Vice President for Human Resources - UT System

Vice President for Human Resources - UT System


General Description:

The Vice President for Human Resources serves as part of the senior leadership team of the University of Tennessee System, reporting to the executive vice president/chief operating officer (EVP/COO).  The vice president has statewide responsibility for planning, developing and implementing system-wide initiatives and strategies that support employee engagement and customer service excellence and UT’s aspiration of becoming an “employer of choice.” The VP of Human Resources is expected to be an enterprise-wide thinker who works collaboratively with other senior leaders in supporting System change management initiatives. Additionally, he/she is responsible for developing HR’s strategic plan, assuring alignment with the University and its entities, developing HR policies and guidelines and working collaboratively with campus and institute human resources officers to link the University’s strategies and policies to faculty and staff.  The vice president has overall accountability for HR performance statewide (collaborating with campus/institute human resources officers for implementation) and ensuring compliance with federal, state and University labor standards and policies.


Currently, the vice president sets direction statewide for workforce strategic planning; the development and implementation of HR policies; recruitment and retention strategies; System-wide organizational development and training initiatives; compensation; benefits and retirement; performance management; employee relations; and the management of HR systems, reporting and metrics.  The vice president co-chairs the statewide Compensation Advisory Board (CAB) and oversees the coordination of the President’s System-wide Employee Relations Advisory Board (ERAB).  The vice president meets quarterly with all human resources officers to provide and/or facilitate legal, financial and operational updates and best practices and also hosts an annual HR conference for human resources staff across the state.


The VP works closely with a variety of System and campus leaders, including the EVP/COO, the Special Advisor to the President on Diversity and Inclusion, the Special Advisor to the President for Leadership and Talent Development, General Counsel, the System’s Chief Financial Officer, as well as System communication officers responsible for internal communication to develop consistent and accurate messages as they relate to human resource functions.

Duties and Responsibilities:

The vice president is responsible for System-wide HR strategy, policy and training.  Campus/Institute human resource officers (HROs) have a dotted-line relationship to the vice president and are responsible for day-to-day delivery of human resource functions including records, benefits (on some campuses), employee relations, employment, classification, records, payroll (on some campuses) and employee information and communications.  The vice president provides best practice training and advice/counsel to the campus/institute human resources officers. 


The vice president assists the University in meeting its Affirmative Action/Equal Employment Opportunity (AA/EEO) requirements and for working collaboratively with the Special Advisor to the President in meeting the System’s Inclusive Excellences goals and ensuring that each campus/institute has an annual affirmative action plan and is in compliance with required state and federal reporting in this area.  Other areas of leadership and responsibility include, but are not limited, to the development and management of:


  • HR metrics, monitoring trends, adjusting programs as indicated and providing results.
  • performance management programs, including review processes for senior staff.
  • compensation and classification policies and programs.
  • benefits programs including retirement, tax deferred income and long-term disability insurance.
  • succession planning and internal development/promotion strategies.
  • executive recruitment.
  • employee retention initiatives.
  • system-wide training and professional development plans.
  • HR information systems enhancements, technology innovations and new ways of working.
  • internal employee communications regarding HR issues.
  • quarterly retreats for human resources officers and annual HR retreats for the statewide HR team.
  • Compensation Advisory Board meetings (co-facilitating with the CAB Chair) and co-presenting as requested on HR/CAB progress to the UT Board of Trustees.
  • statewide compliance accountability:affirmative action plans; Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) reporting; legal mandates set out by state and federal law and university policies as they relate to civil rights, equal employment and affirmative action; and compliance with Vietnam Era Veterans Readjustment Assistance Act, etc.
  • HR operational and staff budgets.
  • other duties as assigned.


Units currently reporting to the vice president include:  compensation, executive recruitment; employee and organizational development; statewide health and safety; benefits and retirement; HR reporting, analytics and workforce strategic planning.


Required and Preferred Qualifications and Experience:

Education: Master’s degree required in HR or related field from a regionally accredited institution of higher learning, with professional certifications strongly preferred, such as PHR (Professional in Human Resources), SPHR (Senior Professional in Human Resources), SHRM-CP (Society for Human Resource Management Certified Professional), SHRM-SCP (Society for Human Resource Management Senior Certified Professional), HRMP (Human Resource Management Professional), HRBP (Human Resource Business Professional) and CCP (Certified Compensation Professional). Doctoral degree preferred.


  • Experience: Requires 10 years of demonstrated leadership experience in human resources, including expertise in key areas such as compensation, benefits, workforce development, succession planning and change management. Experience in higher education is highly desirable.  The vice president must have demonstrated experience consulting and advising senior-level executives in broad areas of human resources.  Candidates must demonstrate a commitment to an inclusive and collaborative leadership style that is strong in teamwork.  The position requires excellent oral, written and other communications skills; computer literacy; the ability to multi-task; and frequent travel. Demonstrated strategic planning, implementation and evaluation expertise is essential.  Experience in a multi-campus university system is preferred.  Demonstrated experience dealing with highly sensitive and confidential situations.  A history of successful collaboration with multiple constituencies is preferred.


The vice president will have significant HR knowledge and expertise.  Specific skills/knowledge/abilities/attributes include:  

  • demonstrated leadership skills and abilities.
  • commitment to quality and integrity.
  • an advanced understanding of state laws, statutes and federal laws and regulations related to employment.
  • demonstrated effectiveness in spearheading and supporting diversity and organizational change initiatives.
  • exceptional skills in communications and interpersonal relations.
  • advanced knowledge of and commitment to affirmative action and equal employment opportunity. 
  • the ability and willingness to delegate effectively and to hold direct reports accountable.
  • strong analytical, project management, fiscal and workforce development skills.
  • skilled decision-maker, with transparency in decision-making and management.
  • excellent oral, written and presentation skills; exceptional listening skills.



The vice president will exhibit behaviors which demonstrate qualities of emotional maturity, genuineness, self-confidence, common sense, judgment, fairness, creativity, discretion, decisiveness, political savvy, diplomacy, tact, resiliency, adaptability, courage of convictions and tolerance for ambiguity.  Demonstrated behavioral expectations include:

  • Actively recognizes and pursues opportunities to advance UT System Human Resources’ services at the strategic, tactical and operational level.
  • Translates strategic ideas into tangible strategies and goals.
  • Executes data-driven decision making to sustain and enhance quality of services.
  • Identifies and addresses complex interests and internal tensions with a solution-oriented approach.
  • Models the use of sound integrity to make decisions regarding sensitive issues.
  • Leads by example and models standards for professionalism and collegiality.
  • Leverages working relationships with stakeholders and colleagues to build strong connections, cooperation and collaboration.
  • Fosters accountability for supporting the System’s diversity and inclusive excellence goals within the work environment.
  • Responsibly allocates and accounts for the use of fiscal resources, with an emphasis on cost-benefit analyses.



For full consideration, please complete the online application by visiting


System Human Resources, 825 Andy Holt Tower, 1331 Circle Park Drive, Knoxville, TN 37996    Phone: (865) 974-8170    Fax: (865) 974-9780


The University of Tennessee is an EEO/AA/Title VI/Title IX/Section 504/ADA/ADEA institution in the provision of its education and employment programs and services. All qualified applicants will receive equal consideration for employment without regard to race, color, national origin, religion, sex, pregnancy, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, physical or mental disability, or covered veteran status.