Chief Human Resources Officer

Western University of Health Sciences (WesternU) seeks a transformational and experienced leader to serve as its chief human resources officer (CHRO). This is an exceptional opportunity for an equity focused and strategic human resources executive to lead WesternU in its desire to elevate and enhance the workplace experience for all employees, and to develop and implement the services of a 21st Century human resources department.

For 40 years, Western University of Health Sciences has had a special mission: Educating tomorrow’s health-care professionals with a combination of scientific excellence and a humanistic, compassionate approach to patient care. WesternU is the largest graduate health professions university in the nation. Alumni rank among the top leaders in health care and medicine throughout the country and the world.

WesternU is home to more than 3,700 students in eight health sciences colleges and 21 degree programs, as well as more than 1,300 employees, and its main campus in southern California is one of the most thriving enterprises in the Pomona and Inland valleys. WesternU Pomona, encompassing 22 acres, has helped transform downtown Pomona into a thriving mix of retail, commercial and educational enterprises. The university also operates an osteopathic medical campus in the Pacific Northwest, in Lebanon, Oregon. This campus, known as COMP-Northwest, welcomed its inaugural class of 107 osteopathic medical students in July 2011, and has grown to more than 400 in multiple academic programs.

This is a transformative opportunity for the CHRO to elevate the human resources function and utilize a holistic approach to enable employees at all levels to thrive. Reporting directly to the senior vice president & chief operating officer the CHRO plays a key role in positioning the university as a collaborative and welcoming place to work that supports, engages, values and develops university employees, cultivating a positive work environment at WesternU. The CHRO is responsible for developing and executing a human resource strategy in support of the overall business plan and strategic direction of the organization, specifically through effective talent management, change management, performance management, onboarding and succession planning, training and development, benefits, compensation and human resources information systems and labor relations.

The successful candidate will possess experience leading high performing teams through organizational change within a complex enterprise and will embody the WesternU values of “humanism through caring, respect, empathy, trust and inclusion.” Additionally, the next CHRO will bring broad and contemporary knowledge of all areas of human resources with a demonstrated commitment to equity, diversity and inclusion; and a reputation for being both service and employee centered. A minimum of eight years of progressive human resources experience, with at least five years of executive HR experience is required. Experience must include at least two years within higher education or closely-related field such as research labs and biomedical facilities. A master’s degree in human resources or related field from an accredited college/university is required, however candidates with a bachelor’s degree in human resources or closely related field who have prior VP of HR/CHRO experience within higher education will be considered.

All applications, nominations and inquiries are invited. Applications should include, as separate documents, a CV or resume and a letter of interest addressing the themes in the

WittKieffer is assisting Western University of Health Sciences in this search. For fullest consideration, application materials should be received by January 16, 2023.

Application materials should be submitted through WittKieffer’s candidate portal:

Nominations and inquiries can be directed to:

Zachary A. Smith, Ph.D., Sarah Palmer and Bree Liddell 

Commitment to Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion and Anti-Discrimination Statement

The variety of unique identities, perspectives, beliefs, experiences, and talent our employees pour into WesternU comprises our culture, our reputation and is the most valuable asset we have. WesternU is proud to be an Equal Employment Opportunity employer. We do not discriminate based upon race, religion, color, national origin, gender (including pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions), sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, age, status as a protected veteran, status as an individual with a disability, other non-merit factor, or status otherwise protected by law.

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