Emory Report
March 21, 2005
Volume 57, Number 23


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March 21, 2005
Search of new VP under way, target hire date for July

By eric rangus

The search for a new vice president of Human Resources is under way, with the goal of hiring a candidate for a July 1 start date. Executive Vice President for Finance and Administration Mike Mandl appointed an institution-wide search advisory committee to be chaired by Edie Murphree, vice president for finance.

“July 1 is our goal, but the most important thing is to hire the best candidate,” Murphree said. “If it takes longer, that’s OK.”

The selection committee, which met for the first time on March 4, will convene again on April 22 to review resumes provided by Spencer Stuart, the executive search firm employed by Emory to recruit candidates. About four to six candidates will be asked to campus for interviews with the committee. Two or three finalists will be interviewed across campus by a variety of individuals, including Mandl. Murphree said the committee welcomes input from across campus, and anyone should feel comfortable e-mailing the committee members with comments.

The search for a new HR vice president began in January immediately after Alice Miller, Emory’s chief human resources officer for the last 13 years, announced she was leaving. Paula Carabelli of Spencer Stuart and her team were selected to engage in a national search to recruit top candidates, as they have done many times in the past. Emory has a strong rapport with the firm, which has worked with the University for several recent senior administrative searches, including those for the deans of Goizueta Business School and Emory College, President Jim Wagner, Mandl and Provost Earl Lewis.

Consultants from Spencer Stuart met with Emory administrators and those discussions resulted in a detailed position and candidate specification that will be used as the primary tool for separating out exemplary candidates. Written and oral communications skills, as well as a customer service orientation, are at the top of the list, Murphree said.

Spencer Stuart is performing most of the early legwork. The firm will provide the committee with 10–20 resumes of candidates who have responded to targeted advertisements for the position as well as firm-conducted recruiting efforts and preliminary interviews. The process is similar for most senior administrative positions.

The HR vice president is one of the most all-encompassing administrative posts at Emory. The position carries direct responsibility for all University HR policies and programs and oversight responsibility for Emory Healthcare’s programs and policies to ensure that HR programs are effectively coordinated between the two. All told, there are some 21,000 employees across the University and Emory Healthcare.

Because of the position’s wide reach, diversity in the selection committee was a must. Its 14 members come from areas such as the Woodruff Health Sciences Center, the general counsel’s office, Emory Libraries and Facilities Management and include employees with a wide range of experience and diverse backgrounds.
“It’s incredibly important for staff to have a say,” said committee member Louis Burton, senior business manager for the Grady campus of the Department of Emergency Medicine and president-elect of the Employee Council. “This person is going to making decisions for Emory that are going to affect all its employees.”