Associate Vice President

Furman University, located in beautiful Greenville, South Carolina, seeks a strategic human resources leader to serve as the Associate Vice President (AVP) for Human Resources. The AVP will play a key collaborative and supportive role in advancing the university’s strategic vision, The Furman Advantage, the university’s promise to provide every student an individualized four-year pathway that integrates outstanding academics, engaged learning, enhanced mentoring and advising, and reflection to prepare graduates for meaningful and successful lives and careers.


The AVP reports to the vice president (VP) for finance and administration, provides comprehensive, strategic leadership for human resources at Furman University.  The AVP will lead and develop a diverse team of approximately 8 staff and manage an annual budget of approximately $1M. The AVP will be responsible for oversight of these positions: Benefits Manager, Director for Classification and Compensation, Employee Relations Manager, Senior Employment Specialist, Workday HCM and Retirement Plan Manager, Human Resources Generalist, Human Resources Assistant, Retiree Liaison Office.


The AVP will join the university at an exciting moment in its history to lead culture change by creating value through the implementation and ongoing development of best practices in human resource technology capabilities, talent management and workforce development. This individual will lead and facilitate the strategies to build the capability and capacity for human resources to support reaching goals that advance the resources of the institution. The associate vice president will proactively address the following opportunities and goals:

  • Set a compelling vision for human resources. Along with the Vice President for Finance and Administration and other senior leaders, the AVP will help lead thoughtful change across the university. The AVP will support and drive creative ideas to foster creativity and collaboration campus-wide. 
  • Build and update. The AVP will evaluate and update current human resources policies and programs and implement industry best practices appropriate for a liberal arts and sciences university.
  • Create a diverse and inclusive environment. In collaboration with the Chief Diversity Officer, senior leadership team, and the campus community at large, the AVP will play a critical role in ensuring that the ideas and values of diversity, equity and inclusion are engrained in Furman’s culture and practices.
  • Guide and implement talent management for all employees. The AVP will be a future-focused leader and will build capacity among managers and supervisors, both long-standing and new, in employment matters such as onboarding, succession planning, performance evaluation, and compensation strategy. The AVP will partner and advise academic leaders on human resource functions such as merit reviews and compensation studies.
  • Lead a strong HR team. Under the AVP, HR will offer the highest level of integrity and service to a relationship driven workforce while continuing to improve HR policy, programs, and practices that meet the evolving human capital needs of the university.
  • Oversee HR technology. Furman recently implemented Workday for Human Capital Management. The AVP will lead the development of strategic data-driven programming to advance the mission and efficiencies of HR and to build a platform of analytics and reporting for decision support. 


Additional background requirements:

  • Bachelor’s degree is required, preferably in a related field; advanced degree and an HR certification is strongly preferred; and
  • At least 10 years of progressively responsible leadership experience including management of relevant functions within a human resource department in an institution of higher education or a comparably complex setting.


The full position profile can be found here. Furman University has engaged Koya Leadership Partners to help in this search. Please submit applications, expressions of interest, and nominations to Beth Schaefer and Charlotte Harris here.


Furman University embraces diversity as an implicit value and as an explicit practice in all of its endeavors. In keeping with its educational mission and the ideals of its founding, the university seeks to build a community that upholds the inherent worth of individuals in an atmosphere of mutual respect, trust and civility. Furman has both a Diversity Vision and a Diversity Statement, here: