The Catholic University of America (Catholic University) seeks an energetic and collaborative partner to be its Chief Human Resources Officer (CHRO). Reporting to the Vice President for Finance & Treasurer and serving on the Executive Committee of the Administrative Council, the successful candidate will have significant management and human resources leadership experiences, preferably within an academic environment similar in size, scope, and complexity to the University; and will possess a distinct appreciation for the mission, traditions, and culture of the University.
The CHRO serves as a key advisor to senior University leadership on all human resources matters and participates in the implementation of the Universitys strategic plans. The CHRO consults and advises the leadership in the innovative development of human resources practices, policy and procedures and works with other senior leaders to seek efficiency and effectiveness in operations and in leading thoughtful organizational and cultural change. The CHRO will provide overall strategic and operational planning and support for all human resources functions in support of the Universitys vision, and its Catholic mission and tradition.
As the national university of the Catholic Church in the United States, The Catholic University of America has a distinct mission from that of other Catholic and American institutions of higher learning: to discover and impart the truth through excellence in teaching and research, in service to the Church, the nation, and the world.
Catholic University was founded in 1887 as a graduate research institution. This pedigree provides a scholarly experience for undergraduate students, who will find unique opportunities to conduct scholarly and scientific research in their fields of choice, working closely with faculty. All twelve of the Universitys schools grant graduate degrees, and ten award undergraduate degrees: Architecture and Planning; Arts and Sciences; Business; Engineering; Music, Drama and Art; Nursing; Philosophy; Professional Studies; Social Work; and Theology and Religious Studies.
The University serves more than 3,200 undergraduates and 2,800 graduate students. The annual budget is $240 million with over $20 million in federal and state grants, and pooled investments of more than $350 million as of September 2018. There are 399 full time and 367 part time faculty members 94% of the fulltime faculty have doctoral or terminal degrees. Ninety percent of full time degree-seeing students receive some form of financial aid. The University awards more than $50 million in institutional grants and scholarships. It is a member of the NCAA Division III Landmark Conference. Forty percent of undergraduate students participate in varsity competition on 24 intercollegiate teams.
The University is located in the heart of Washington, D.C., a magnificently city of politics, parades, festivals, museums (many are free!), professional sports, theater, concerts, shopping, parks, restaurants, monuments, waterways and trendy neighborhoods. In every area of academic pursuit our students connect to make a difference, open doors and have an impact in the heart of our nations culture.
In June of 2018, the Board approved an updated Strategic Plan and Campus Framework Plan that outline specific goals and objectives to build upon tradition and excellence and chart a course for the future. Among the focuses are academic renewal which includes reorganization of departments, opening a new school of business, and a recommitment to the arts. The Strategic Plan includes the opening of a new school of music, drama, and art in fall 2018; the establishment of a new Center for Teaching Excellence; plans to add new programs and faculty in areas of growth; and renovations and improvements to several facilities on campus. The overarching goal is to educate students and develop scholars who can represent their respective professions with distinction and who are formed by the learning and values inherent in both academic and Catholic traditions. The University is exploring expansion of educational opportunities for students in geographies beyond the Washington, D.C. campus to attract students seeking a comprehensive Catholic liberal arts education that want to be closer to home.
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John Garvey became the 15th president of The Catholic University of America on July 1, 2010. Dr. Garvey is a nationally recognized expert in constitutional law, religious liberty, and the First Amendment. He has won distinguished fellowships and teaching awards and served as the 2008 president of the Association of American Law Schools. Throughout the years of his leadership at The Catholic University of America, Dr. Garvey has emphasized the importance of a distinctly Catholic education in every school and discipline. During his inaugural year, Dr. Garvey hosted a series of prominent intellectuals in disciplines such as history, music, literature, and science, who presented lectures on the interplay between their ideas about virtue and their scholarly work. Under Dr. Garvey, the School of Business and Economics was launched in 2013, to provide a rigorous business education that fully integrates Catholic Social Doctrine in every aspect of the curriculum. Dr. Garvey has continued to be a prominent public voice on many contemporary issues in higher education, culture, law, Catholicism, and religious liberty.
Dr. Garvey received his A.B. from Notre Dame, summa cum laude; he earned his J.D. from Harvard Law School; and attended Harvard Divinity School where he was a candidate for a M.T.S. degree.
Andrew Abela is the provost at The Catholic University of America where he formerly served as dean and faculty member in the School of Business and Economics. His research on the integrity of the marketing process, including marketing ethics, Catholic Social Doctrine, and internal communication, has been published in several top academic journals, and two books. Abela provides consulting and training in internal communications to several major corporations including JPMorganChase and Microsoft Corporation. Prior to his academic career, Abela spent several years as a brand manager at Proctor & Gamble, a management consultant with McKinsey & Company, and Managing Director of the Leadership Council of the Corporate Executive board.
Dr. Abela holds a B.Sc. from the University of Toronto; an M.B.A. from the Institute for Management Development (IMD) in Switzerland, and a Ph.D. in Marketing and Ethics from the Darden Business School at the University of Virginia.
Robert M. Specter serves Catholic University as its vice president for finance & treasurer. Previously, Mr. Specter was vice president for administration & finance at the University of Maryland, where he initiated planning for revitalization of the College Park neighborhoods surrounding the University. He served as vice president for finance at the University of Delaware, guiding its financial policy during the lengthy economic recession. He chaired the board of directors of Blue Hen Hotel LLC, which owns a Marriott-branded hotel on campus. In partnership with the College of Earth, Ocean and Environment and a private turbine manufacturer, he co-founded First State Marine Wind LLC, which built and profitably operates a 2.0-megawatt wind turbine as part of the University of Delawares research and development in alternative energy technologies.
Mr. Specter was a charter member of the U.S. Green Building Councils Cascadia Region as the initial Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) sustainability metrics were implemented. He is active in Financial Executives International and the Society for College and University Planning and has enjoyed participating in a variety of professional councils and civic organizations. Mr. Specter deployed to Nepal to provide logistical support to a medical relief team following the Spring 2015 earthquakes in that country.
Mr. Specter earned his bachelors degree at the University of Rochester, an MS degree at the New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology, and an M.B.A. at Arizona State University.
The Chief Human Resource Officer reports to the Vice President for Finance & Treasurer and will serve on the Executive Committee of the Administrative Council.
The incoming CHRO will join a team of 15 human resources professionals seeking strategic and nuanced leadership and a senior leadership group that is actively looking for a vibrant, knowledgeable and proactive partner to provide leadership and guidance around best practices in human resources management. The CHRO will be responsible for introducing, developing and bolstering a culture of service-leadership by the HR staff for the benefit of the University community.
The CHRO will lead the HR team in defining their mission and vision and communicating this across the University. The CHRO will work to develop organizational strategies for further developing the HR staff, strengthening their individual and professional skills and their abilities to work together across functional groups in support of the HR needs at Catholic University. There is an appetite on campus for more consultative support and guidance from human resources and the HR staff is eager to bring more innovative approaches and solutions to the campus community. The CHRO will have the challenge and the opportunity to develop new possibilities in partnership with constituents.
The CHRO will be a partner in diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives for the University community.
The CHRO will provide strong and open communication and partnership across campus and within the Universitys administrative team. The CHRO will have the chance to inspire, inform, and support the many different stakeholders within the University at an exciting time of change and renewal.
The CHRO will oversee the development, assessment and implementation of human resource strategies, policies and better practices that further the educational, operational and administrative objectives of the University. S/he will be responsible for: compensation, benefits (self-insured medical and dental plans), payroll, employee and labor relations, employee development, employment and compliance, talent acquisition and management and HRIS. Human Resources also provides support to Title IX training and case management, administration of which reports within the Presidents Office.
The work of the Office of Human Resources supports the entire university. A critical part of the CHRO role is to recognize the needs of the many different constituent groups across the campus and develop viable, affordable strategies to satisfy them. The CHRO must have strong interpersonal and relationship building skills and is expected to invest the necessary time to develop productive relationships with faculty, staff, and senior leadership. Key among these relationships are those within the academic realm. The CHRO will support academic leadership in the recruitment and retention of faculty and research staff, provide greater access to professional development, and assist with conflict resolution.
The incoming CHRO will have a robust working knowledge of best practices related to leveraging technology and maximizing its adoption and value through training and change management. There are opportunities to reduce manual transacting, create online resources for employees and managers, move to online benefits enrollment, and automate and optimize relevant human resources processes. These opportunities will translate into performance goals, so the CHRO will have significant expertise in and appetite for leading improvement in information systems, business process redesign, policy development, and related tools.
Catholic University currently is implementing a new Applicant Tracking System along with the relevant business processes and support systems. The CHRO will be involved with the ongoing implementation and training for this new system, as well as be responsible for assessing, developing and implementing appropriate best practices for Human Resource systems and processes across the University and engaging the full HR team and external constituents in the change management that will follow. The CHRO will also lead HR in the establishment of broader succession planning, talent acquisition and onboarding improvement, and a performance management strategy.
This is an exciting and significant opportunity for the new CHRO and the expectations and ambitions are broad and extensive. The successful candidate will be innovative, have an appetite for leading business process improvement, and will be a natural collaborator with excellent strategic, leadership, and team-building skills. Demonstrated success and relevant experience at a complex and dynamic organization are expectations of the successful candidate.
The CHRO will have the following experiences, capabilities, and attributes: