Chief Human Resources Officer

Apply now Job No: 22226
Department: Human Resources
Work Type: Staff - Full Time
Location: Lakeshore Center (Houghton, MI)
Full Time / Part Time: Full Time
Categories: Human Resources

Department: Human Resources

To perform this job successfully, an individual must be able to perform each essential duty satisfactorily. The requirements listed below are representative of the knowledge, skill, and/or ability required. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

Michigan Technological University is an Equal Opportunity Educational Institution/Equal Opportunity Employer that provides equal opportunity for all, including protected veterans and individuals with disabilities.  

If you require any auxiliary aids, services, or other accommodations to apply for employment, or for an interview, at Michigan Technological University, please notify the Human Resources office at 906-487-2280 or

Job Description Summary

The Chief Human Resources Officer (CHRO) position is a remarkable opportunity for a results-driven leader ready to act as a key thought partner and trusted advisor for University leadership in aligning Human Resource practices with the the overall business objectives and strategic direction of the institution, specifically in the areas of talent acquisition and management, culture, performance management, training and development, and compensation/benefits. This newly created position reports directly to the Chief Financial Officer/Senior Vice President for Administration (CFO/SVPA) and will provide transformational leadership and strategic direction to move the institution forward in alignment with the University’s legislative purpose and strategic plan. The CHRO is responsible for employee programs, including employee relations, staff and leadership development, benefits administration, compensation and payroll, implementation of personnel policies and procedures, recruitment and orientation, the Human Resources information systems, performance management systems, compliance issues, and personnel records. This position develops and manages the human resources annual budget and oversees the department’s staff.

The successful candidate will develop, review, recommend, and implement human resources related strategic initiatives, including appropriate policies and procedures. In addition, this leader will be responsible to develop and maintain a positive working relationship with all levels of staff, preserve a high degree of confidentiality, and demonstrate the utmost professionalism. The CHRO must provide internal responsibility and leadership for the Human Resources department, thereby assuring the effective and efficient operation of the department. They are expected to positively promote the University internally and externally.

Essential Duties & Responsibilities (other duties may be assigned)

1. Plan, organize, and direct work of the Human Resources department, providing transformational leadership and strategic direction in alignment with the institution’s mission and vision.
2. Plan, direct, implement, and monitor human resources programs, including recruiting, selection, orientation, classification, compensation, payroll, employee relations, affirmative action, training, career development, benefit administration, and organizational development.
3. Establish and conduct reviews and analysis of new tools and techniques in the area of human resources management and make necessary changes to improve their effectiveness as it relates to the University.
4. Foster an institutional environment that encourages teamwork, pride in employee roles and the institution, professional growth, and development in support of student learning and success.
5. Supervise human resources staff.
6. Serve as a strategic business partner, positively promoting and supporting the work of the University’s academic and service goals to the greater community.
7. Serve as an internal consultant to University leadership and departmental heads on human resources matters.
8. Administer and participate in performing job audits and writing job descriptions, and conduct classification audits for possible reclassification of positions.
9. Administer, participate in, and have overall responsibility for annual salary surveys and reporting to external entities as required.
10. Supervise the maintenance, confidentiality, and legal retention of personnel records, statistics and files.
11. Develop, recommend, and administer human resources policies and procedures.
12. Direct, develop, administer, and interpret the University’s compensation and benefits plans.
13. Oversee accuracy of information regarding contract amounts and calculations, and hourly amounts.
14. Assist auditors as required with human resources inquiries and annual year-end audit.
15. Direct and supervise the recruitment/hiring process including recruitment, selection, job offer, placement, and orientation.
16. Supervise human resources practices to assure compliance with standards of good practice and procedure.
17. Act as the University Compliance Officer for worker’s compensation, and immigration related laws; direct, develop, and monitor supporting policies and procedures; act as the University’s liaison in contacts with federal and state compliance agencies.
18. Serve as the lead member of the negotiation team during collective bargaining contract negotiations promoting effective labor/management relations.
19. Supervise and/or participate in the conduct of needs analyses for employee training and the development, presentation, and evaluation of resulting training programs.
20. Direct and coordinate the employee grievance process.
21. Participate on key committees as human resources advisor.
22. Ensure employee development on diversity, inclusive climate, respectful learning, and working environment issues.
23. Assess staffing needs that may arise as well as create long-term goals and strategies to manage those gaps.
24. Identify effective succession planning strategies for the University.
25. Assure the effective and efficient operation of the department and demonstrate these positive results and perceptions through customer service metrics tracked annually.
26. Commit to learning about continuous improvement strategies and applying them to everyday work. Actively engage in University continuous improvement initiatives.
27. Apply safety-related knowledge, skills, and practices to everyday work.

Required Education, Certifications, Licensures (minimum requirements)

● Bachelor’s degree in human resources management or related field.

Required Experience (minimum requirements)

● Seven (7) years of human resources experience with an emphasis in the areas of recruitment, selection, classification, compensation, training, organizational development and employee relations, and benefits administration;
● Five (5) years of progressively responsible supervisory experience.

Desirable Education and/or Experience

● Master’s degree in human resources management or related field.
● Experience in a higher education setting and/or instructional experience.
● Demonstrated success in progressively responsible supervisory experience.
● Experience in the design and implementation of a comprehensive human resources service system.
● Demonstrated skill in transformational leadership within a human resources department.
● PHR/SPHR certification preferred.

Required Knowledge, Skills, and/or Abilities (minimum requirements)

● Strategic mindset with the ability to execute.
● Demonstrated experience leading a team of human resources professionals and working with diverse stakeholders.
● Collaborative and influential, including developing relationships easily and sees that as an essential way of working.
● Experienced with technology, sophisticated in the use of data, knowledgeable about process redesign, and change management experience.
● Financial insight required to develop costing analyses for plans being considered.
● Demonstrated knowledge of federal and state legislation and regulations governing human resources functions, including the Fair Labor Standards Act, Americans with Disabilities Act, Title IX, EEO, Workers' Compensation, COBRA, Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act, and the Family Medical Leave Act, etc.
● Results-oriented professional who can make a difference; an individual who takes initiative, makes things happen, accepts accountability, has a "can do" attitude, and a strong sense of urgency.
● Creative and flexible in attitude and style to adapt to new situations in a rapidly changing, dynamic environment.
● Strong communication skills: oral, written, presentation, and influence, plus the ability to communicate across all levels of the organization.
● Demonstrated knowledge of, and experience in, developing and implementing innovative human resources management programs.
● Demonstrated knowledge of, and experience in, designing and implementing workforce planning, human resources strategies, restructuring, process reengineering, and evaluation methodologies.
● Demonstrated experience as a change agent by implementing organization-wide advancement.
● Skill in organizational development, human resources management, budget and resource planning, and execution.
● Demonstrated ability to communicate effectively across cultural boundaries and work harmoniously with diverse groups of students, faculty, and staff.
● Demonstrated commitment to contribute to a safe work environment.

Work Environment and/or Physical Demands

WORK ENVIRONMENT: The work environment characteristics described here are representative of those an employee encounters while performing the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

The noise level in the work environment is usually low to moderate.

Required Training and Other Conditions of Employment

Every employee at Michigan Technological University will receive the following 4 required trainings; additional training may be required by the department.

Required University Training:

  • Employee Safety Overview

  • Anti-Harassment, Discrimination, Retaliation Training

  • Annual Data Security Training 

  • Annual Title IX Training

Background Check:

Offers of employment are contingent upon and not considered finalized until the required background check has been performed and the results received and assessed.

Other Conditions of Employment:

The successful applicant will be responsible for ensuring eligibility for employment in the United States on or before the effective date of the appointment. Visa sponsorship is unavailable at this time. This is not an E-Verified Position.

Full-Time Equivalent (FTE) % (1=100%)


FLSA Status


Pay Rate/Salary


Title of Position Supervisor

Chief Financial Officer and Senior Vice President for Administration

Posting Type

Internal & External Posting

Special Instructions to Applicants (if applicable)

Please include at least three (3) professional references in your application materials.

Additional Information

Michigan Technological University is a flagship public research university located in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula overlooking the Keweenaw Waterway and only a few miles from Lake Superior. Our faculty, staff, and students do not land here by accident - and they are not looking for the easy path. They are united by geography and by their commitment to excel - performing cutting-edge, STEM-focused research; fostering unique faculty-to-student and peer-to-peer experiences; and thriving with a deep sense of community both in the classroom and in their embrace of the outdoors and the local community.

Required Education, Certifications, Licensures* (minimum requirements)

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