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Vice President for Human Resources

Please see Special Instructions for more details.

Inquiries, nominations and applications are invited. Review of applications will begin on in early April and will continue until the position is filled. For fullest consideration, applicant materials should be received by April 18, 2018. Candidates should provide a resume or curriculum vitae, a letter of application that addresses the responsibilities and requirements described in the Leadership Statement, and the names and contact information of five references. References will not be contacted without prior knowledge and approval of candidates. These materials should be sent electronically via e-mail to the Virginia Tech’s consultants John Thornburgh and Charlene Aguilar at

Position Information

Position Information

Working Title: Vice President for Human Resources
Faculty Rank: Lecturer
Role Title: Administrative Faculty
Posting Number: AP0180087
About Virginia Tech:

Virginia Tech is a public land-grant university, committed to teaching and learning, research, and outreach to the Commonwealth of Virginia, the nation, and the world. Building on its motto of Ut Prosim (that I may serve), Virginia Tech is dedicated to InclusiveVT—serving in the spirit of community, diversity, and excellence. We seek candidates who adopt and practice the Principles of Community, which are fundamental to our on-going efforts to increase access and inclusion, and to create a community that nurtures learning and growth for all of its members. Virginia Tech actively seeks a broad spectrum of candidates to join our community in preparing leaders for the world.

As the Commonwealth’s most comprehensive university and its leading research institution, Virginia Tech offers approximately 280 undergraduate and graduate degree programs and manages a research portfolio of more than $521 million. The university is on a path designed to magnify its national and international presence. With more than 34,000 students, Virginia Tech takes a hands-on, engaged approach to education, preparing scholars to be leaders in their fields and communities. Virginia Tech’s 2600 acre main campus is located in Blacksburg, Virginia. The town has approximately 43,000 residents and is one of three central communities that make up the New River Valley, one of the fastest growing areas in the state. As a land grant institution, Virginia Tech campus extends to all counties in the Commonwealth of Virginia through Virginia Cooperative Extension and Agricultural Experiment Stations. Other campus locations with significant presence include the Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine and Research Institute in Roanoke; Virginia Tech Research Center in Arlington, Washington Alexandria Architecture Center in Alexandria, Marion DuPont Equine Medical Center in Leesburg, regional centers in Richmond, Roanoke, and Abingdon, and the Institute of Advanced Learning and Research in Danville.

Position Summary:

Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Virginia Tech) seeks a dynamic and seasoned Vice President for Human Resources (VPHR) to join the institution’s senior leadership team. In recognition of the importance of this role and its leader, Virginia Tech’s President recently announced the strategic realignment of administrative operations of the university which upgraded the VPHR’s scope of authority and organizational positioning. Virginia Tech seeks a leader with significant experience developing and leading a comprehensive human resource function within a large, complex organization.

Reporting to the Senior Vice President for Operations and Administration, the new Vice President for Human Resources will play a pivotal role in leading and implementing a comprehensive transformation of HR policies, practices, staff and technologies over the next several years. As the university adopts a comprehensive plan developed with stakeholder buy-in, it seeks a Vice President for Human Resources with a successful track record as a leader and a manager of institutional change. The Vice President for Human Resources will lead the continuous institution-wide planning of the vision, goals and tactics necessary to further position the human resources organization as a value-added resource for the university.

The Vice President for Human Resources will possess superior analytical and technological depth and an eagerness to engage in meaningful interchange about human resources challenges with university leadership, faculty, staff, and others. The Vice President for Human Resources will present exceptional interpersonal communication skills, a deep commitment to and record of diversity and inclusion, a collaborative leadership style, and a history of exemplary personal and professional integrity.

The Vice President for Human Resources can rely on the enthusiastic support of Virginia Tech’s President and senior academic/administrative leaders – as well as a highly motivated and engaged HR staff – in building a holistic and integrated human resources management function. Accomplishing an ambitious set of goals will require an equally ambitious and visionary human resources professional with considerable skill, experience and finesse.

See the leadership profile for a complete job description.

Required Qualifications:

Strong candidates will demonstrate progressive experience at a senior level in successfully envisioning, developing, communicating, implementing, evaluating and refining human resources management strategy emphasizing collaboration across an institution. The new leader should bring a proven track record in these areas:

• Vision and leadership: ability to lead the creation and retention of Virginia Tech’s future faculty and administrative staff with vision and creativity; broad understanding of human resources management and its connections to other areas of campus strategy; an entrepreneurial outlook and eye to new possibilities and emerging challenges; capacity to make strategic decisions, generate innovative ideas and solutions and multitask; demonstrated ability to work collaboratively with faculty and staff from academic and administrative units in a decentralized environment, with an ability to develop and manage relationships with a diverse array of partners who play different and divergent roles in the university community; and an ability to manage, motivate and develop synergies and a sense of team among a diverse professional staff, and to inspire joy in these team members’ work;

• Proven track record in advancing diversity and inclusion: a proven track record of advancing diversity that reveals a demonstrated commitment (defined in racial-ethnic, cultural, gender, socio-economic, disciplinary and geographic terms) in recruitment of faculty and staff;

• Proven effectiveness and expertise in change management: a demonstrated ability to develop and implement successful human resources strategies and initiatives; significant professional experience managing and implementing large-scale innovation and change; ability to influence culture change to bring a more technological approach to Virginia Tech’s Division of Human Resources;

• Proven success in using data and predictive modeling to advance human resource strategies: extensive experience in and understanding of the tools to utilize data to understand long-term employment and retention trends;

• Strong analytical capacity: the ability to analyze, engage, and communicate information about national and international trends in higher education and developments in competitor institutions and its impact on human resources and utilize the information to plan and develop effective human resource programs;

• Institutional view: capacity to consider the good of the whole institution in decision making and to incorporate compromise as appropriate for achievement of the common good; and genuine interest in and ability to participate in institutional leadership at a senior level, partnering across the university so as to help all achieve their goals;

• Mature communication skills: strong speaking and writing skills with the ability to articulate a vision effectively to all constituencies including the human resources staff, faculty and staff, alumni, board members, and the public;

• Personal qualities: a sense of urgency and engagement; honesty, integrity, candor and ethics; hard work; a joy in one’s work; optimism, confidence and excitement about change; a genuine interest in forming a team with key academic leaders; a personal presence that is active and inclusive; proven skill dealing with complex and diverse cultures, backgrounds and perspectives; ability to observe, listen, learn and clarify needs while engendering trust among various constituencies; wisdom and sound judgment; and a sense of humility; and

• Credentials: progressive responsibility in human resources administration at a complex institution, preferably in higher education. An advanced or terminal degree in human resources, business, or related field or a bachelor’s degree with significant qualifying experience

Preferred Qualifications:
Employment Conditions:
Must have a conviction check: Yes
Describe Other:
Employment Comments:
How to Apply for this Job:

All nominations and applications should be sent electronically to:

John Thornburgh and Charlene Aguilar
Consultants to the Search Committee
Witt/Kieffer Executive Search

Review of applications will begin in early April and will continue until the position is filled. For fullest consideration, applicant materials should be received by April 18, 2018. Candidates should provide a resume or curriculum vitae, a letter of application that addresses the responsibilities and requirements described in the Leadership Statement, and the names and contact information of five references.

The letter of application should specifically address the candidate’s experiences and perspectives related to the four Opportunities for Leadership presented below and further defined in the Leadership Profile found on the Witt/Kieffer web site:

Leading HR Transformation
Implementing HR Best Practices
Driving HR Culture
Championing Diversity and Inclusion – please outline your philosophies, preferred approaches and strategies

References will not be contacted without prior knowledge and approval of candidates.

Employee Category: Administrative and Professional Faculty
Appointment Type: Regular
If restricted or temporary, enter end date:
FLSA Status: Exempt: Not eligible for overtime
Tenure Status: Non-Tenure Track
Academic Year or Calendar Year: Calendar Year
Percent Employment: Full-time
If part time, enter Percent Time:
Pay Range:
Location: Blacksburg
Department: Human Resources
Location, if not Blacksburg:
Location Zip Code: 24061
Work Schedule: M-F 8-5 as needed
Job Posting Date: 03/16/2018
Review Begin Date: 04/01/2018
Job Close Date:
Restricted to university employees only?
Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Statement:

Virginia Tech does not discriminate against employees, students, or applicants on the basis of age, color, disability, gender, gender identity, gender expression, national origin, political affiliation, race, religion, sexual orientation, genetic information, or veteran status; or otherwise discriminate against employees or applicants who inquire about, discuss, or disclose their compensation or the compensation of other employees, or applicants; or any other basis protected by law.

For inquiries regarding non-discrimination policies, contact the executive director for Equity and Access at 540-231-2010 or Virginia Tech, North End Center, Suite 2300 (0318), 300 Turner St. NW, Blacksburg, VA 24061.

Reasonable Accommodation Statement:

If you are an individual with a disability and desire accommodation please contact the hiring department.

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Supplemental Questions

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Required Documents
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