Storbeck Search Leads CHRO Search for University of Rochester

March 2, 2021 – Higher education-focused search firm Storbeck Search, part of the Diversified Search Group, has been called on by the University of Rochester to lead its search for a new vice president and chief human resources officer (CHRO). Leading the assignment are Shelly Weiss Storbeck, managing partner and senior associate Carly Rose DiGiovanni, and Amy Sugin, managing director for Koya Partners, also part of Diversified Search Group. The role presents an opportunity to make a significant and lasting positive impact on the university and the Rochester community. “The University of Rochester seeks a transformative vice president and chief human resources officer with a commitment to diversity and equity and a proven track record of collaboration and inclusive engagement to steward a complex, mission-driven workforce of more than 30,000,” said Storbeck Search.

An officer of the university reporting directly to the president and working closely with the board of trustees, the CHRO will be responsible for developing a progressive, innovative, and efficient HR organization that supports a professional culture where every employee can maximize their potential, the search firm said.

Storbeck Search said the CHRO will have a strategic focus on HR effectiveness, HR systems optimization, learning and development, the university’s total rewards program, and regional HR (comprising the university’s medical center’s network of affiliates). Developing and executing plans to achieve institutional objectives in all of these areas will be a key responsibility for the selected candidate.

The CHRO will also be responsible for directing the university’s overall strategic and operational human resources functions; providing guidance and leadership in planning, developing, and implementing innovative and collaborative human resource programs and services to further the university’s mission; and overseeing talent acquisition, development and retention, employee relations, policy, job classification, compensation, labor relations and benefits.

The individual will oversee a department of 120 dedicated human resources professionals.

Key Qualifications

The new CHRO must bring a proven track record of effective and progressively responsible senior leadership in human resources in large and complex organizations, said Storbeck Search. Extensive experience in the management and support of healthcare enterprises, preferably academic healthcare, is desired. Experience in a university setting is also highly valued.

The successful candidate will embrace and model the highest ethics and integrity, support a culture of compliance, and demonstrate a commitment to creating a respectful and supportive work environment, said the search firm. The CHRO will have demonstrated experience advising leadership and executives, as well as providing metrics and insights to inform key decision-making. He or she must lead by example in modeling trust, open communication, compassion, enthusiasm and encouragement across all constituencies of the university community.

The CHRO will also be highly consultative in decision-making; have an understanding of shared governance functions in an academic setting; possess a track record of building systems and policies from the ground up; be able to build, develop, and support a diverse and capable HR team; be collegial, collaborative, transparent and responsive; and bring expertise and deep experience in benefits, compensation, and labor relations and negotiations.

Ten years of experience in a combination of human resources administration, labor relations and human resources leadership is required. A master’s degree in human resources and a minimum of five years of experience in a major hospital, university medical center or research university is preferred.

A CHRO View on Building Great Teams, From Inside and Out
Managing a large workforce at any company is no easy task. But when that workforce is 32,000 strong, it requires the steady hand of a top human resource leader who will keep everyone motivated, engaged, intact and forward thinking. And that’s across 160 countries encompassing every cultural nuance imaginable.

The University of Rochester is an R1 doctoral institution located in Rochester, NY. Founded in 1851, the university enrolls nearly 12,000 undergraduate and graduate/professional students, both domestic and international, and employs over 4,000 full-and part-time faculty. The institution’s integrated University of Rochester Medical Center is one of the nation’s leaders in professional education, biomedical research, and clinical care. The university also encompasses the Memorial Art Gallery, which houses a permanent collection of paintings by American and European masters, as well as sculpture and decorative arts. The school’s Laboratory for Laser Energetics, meanwhile, is an internationally renowned science and technology center.

Higher Education Recruiting

Ms. Storbeck has one of the most widely recognized names in higher education search, having recruited senior leaders for some of America’s most prestigious colleges and universities. Among her more recent assignments, she has led president searches for the University of Pittsburgh, University of Wisconsin, Bates, Denison, Haverford, and Swarthmore colleges. Over her career, she has conducted more than 500 searches for public and private universities, colleges and schools, and non-profit associations and organizations.

Ms. Sugin has over two decades of higher education administration experience in enrollment management, program management, and international education. She joined Koya after serving as principal at Neumann Executive Search (formerly, Brill Neumann Associates) when the two firms merged. Ms. Sugin has led searches for Carnegie Mellon University, Fordham University, Rutgers, Yale, New York University, Princeton University, University of North Carolina, Brown University, Rhode Island School of Design and University of Dayton, among others.

Ms. DiGiovanni brings to Storbeck Search nearly 12 years of experience serving mission-driven institutions and communities in the higher education and non-profit sector. Before joining the firm, she worked most recently for New York University. 

Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor; and Stephen Sawicki, Managing Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media

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