University of Denver — Vice Chancellor for Human Resources

University of Denver is seeking an experienced and equity-minded leader to serve as its next vice chancellor for human resources. The expected start date is March 2022.  

Founded in 1864, the University of Denver (DU) is an independent, doctoral-granting university with high research activity and robust undergraduate and graduate education. DU has become increasingly known, nationally and internationally, for its creative, 21st-century approaches to problem-based scholarship, as well as its holistic, student-centered approach to learning and its dedication to the public good through local, national, and international partnerships. The university’s DEI Action Plan serves as a guide to DU’s abiding commitment to truly embody a forward-looking institution and community where all can belong, contribute, and thrive.

DU enrolls approximately 14,000 students from across the United States and over 85 countries in its distinguished undergraduate liberal arts and science and graduate and professional programs. Since 2010, the university has seen a 44 percent increase in domestic students of color, from 18 to 26 percent of the student body. An additional four and a half percent are international students from over 85 countries around the globe. During the past 20 years, DU has invested more than $852 million in renovating, modernizing and growing its campus. Three new buildings represent the first phase of the Denver Advantage, an innovative campus framework vision for the physical future of DU. The Burwell Center for Career Achievement and the Dimond Family Residential Village opened in Fall 2020, and the Community Commons opened in Winter 2021. The beautiful campus, with sweeping views of the Denver skyline and the Rocky Mountains, includes an arboretum.

Reporting to the senior vice chancellor for business and financial affairs and a member of her divisional leadership team, the vice chancellor for human resources (vice chancellor) will provide transformative and strategic leadership to the department of human resources and develop human resources plans and strategies in support of the university’s ambitious aspirations. The vice chancellor oversees a consultative and strategic unit that includes employee and labor relations, performance management, compensation, training, retention, talent development, benefits, and strategic partnerships. 

This senior leader will join the university at a transformative and exciting moment in its history and will have a unique opportunity to collaborate with and serve as a key advisor to the university’s senior leadership on workforce planning strategies, while proposing and building a nimble and highly-responsive infrastructure in support of these goals. They will oversee the development and implementation of comprehensive compensation plans ensuring transparency, competitiveness and equitability; promote diversity, equity, and inclusion in the workplace and reinforce DU’s commitment toward inclusive excellence; and support the Executive Compensation Committee of the Board of Trustees and the Chancellor by providing guidance and information reporting for senior staff compensation. 

The department of human resources comprises 18 team members, as well as nine shared services employees with a dotted line relationship to the vice chancellor, who provide services for DU’s nearly 2,600 employees who include 768 faculty and 1819 staff and administrators. The vice chancellor administers an operating budget of $2.5 million. 

This position is an exceptional opportunity for a systems-level thinker and collaborative leader with a strong knowledge of comprehensive and innovative human resources systems, functions, and emerging practices. The successful candidate will possess outstanding communication skills at the individual, team, and organizational level; strong consulting skills and application of effective organization design, workforce planning, recruiting, selection, on-boarding, performance management, employee relations and learning programs; and an unwavering commitment to advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion in every facet of the department’s activities. 

A bachelor’s degree in a relevant discipline; ten or more years of progressive responsibility and experience in leadership, strategic planning, change management, team building, employee relations, organizational policies, and/or human resources; or an equivalent combination of education and experience is required. Demonstrated skills in analyzing human resources trends and metrics in developing solutions, programs, and policies are a must, and previous higher education work experience or experience working in a complex matrixed organization is strongly preferred. 

The search committee invites applications from candidates with a strong attraction to an increasingly diverse and innovative university environment, as well as a genuine interest in collaborating with faculty, staff, and students, and a commitment to be visible and accountable to all constituents. Experience with developing strategic and comprehensive compensation philosophies and frameworks; leveraging data and producing metric driven-results; the ability to manage change with high levels of self-confidence to endorse new ideas; and the ability to be an inclusive leader and mentor that builds trusting, effective, cohesive teams and champions a diverse, modern workforce are priority competencies for the next vice chancellor. 

DU has retained the services of Spelman Johnson, a leading national executive search firm, to assist with leading this search. Review of applications will begin Monday, December 6, 2021 and continue until the position is filled. A resume with an accompanying cover letter that addresses the responsibilities and requirements described in the position specification may be submitted via the Spelman Johnson website at Nominations for this position may be forwarded to Michel R. Frendian at Applicants needing reasonable accommodation to participate in the application process should contact Spelman Johnson at 413-529-2895.

COVID Vaccination Requirement
Employment, or continuation therefore at University of Denver, is contingent upon being fully COVID vaccinated (unless a medical/religious exemption is received); proof of a COVID-19 vaccination is required prior to employment date.  

Visit the University of Denver website at and the University of Denver Human Resources and Inclusive Community website at 

The University of Denver is committed to enhancing the diversity of its faculty and staff and encourages applications from women, minorities, members of the LBGT community, people with disabilities and veterans. The university is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer.