Assistant Dean for Human Resources

Assistant Dean for Human Resources – ILR School, Cornell University

Position is located in Ithaca, NY, within the ILR School on the campus of Cornell University


The School of Industrial and Labor Relations (ILR) at Cornell University seeks nominations and applications for an assistant dean for human resources. The ILR School is the leading college of the applied social sciences focusing on work, employment and labor relations policy issues and practice of national and international significance. The ILR School stands at the nexus of critical thinking and societal impact. Since our founding in 1945, we’ve been at the heart of extraordinary transformations in the workplace and in the lives of workers. Today, ILR honors and extends that legacy. We connect, inspire and challenge tomorrow’s leaders and equip them with bold new approaches to work, employment and labor. We embrace multiple and diverse perspectives, encourage principled debate and collaborate across disciplines. And we operate in the real world, drawing on the richness of our community to drive positive impact for people and society, today and in the future. The ILR School is world renowned as the premier academic institution educating, training and developing human resources (HR) leaders in the world.


The assistant dean will report directly to the dean and work collaboratively with the leadership team on the school’s most pressing issues and strategic priorities. The search committee seeks an innovative leader who brings proven management experience, as well as a dynamic approach to HR. The successful candidate will be motivated by the opportunity to build on and enhance ILR’s internal HR practice, organizational culture and employee wellbeing and sense of belonging. The assistant dean will be open, collaborative, ambitious and able to inspire others, supporting ILR in its goal of full employee engagement, bold leadership, and practice excellence. The assistant dean will be a person of unimpeachable integrity and will embody the institutional values of diversity and inclusion and will have a passion for, and commitment to, higher education.


The assistant dean has a secondary reporting relationship to Cornell’s vice president for human resources and chief human resources officer and is a member of the university-wide Human Resources Directors Council. They will represent the needs of ILR in the development of university-wide HR policies, benefits and systems. In this role, the assistant dean will need to demonstrate knowledge of university policies, procedures and services available to support the school, as well as HR policies at the federal, state and local level. The successful candidate will serve as a trusted advisor and confidential resource at all levels within the school.


The assistant dean will manage a staff of three.

More information about the ILR School can be obtained at our web site,


Required Qualifications:

  • A Bachelor’s degree in human resources management, business administration or a related discipline and 7 to 10 years of relevant work experience, or an equivalent combination of education and experience
  • Exceptional leadership skills to lead strategic planning initiatives, identify current or future HR-related issues for which HR intervention and involvement might be necessary and provide direction to HR staff in support of these activities; provide expertise and guidance to leadership to operationalize strategies and goals for diversity, organizational design and staff planning, recruitment and retention, performance management and succession planning, staff/labor relations, and compensation; establish and execute HR communications plans
  • Exceptional team-building skills, a commitment to transparency, and a strong sense of ethics
  • Demonstrated track record of achieving high quality HR service delivery and operational excellence, strategic alignment of HR initiatives, and providing management with the tools, information and coaching necessary to be effective managers and to accomplish organizational goals
  • Demonstrated strategic thinker and an ability to partner with Senior Leadership in designing an HR plan that is consistent with and in its implementation contributes to the overall organizational strategic plan
  • Ability to interpret and implement University policies, practices and procedures to address complex issues; recommend changes and assist in policy development working collaboratively with leadership on highly complex situations while providing guidance and recommendations
  • Extensive experience in employee relations, and a proven ability to coach, facilitate and resolve potential and actual conflicts between individuals at various levels in the organization
  • Proven skills in the areas of customer service, diplomacy and tact, interpersonal, and written and oral communication
  • Proven ability to work in a team context and to set priorities and manage competing demands
  • Strong analytical skills
  • Skilled in developing and delivering presentations to large and small audiences
  • Must be able to travel on a regular basis to ILR off-campus offices


Preferred Qualifications:

  • A master’s degree in human resources management, business administration or a related discipline is preferred, or an equivalent combination of education and experience
  • Prior work experience in higher education
  • Experience involving labor relations and labor unions


The full Leadership Profile can be viewed here.

Visa sponsorship is not available for this position.

This is a full-time, non-academic staff, benefits eligible opportunity located on the Ithaca campus.


Application Procedure:

Inquiries, nominations and applications are invited. Review of applications will begin on September 24, 2018 and continue until the position is filled. Candidates should provide a professional resume, a letter of application (in Word or PDF format) that addresses the responsibilities and requirements described in the attached leadership profile, and the names and contact information of five references, on-line here. In the Experience section of your application, use the ‘Drop Files Here’ box to manually drag document(s) into your application. Reference posting number:  WDR-00016337.


Should you have any questions in advance of submitting a formal application, please contact Judy Wood at:


Diversity and Inclusion are part of Cornell University’s heritage.  We are a recognized employer and educator valuing AA/EEO, Protected Veterans, and Individuals with Disabilities.