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Associate Vice President, Human Resources and Chief Human Resources Officer

Job no: 493499
Work type: EAP - Executive, Administrative, Professional
Location: Allendale
Categories: Human Resources



Grand Valley State University (Grand Valley) has been named a top university by U.S. News & World Report and one of "America's 100 Best College Buys" for the 25th year in a row, by Institutional Research and Evaluation.

In September 2019, Grand Valley was named a recipient of the Higher Education Excellence in Diversity (HEED) Award from Insight into Diversity, the oldest and largest diversity-focused publication in higher education. The award recognizes Grand Valley for its commitment to diversity and inclusion.

Grand Valley attracts over 23,000 students with high-quality programs and state-of-the-art facilities. Grand Valley is a comprehensive university serving students from all across Michigan and dozens of other states and foreign countries, offering 95 undergraduate and 43 graduate degree programs and has campuses in Allendale, Grand Rapids and Holland. The University offers programming and classes from centers in Traverse City and Detroit; Grand Valley’s Annis Water Resources Institute and the Muskegon Innovation Hub are located in Muskegon. The University is dedicated to individual student achievement, going beyond the traditional classroom experience, with research opportunities and business partnerships.

Grand Valley’s mission is to educate students to shape their lives, their professions, and their societies. Known for increasingly innovative and outstanding teaching, recognized scholarship, significant community engagement, and excellent stewardship of its resources, the University inspires and equips students to be active life-long learners and global citizens. Grand Valley strives to be a model public university shaping leader for success.

Grand Valley continues to excel in the areas of graduation and retention rates, alumni working in Michigan, and keeping down the cost of a college degree. These initiatives are outlined in Grand Valley's accountability report at

Grand Valley has developed a highly successful approach to education and a unique niche among comprehensive universities over recent decades. In the 2016-2021 iteration of the Strategic Plan, the University will deepen and extend its current approach -- teaching, learning, scholarship and connection -- and improve its outcomes in educating students and contributing to society. Grand Valley intends to maintain a stable annual student population of 24,000 undergraduates and graduates through 2021, as well as to offer the combination of degrees that led the Carnegie Foundation to classify the University among the nation's "Masters Large" institutions through generous donor support, strong fiscal stewardship, and ongoing credit worthiness, Grand Valley will maintain the A+ rating from Standard and Poor's it has enjoyed over the last 10 years. The University intends to sustain this stable foundation as an affirmation of the high value it places on fiscal stability and strength. Grand Valley will continue to use its resources to offer challenging and relevant learning and scholarship with support of students at the center of all its activities.

Since its founding, Grand Valley has been deeply committed to the liberal arts with professional education. Grand Valley will maintain its distinctive reputation as a large university with a small college feel where students receive personalized attention in small classes as well as customized convenient academic and career services. Additional details of the Grand Valley Strategic Planning, Assessment and Accreditation process can be found at


The Associate Vice President for Human Resources is the University's Chief Human Resources professional and reports to the Vice President for Finance and Administration/Chief Financial Officer and is a member of the President’s Cabinet. This position is responsible for strategic planning and oversight of the delivery of human resources services and programs to the University community, including leadership of human resources policies and procedures, staff relations, bargaining, employee benefits and wellness, recruitment, compensation and classification, performance management, training and professional development, HRIS systems, and record keeping.

Specific Responsibilities:

  • Development and execution of human resources strategies and plans; engaging in visionary and strategic exploration of new HR trends and practices, staying current with changing HR systems and technologies, and keeping informed through publications and involvement in professional organizations.
  • At the direction of the President, lead and/or assist with special projects aligned to key talent priorities of the institution.
  • Leading the initiatives, direction and activities of the department; delivery of all human resources services to all faculty and staff; leadership, supervision and direction of HR to include the full range of operational, service, and project-related activities carried out by the department in support of the University's mission.
  • Providing strategic and tactical guidance, advice, and support to university leadership including recommendations regarding critical matters pertaining to the delivery of human resources services; consultation with senior administrators to troubleshoot and resolve issues and problems; consultation with departmental leadership on complex or sensitive personnel matters; identifying issues and options to support executive decision making.
  • Ensuring University compliance with established employment laws and regulations; maintaining current knowledge of laws, codes, regulations, and pending legislature related to Human Resources activities and modifying policies, programs, functions, and procedures to assure compliance with local, state, and federal requirements; developing and implementing appropriate policies and guidelines required to ensure equity and compliance with statutory obligations; establishing and implementing internal controls and auditing procedures for Human Resources.
  • Directly managing special projects and initiatives that impact Human Resources service delivery, including defining project scope, detailing specific project plans and schedules, investigating potential approaches or methods to achieve defined outcomes, and leading or facilitating project teams or working groups to maximize organizational effectiveness, collaboration and efficiency; assistance in planning the allocation of resources; preparing and providing reports to executive management as requested related to a variety of human resources-related data.
  • Serving as a lead faculty and staff relations officer; providing leadership in developing consistent employee relations standards and solutions for all faculty and staff; serving as a lead advisor on employment-related issues, policies and university compliance requirements; overseeing processes related to mediation, arbitration, and employment-related claims or litigation.
  • Ensuring that Human Resources is providing appropriately supportive service to the University community; building strong relationships with senior leaders, faculty and business office leaders to develop and implement Human Resources programs, policies, and procedures to ensure that Human Resource service objectives in support of the University's mission are consistently supported and achieved, to include workforce planning and development strategies; serving as an active participant in Human Resources planning and strategy discussions.


  • Master’s degree in Human Resources Management, Management, Business Administration, Organizational Development or a related field.
  • A minimum of ten years of progressively responsible human resources experience as well as supervisory experience in a Human Resources leadership and management capacity
  • Extensive knowledge of benefits, workforce development, classification, compensation, human resources technology systems, organizational development, policy review, employee relations, labor relations, training and development, industry trends, employment law, federal rules and regulations governing human resources administration. Experience in higher education a plus but not required.
  • Excellent budget preparation and fiscal management skills


  • Demonstrated commitment to diversity, equity, fairness, confidentiality, and solid, unwavering ethical values.
  • Excellent oral, written, interpersonal, public speaking, and conflict resolution skills; ability to work effectively with a wide range of constituencies in a diverse community.
  • Must possess excellent organizational skills, and must have the presence, the intelligence, and the demeanor necessary to effectively interact at all levels within, and external to, the University.

The University has retained DHR International to conduct the AVP of HR/CHRO position search. Please direct your inquiries and application materials to:

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