encouraged to apply.

This position has reported to the Vice President of Finance. A search is currently in place to fill the Vice President of Finance position. In the interim the search for the AVP is being completed by the Office of the President, and once hired the position will initially report to the President. 



  • Oversee a holistic recruitment and hiring process that ensures a rich, diverse, and continuous pipeline of exceptional candidates for work at Adler.

  • Prepare employees for assignments by establishing and conducting orientation and training programs.

  • Administer performance evaluation program informed by best practices and ensuring equity, inclusion and ladders of opportunity within the organization.

  • Partner with the VP of Diversity & Inclusion to ensure equity across the entire employee lifecycle from recruitment, hiring and onboarding to evaluation, retention and promotion.

  • Administer a competitive benefits program and manage external stakeholders such as benefit vendors and investment brokers that supports our staff and faculty as whole human beings.

  • Partner with the office of the President and Marketing & Communications to enact an internal communications plan that builds culture and keeps internal stakeholders informed and engaged on University business.

  • Serve as a partner and advisor to managers within the organization to assist them in carrying out their responsibilities on personnel matters and managing toward excellence.

  • Think creatively and enact a professional development program that helps our staff and faculty meet the demands of the modern higher education environment.


  • Ensures timely and efficient execution, and continuous improvement of, of core HR functions such as employee relations, benefit programs, recruiting, employee orientation, training, mentorship, employee grievances and policy development and implementation.

  • Reimagine HR policies and procedures to meet the needs of a social justice-oriented institution and implement trainings as necessary to support the vision and mission of the University.

  • Build a strong working relationship with University Counsel and ensure legal compliance by monitoring and implementing applicable Human Resources federal and state requirements, conducting Title IX investigations, maintaining records, and representing the organization at hearings.

  • Retains historical human resource records by designing a filing and retrieval system and keeping past and current records.


The University is seeking an innovative, passionate, collaborative, and courageous executive to partner with the leadership of the University to realize its vision of advancing socially responsible practice, healthy communities, and a more just society.

The successful candidate will have:

  • A masters or terminal degree;

  • Five (5) plus years of executive-level human resources experience;

  • Experience in working within dynamic environments with multiple internal and external stakeholders, a must. Experience working in an educational environment beneficial.

  • Work and civic engagement experiences which demonstrate a commitment to social justice, as well as to the values of the University - social interest, pluralism, courage, excellence, pragmatism;

  • Extraordinary managerial and interpersonal skills;

  • Record of effectively working with senior management;

  • Expertise in multiple HRIS systems critical, familiarity with Ultipro preferred.

  • Experience in working strategically and collaboratively across offices or departments;

  • Understanding of human resource regulations and norms in both the United States and Canada (or a record that suggests enthusiasm for cultural competence, if inexperienced in one of the countries);

  • Demonstrated cross-cultural competence, including strong emotional intelligence and the ability to engage and build relationships within a community (such as our university community) and with historically marginalized communities;

  • Excellent communication skills

  • SPHR or SHRM-SCP certification is a plus, though not required

  • Experience with IPEDS (10 Day Report) also a plus, though not required


The position has a start date of May 2020. Review of applications will begin immediately and will continue until the position is filled. To ensure consideration, applicant materials should be received no later than April 3, 2020. Candidates are required to submit a resume, a letter of application that describes fit, and the names and contact information of five (5) references to include at least two current/past supervisors, a current/past peer, and a current/past direct report. References will only be contacted with the candidate's prior consent. All requested application materials must be submitted via application upload to be considered for the position.

Adler University offers equal employment opportunities to all persons without regard to race, color, ethnicity, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, age, marital status, physical or mental disability, parental status, housing status, genetic information, arrest or criminal record, source of income, or military status, in accordance with applicable federal, provincial, state, and law equal employment opportunity laws.

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