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Director of Employee Relations

North Carolina State University

Raleigh, North Carolina 27695
Job Status:
Full Time
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Job Details

Director of Employee Relations
Division of Human Resources
NC State University
Raleigh, NC
Spring 2017


The Opportunity
The Director of Employee Relations serves as the University's Chief Employee Relations (ER) Officer and is responsible for shaping the leadership direction of the ER office, as well as implementing ER strategic initiatives and services that promote a positive and collaborative university work environment that proactively address and resolve workplace concerns.

Reporting to the Associate Vice Chancellor for Human Resources (AVC-HR) and working collaboratively as a member of the HR leadership team, the Director leads a team of professional and support staff that collaborates closely on faculty and staff relations issues with other campus units. Partners include but are not limited to: General Counsel, Faculty and Staff Ombuds Office, the Office of Institutional Equity and Diversity, Risk Management, and Environmental Health and Public Safety (including Police), as well as governance committees such as the faculty and staff senates.

The Director will:

  • Provide leadership and strategic oversight for the operational management of the Employee Relations department, and as part of the HR leadership team;
  • Assist the AVC-HR in the strategic planning process and policy development for the Division of HR, including institutional leadership in areas of content expertise;
  • Ensure effective application of policies, rules, regulations, and laws related to grievances at the university. To the extent possible, facilitate the defensible resolution of workplace concerns informally in order to mitigate the number of issues that escalate to higher levels within or outside the institution;
  • Lead the design, development, communication, administration, delivery, and evaluation of ER services, programs, policies and procedures for staff and faculty including those related to performance management, discipline, grievance, and mediation activities;
  • Enhance, develop, and/or promote ER programs, manager and employee training initiatives, as well as other outreach efforts in response to emerging law, policy, and institutional priorities. May deliver platform training programs to various audiences;
  • Collaborate with other HR Directors and university HR staff, providing content expertise in the areas of employee relations, and in the design, development, delivery, and assessment of comprehensive HR processes, programs, and projects for the University;
  • Serve as a primary contact for University leadership seeking assistance or guidance with the most complex, sensitive, high-level, and/or high-risk employee matters involving staff and faculty.
  • Manage the university's staff grievance and appeal procedures and assist in the coordination of faculty grievances and reviews as appropriate;
  • Coordinate the university's informal voluntary mediation program, including ensuring the availability of trained mediators to assist in facilitation;
  • Administer the university's performance improvement/disciplinary action structures, as well as performance appraisal/performance management programs and reporting for employees subject to the State Human Resources Act (SHRA);
  • Lead processes to support institutional downsizing initiatives including reductions in force if necessary;
  • Oversee the institution's unemployment claims and appeal processes;
  • Conduct data analyses and develop insightful information for senior management decision-making on such issues as voluntary turnover and grievance patterns;
  • Assess and consult on organizational effectiveness issues and client needs as related to employee performance. Lead assessments and interventions to help resolve issues;
  • Serve as primary liaison with the Office of State Human Resources and the UNC General Administration on employee relations issues;
  • Lead, coach, and mentor the professional and support staff as well as provide financial acumen, knowledge and oversight of the budget and fiscal activities for the department; and
  • Other duties as assigned by the AVC-HR.

Other Work/Responsibilities:
Because NC State is a public land-grant university with a physical presence in all 100 counties of North Carolina, occasional travel may be required to off-campus locations.

Department Required Skills:

  • Significant knowledge and skills in proactive employee relations program management and direction and substantive content expertise in the legal and policy underpinnings of employment relationships;
  • Considerable diplomacy; highly proficient written and verbal communication skills; demonstrable excellent judgment in effectively assessing and resolving complex personnel situations and in advising senior leadership; engaging personality and interpersonal agility; ability to work competently and comfortably in situations that may involve conflict, communication of difficult messages, and or risk management;
  • Demonstrated sensitivity to, understanding of, and ability to interact effectively with people of diverse academic, socio-economic, cultural, ethnic and disability backgrounds;
  • Demonstrated ability to effectively interpret and communicate federal, state and institutional regulations, policies, and procedures to a diverse constituency at all levels of the organization;
  • Thorough understanding of, and demonstrated ability to, effectively communicate legal implications of actions taken and the impact of those actions on the university's interests; and
  • Exceptionally strong collaborative leadership style, strategic planning, interpersonal, critical thinking, and organizational skills are critical given the varied programmatic responsibilities included in the position.

About Employee Relations
The Department of Employee Relations, one of seven units within the division of Human Resources (HR), administers programs for and provides employee relations leadership and consultation to a broad range of university administrators, managers, faculty, and staff in support of a positive and productive work environment. Employee Relations is dedicated to providing consultative services based on a wide range of issues related to individual employment as well as organizational effectiveness and work environment issues. Employee Relations partners to design workplace solutions.

The successful applicant will have a Master's degree in human resources, business administration, or other related field from an accredited college and/or university. A minimum of six years of human resource management experience in employee relations, labor relations, employment law, human resources, organizational development and/or employment law/policy development, interpretation and application is required. Applicants should have a minimum of four years experience in an employee relations leadership/management position, with experience training others in employee relations and employment law, policy and compliance. An equivalent combination of education and experience will be considered.

Preference will be given to candidates with higher education experience in employee relations, along with strategic planning leadership experience. Substantive experience in EEO/AA issues, mediation, conflict management. Bilingual fluency (esp. English/Spanish) is a plus but not required. SPHR -CP and/or SHRM-SCP certifications are desirable.

The Nominating Committee invites applications to be submitted online at (position number 00043579). Applications should include a cover letter, resume, and contact information for three professional references. Confidential review of materials will begin in April 2017, and will continue until the appointment is made. Additional information can be found at

About NC State
NC State was founded with a purpose: to create economic, societal, and intellectual prosperity for the people of North Carolina and the country. We began as a land-grant institution teaching the agricultural and mechanical arts. Today NC State is a pre-eminent research and teaching leader that excels in science, technology, engineering, math, design, humanities and social sciences, textiles and veterinary medicine. NC State students, faculty, and staff take problems in hand and work with industry, government, and nonprofit partners to solve them.

Our 34,000-plus students apply what they learn in the real world by conducting research, working in internships and co-ops, and performing acts of world-changing service. That experiential education ensures they leave here ready to lead the workforce, confident in the knowledge that NC State consistently rates as one of the best values in higher education.

Whether it's Princeton Review ranking NC State among the nation's best values for universities or one of 81 nationwide “Colleges with a Conscience,” NC State has many reasons to be proud. And Princeton Review is not alone. Kiplinger's Personal Finance ranked NC State University 12th and U.S. News & World Report ranked the university among the top 10 best values in public higher education.

About Raleigh
NC State is located in one of the fastest-growing urban centers in America. A top spot for young professionals and families, Raleigh is nationally recognized as a city on the rise:

  • 1 among the best places for business and careers (Forbes, 2014)
  • 1 among U.S. cities attracting the most families (Forbes, 2014)
  • 2 among America's 15 best cities for young professionals (Forbes, 2014)
  • 3 among the best midsize U.S. metro areas for college students (American Institute for Economic Research, 2014)

With Durham and Chapel Hill, Raleigh anchors the Research Triangle, a national hotspot for high-tech enterprise. The top companies in the region — including IBM, Cisco Systems, SAS Institute, Biogen Idec and GlaxoSmithKline — are among the country's best employers. They also lead the way in hiring new NC State graduates. Celebrating its 130th year in 2017, NC State continues to make its founding purpose a reality. Every day our career-ready graduates and world-leading faculty make the fruits of learning and discovery available to people across the state, throughout the nation, and around the world.

NC State University is an equal opportunity and affirmative action employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, national origin, religion, sex, age, veteran status, or disability. In addition, NC State University welcomes all persons without regard to sexual orientation. The University welcomes the opportunity to work with candidates to identify suitable employment opportunities for spouses or partners.

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