May 13, 2022 – Following a national search, Isaacson, Miller has placed Christina K. Brogdon as the first vice president of human resources and chief human resources officer for Michigan State University (MSU) in East Lansing. Ms. Brogdon will start her new role on June 1, replacing Richard Fanning, who has been leading the university’s human resources organization on an interim basis. The assignment was led by partner Rebecca Kennedy along with associate Stephanie Simon. “There’s a lot of great work, that’s of even greater importance, that lies ahead to ensure we will continue to attract, retain and develop the best people to help us reach our mission and deliver on our strategic objective,” said MSU president Samuel L. Stanley Jr. “Christina’s expertise is an asset to the institution as we work to address the challenges that lie ahead to recruit and retain top-notch professionals.”
During the September 2021 Board of Trustees meeting, Dr. Stanley and Melissa Woo, executive vice president for administration and chief information officer, made the recommendation for the position, as well as a title change from associate vice president to vice president of human resources and chief human resources officer to reflect the strategic role MSU human resources plays in contributing to the education of our students.
In her new role, Ms. Brogdon is tasked with leading MSU’s human capital agenda including talent acquisition and retention; leadership and organizational development; compensation and classification; benefits; and employee and labor relations for staff and executive management. She will help provide strategic direction and leadership of institution-wide human capital management, in addition to serving as a proactive partner to the president’s cabinet on all matters related to HR. Ms. Brogdon will also work collaboratively across campus to integrate high-quality human resources services throughout all facets of the university.
“I am honored to join the Michigan State University community,” Ms. Brogdon said. “The opportunity to cultivate employee empowerment, excellence and success is exciting. President Stanley’s vision to create a best-in-class workplace and an environment where employees can thrive gives me energy and enthusiasm to get started.”
Most recently, Ms. Brogdon served as vice chancellor for human resources at North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University. Prior to that role, she served as chief human resources officer at the University of West Georgia, Radford University, and Bluefield State College, in addition to having leadership roles at Virginia Tech.
Ms. Brogdon holds a master’s of business administration from Averett University and a bachelor’s degree in management from Virginia Tech. Additionally, she holds a certificate in strategic HR leadership from the Industrial and Labor Relations School of Cornell University and has her professional in human resources certification from the Human Resources Certification Institute.
Founded in 1855, Michigan State University is a premiere land-grant university, and an innovator in research, teaching, and application of knowledge. MSU has evolved into a world-class institution, offering a full spectrum of programs, and attracting gifted professors, staff members, and students. The university is part of the Big Ten Conference and since 1964 has been one of 66 members of the prestigious Association of American Universities.
A nationally recognized search firm focused on recruiting transformational leaders for mission-driven organizations, Isaacson, Miller has conducted thousands of placements over more than three decades. More than half of the firm’s work has been in academia, involving university presidents, college chancellors and deans. The firm has filled top leadership posts at Wellesley College, Washington State University, Miami University, Howard University, Bowdoin College, Dartmouth, NYU, Virginia State University, and the University of North Carolina, among others.
Isaacson, Miller has been enlisted to find a chief diversity, equity and inclusion officer for the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia. Keight Tucker Kennedy is leading the assignment, with Tiffany Weber and Kelly McLaughlin. “The inaugural chief diversity, equity and inclusion officer will use a data-informed approach to provide school-wide leadership and support in pursuit of Wharton’s core values of fostering a culture that is adept at supporting and leveraging differences within our community; utilizing fair and transparent practices that foster equitable decision making and outcomes; promoting dignity and respect across and among all constituents (e.g. students, staff, faculty); and fostering opportunities to contribute to diversity, equity and inclusion through Wharton’s research, teaching and community engagement,” said the Boston-based search firm.
John Isaacson, the firm’s chair, founded Isaacson, Miller in 1982. He has led searches in many areas of the firm’s practice. Mr. Isaacson has helped the firm develop its cumulative knowledge of the craft of search and has attended, with increasing interest, to the missionary purposes of institutions, the political and economic disciplines of specialized markets, and the emotional and intellectual learnings that leaders acquire in a committed working life.
Ms. Kennedy has more than 15 years of experience recruiting leaders in higher education and nonprofit organizations. She specializes in functional leadership positions including research administration, technology transfer and commercialization, compliance, privacy, finance, and academic administration. Ms. Kennedy particularly enjoys recruiting individuals into newly created positions, such as the president and CEO of the UCLA Technology Development Corp., senior director of privacy at Stanford University, and assistant vice president of Title IX compliance at Northeastern University. Prior to joining Isaacson, Miller in 2015, she was a principal at Brill Neumann Associates.
Ms. Simon became an associate in 2021. She joined Isaacson, Miller in 2016 as executive assistant to Mr. Isaacson, and served as managing search coordinator in Boston. Ms. Simon has managed president, provost, and dean searches in higher education along with executive-level searches within arts and culture.
Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor; and Stephen Sawicki, Managing Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media