Associate Vice Chancellor of Human Resources / Chief Human Resources Officer (CHRO)

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UC Merced

Associate Vice Chancellor of Human Resources / Chief Human Resources Officer (CHRO)


About UC Merced

The University of California, Merced, is the newest of the University of California system's 10 campuses and the first American research university built in the 21st century. With more than 9,000 undergraduate and graduate students, UC Merced offers an environment that combines a commitment to diversity, inclusion, collaboration, and professional development. With bachelor's, master's and doctoral degree programs, strong research and academic partnerships, and community involvement, the UC Merced campus is continually evolving and requires talented, knowledgeable, and dynamic educators, researchers, management and staff.

Ranked among the best public universities in the nation by U.S. News and World Report, UC Merced is uniquely equipped to provide educational opportunities for highly qualified students from the San Joaquin Valley and throughout California. The campus enjoys a special connection with nearby Yosemite National Park, is on the cutting edge of sustainability in construction and design and supports the economic development of Merced and the region.


In Fall 2016, UC Merced broke ground on a $1.3 billion public-private partnership that is unprecedented in higher education. The Merced 2020 Project nearly doubled the physical capacity of the campus, enhancing academic distinction, student success and research excellence. In 2018, UC Merced opened the Downtown Campus Center, a $33 million, three-story administrative building located in the heart of Merced.


To set the course of UC Merced’s evolution, in 2021 UC Merced will enact its first-ever 10-year strategic plan. This plan will guide how the values of equity and justice influence our pathway toward earning Carnegie R1 research status, growing enrollment, upholding our identity as a minority-serving institution, and operationalizing how commitments to equity, diversity and inclusion are enacted within each campus unit. UC Merced is expected to engage in sophisticated thinking, planning, and implementation of actions that effectively diversify the professoriate and staff, improve campus climate for all campus constituency groups, and strengthen our equity, diversity, and inclusion infrastructure and capacity.


About the Job

The Associate Vice Chancellor of Human Resources / Chief Human Resources Officer (CHRO) for the University of California, Merced (UC Merced), will oversee all facets of the human resources function including people strategy, workforce planning, talent management, employee relations, labor relations, benefits, compensation, training and development, and welfare programs for the fastest-growing public research university in the nation. In our young history and unique culture, UC Merced has the feel of a maturing start-up organization – more innovative, nimble and entrepreneurial than older, more traditional research universities.


Unlike its sister UC campuses, which have had decades to diversify their revenue streams, UC Merced remains heavily tuition-dependent in an era of declining State support. This has provided the opportunity for UC Merced to exercise creativity and efficiency in the development of technology systems and the deployment of its workforce to keep up with the five-year Workforce Planning Initiative.  Therefore, we are seeking a candidate for this role that understands that off the shelf organizational structures, systems and processes may not necessarily work at UC Merced and the successful candidate will bring a record of innovation and efficiency.


The CHRO is responsible for strategic leadership of the HR function as it relates to staff resources, daily supervision of its employees and workflow, and delivery of counsel, services, and HR systems and programs for the University. The successful candidate will be expected to play a leadership role in collaborative partnerships across campus by providing advice, guidance and assistance to senior leadership across UC Merced. The Chief Human Resources Officer is recognized as an influential leader. One of the unique advantages of being part of the University of California system is that the successful candidate will have access to a network of talented professionals individuals across the entire University of California system.


The successful candidate must demonstrate the ability to provide Human Resource services that are responsive to the needs of its campus customers, who require speed, responsiveness, transparency and an understanding of their unique personnel needs while at the same time ensuring compliance with federal, state and UC system wide laws and regulations. UC Merced needs Human Resources leadership who can create a culture that satisfies both its customer service and compliance requirements.



Key Qualifications:

• Bachelor's degree in related area and 6 years of related experience OR 10 years of related equivalent experience / training.

• 10 years of senior leadership/management experience and 8 years of leadership/management experience in Human Resources, preferably a higher education, unionized environment.

• Substantial knowledge of personnel administration, with demonstrated knowledge and experience working in the following areas of human resources: employment, classification/compensation, labor relations, employee relations, benefits, training, and affirmative action.

• Makes decisions regarding hiring, evaluating, and development of subordinates; discretion in determining the best way of achieving unit goals.

• Has excellent management skills that include collaboration, coaching and developing subordinates; ability to build relationships. Demonstrated ability to handle extremely difficult or volatile situations/individuals effectively.

• Expert skills to work collaboratively and act persuasively in sensitive situations; skills in conflict management techniques.

• Strong working knowledge of the full scope of human resources activities in a complex organization; demonstrated understanding of best practice public sector policies and practices.

• Strong knowledge and understanding of human capital management (HCM) theory and practices with demonstrated ability to effectively lead campus partnerships into deeper adoption of HCM culture and realization of greater process efficiencies and talent optimizations.

• Expert communication skills; high level of political acumen.

• Demonstrated knowledge and understanding of organizational design and organization development, with willingness to champion progressive and innovative organizational approaches within constraints of university practices and policies.


Preferred Qualifications:

• Workforce Planning experience

• Advanced degree AND/OR PHR/SPHR certification 

• Higher Education experience

• Experience in a union / represented environment 


Background Check

• Background check and fingerprinting may be required.


How to Apply:

An online application is required for each position to apply.


Equal Employment Opportunity:

The University of California is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability, age or protected veteran status.