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Job Req ID:  91618

Director of Human Resources

The School of Education at Johns Hopkins University, often referred to as “SOE,” took its current form in 2007 and is therefore both the newest school at Hopkins and one of the newer graduate schools of education in the top tier of research universities. SOE’s mission is to generate knowledge to inform policy and practice and educate society to address the most important challenges faced by individuals, schools, and communities. SOE expresses this mission by advancing and disseminating knowledge to increase educational opportunity and transform lives. Its community, programs, investments, and culture are shaped by three commitments: to address the social determinants of education, to support diverse learners and educators, and to advance equity and social justice.


Notwithstanding its newness as one of Hopkins’ 9 schools, SOE traces its roots back to the establishment in 1909 of the University’s College Courses for Teachers, later renamed the College for Teachers. As the University built up its professionally focused educational offerings after WW2, what had by then become McCoy College was renamed, in 1965, the Evening College and Summer Session. In 1983, this division became the School for Professional Studies, and in 1999 the School for Professional Studies in Business and Education. In 2007, Education and Business were established as separate, fully independent schools.

Today the School enrolls some 2,400 graduate students and confers more than 500 Master’s and 45 doctoral (Ph.D. and EdD) degrees annually. Its 116 faculty include 17 with joint, emeriti, or courtesy appointments. The School has approximately 22,000 alumni.


The School is proud to count several well-established trans-disciplinary centers among its assets. These include the Center for Research and Reform in Education, the Center for the Social Organization of Schools, the Center for Technology in Education, the IDEALS Institute, the Center for Safe and Healthy Schools, and the Institute for Education Policy.


General summary/purpose:

The primary responsibility of the Director of Human Resources (HR) is to ensure the achievement of human capital goals of the assigned school and the larger university and will be both a strategic thought partner for divisional leadership and will oversee the operations of the division’s HR office. This person will envision, update, communicate and execute the school’s comprehensive HR strategy for its leadership, faculty, staff, and student employees. This HR leader will report directly to the Divisional Business Officer (DBO), with an additional reporting relationship to the University’s Executive Director for Employee and Labor Relations. The Director of HR will also be considered a part of the overall leadership of the HR function for the university. 


This HR leader will foster innovative practices that produce enhanced recruitment and retention of staff including historically underrepresented individuals and will promote actions that maintain an environment that integrates diversity, differences, and fairness. They will also develop and deliver efforts that are geared toward overall employee engagement, productivity, and effectiveness, and will ensure that human resources activities, services, and counsel are impactful and consistent with, and supportive of, established central university HR and divisional vision, mission, and plans.  They will help to ensure that human resources practices across the university are effective, relevant, support the needs of the schools; are consistently applied; and, are legally compliant.


Specific duties & responsibilities:

The Director of Human Resources is accountable for the direct administration of human resources services for the division and will play a critical role in the continued development of the local HR operations. In collaboration with the DBO and Central HR, the Director is responsible for ensuring relevant and responsive HR services, including employee relations, performance management, DEI/IDARE, recruitment and onboarding, organization development and training, and employee engagement activities for the division. In addition, this role serves as a supervisor, coach, and mentor to the School’s HR staff in direct and in matrix reporting relationships, as well as various employees throughout the departments and units across the School, providing leadership and consultation on highly sensitive and critical issues.

Strategic Planning

Provide HR strategy and leadership to division with a client base of full- and part-time faculty, exempt and non-exempt staff, and student employees.

Partner with senior leadership at the School, Central HR, and relevant faculty and staff to cultivate short- and long-term HR goals and strategies to support the vision for the School.

Evaluates the impact of short- and long-term planning of new programs and strategies with a focus on the impact of these initiatives on the attraction, motivation, development, and retention of faculty and staff.

Research and recommend HR best practices, with the goal of organizing resources, and developing or changing processes to ensure optimal functioning and compliance with relevant HR laws and regulations.

Maintain relationships with key stakeholders, including faculty, staff, and student leaders, to evaluate the effectiveness of HR services and administration at the division and the University.

Compile, analyze and present human capital data and metrics of performance to help support strategic and operational decision-making.

HR Subject Matter Expert/Employee Relations

Advises supervisors and employees on a wide range of topics including HR policies and procedures, onboarding, recruitment, retention/engagement, promotion, organization design, employee relations, and professional development.

Proactively identify employee relations interventions and initiatives to strengthen communication and collaboration, and to build positive open relationships and culture with faculty, staff, and student employees.

Intervene and act as a point of escalation on employee relations matters, and Investigate employee issues, that can be complex and challenging.

Consults with Central Human Resources (primarily Office of Employee and Labor Relations), General Counsel, and the Office of Institutional Equity as appropriate on employment-related matters including employee relations issues, questions regarding legal compliance, allegations of illegal behavior, and other wrongdoing, and potential legal implications.

Coordinate HR efforts to support and reinforce inclusion, diversity, anti-racism, and equity efforts in collaboration with other dedicated divisional and university resources

Ensure that human resources practices at the division are compliant with federal, state and local laws and regulations, as well as university policy.

Ensures implementation of performance management processes (e.g. goal setting, professional development planning, mid-year and annual reviews, performance/salary calibrations, etc.)

Attend conferences, participate in workshops/classes and read professional publications and then collaborate with peers and central HR to make recommendations on the development of policies, procedures, and communications based upon emerging HR best practices and changes to applicable laws.

Policies and Procedures

  • Serve as a resource for employees and provide advice on and interpretation of HR policies and procedures.

  • Ensure consistency of applications of policy within the School and University.

  • Coordinates with leaders from Central Human Resources leaders to review, discuss, and resolve HR issues and policies and procedures.

  • Review and verify the completeness, accuracy, and appropriateness of various human resources documentation, forms, requests, and activities of employees within the division.

Talent management

  • Develop and implement talent management initiatives and programs that ensure the division has the human capital it needs now and in the future. This includes needs assessment, talent acquisition and performance management practices, and employee development efforts that support the division by fully leveraging central resources and support.
  • Ensure the effectiveness of managers by identifying professional development opportunities, ensuring widespread adoption of personnel management best practices, and providing coaching as needed to assist with management challenges.
  • Coordinate talent acquisition efforts, in consultation with, and support of, central recruiting experts. Ensure acquisition processes reflects best practices and that stakeholders – including candidates – are engaged as critical customers. Further, ensure that process is responsive to business and operational needs while remaining compliant with central HR practices.
  • Proactively review compensation rates and engage with central resources to ensure pay for employees is equitable and responsive to the market as much as possible.
  • Actively motivate employee development through programs that help staff explore career options, leverage formal and on-the-job learning opportunities, and pursue new roles in the division as well as the larger university.
  • Develop and facilitate division-specific onboarding and orientation of new staff hires, and provide resources and support for new faculty onboarding.

Payroll and HR Data Management/Compliance activities

  • Oversee the data management activities required for processing of payroll for faculty, staff, and student worker payroll; and ensure payroll processes are lean, effective, and robust enough to ensure error-free payroll processing
  • Based upon divisional practice (often in collaboration with an office of Faculty Affairs), will facilitate processes and tools for accurate implementation of faculty appointment letter management, hiring, promotion processing, immigration compliance, employment verification, etc.
  • Works with leadership and departments to ensure timely processing of transactions that impact payroll and HR compliance for faculty, staff, and students. 
  • Provides oversight for all employee files including relevant compliance documentation.
  • Work with central HR to identify and drive efficiencies through automation and the use of technology to streamline processes.

HR Management

  • Provides direction and leadership to HR staff (e.g. HR generalists, HR Managers, Senior/HR Coordinators) and other functional experts (e.g. payroll, immigration, faculty hiring/promotion) in the performance of their duties. 
  • Establishes work priorities, evaluates and provides performance feedback on all staff members; supports professional development; effectively recommends hiring, promotion, termination, disciplinary and commendatory actions for all assigned staff.
  • Serve on various university human resource committees and task forces and recommend modifications to current human resources procedures and programs. Serve on key university committees as requested.

Minimum qualifications (mandatory):

  • Bachelor's degree in Human Resources, Business Administration, or relevant field.
  • Eight (8) plus years of progressively increasing leadership experience in human resources management, including employee relations experience, preferably in a university setting.
  • Three (3) plus years of experience working with a senior leadership team as a thought leader
  •  Additional education may substitute for required experience and additional related experience may substitute for required education, to the extent permitted by the JHU equivalency formula.

JHU Equivalency Formula: 30 undergraduate degree credits (semester hours) or 18 graduate degree credits may substitute for one year of experience.  Additional related experience may substitute for the required education on the same basis. For jobs where equivalency is permitted, up to two years of non-related college coursework may be applied towards the total minimum education/experience required for the respective job.

Preferred qualifications:

  • Master’s degree in a related field.
  • Experience working in an academic environment is strongly preferred.
  • Knowledge and understanding of the University, its history, culture, organizational structure and units, decision-making process, policies, and programs.
  • Ability to work with and use current JHU HR information technology; SAP and SuccessFactors experience strongly preferred, proficient use of the Microsoft suite, as well as working knowledge of digital workflow platforms and ticketing systems (e.g. ServiceNow, JIRA, or OnBase) also preferred.


Special knowledge, skills, and abilities:

  • Experience working with senior-level executives/management and organizational leaders in a highly matrixed organization
  • Significant experience with employee relations matters
  • Working knowledge of emerging trends and practices in HR, including experience implementing new HR practices
  • Demonstrated track record of taking initiative, effectively navigating ambiguity, and handling multiple priorities
  • Demonstrated ability to initiate, develop, and implement a wide range of contemporary human resources programs independently and in collaboration with other HR professionals.
  • Advanced consulting and negotiation skills providing appropriate counsel, advice, and work in partnership with supervisors and employees on HR matters, as well as facilitating and negotiating conflict resolution
  • Excellent critical thinking and analytical skills.
  • Demonstrated organizational development and change management skills, highly capable of working with different leadership styles, and diverse and/or complex organizational issues and structures.
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills to be able to promote and communicate HR programs to various constituents.
  • Demonstrated willingness and ability to partner, build, and sustain positive working relationships with leadership, management, and employees.
  • Comprehensive knowledge of federal, state, and local HR laws and regulations.
  • Demonstrated ability to exercise sound independent judgment.
  • Experience providing leadership and clear unit vision and goals to staff including hiring, coaching and counseling, development, and performance management.
  • Behavioral work style that is approachable, collaborative, hands-on, and shows attention to detail.
  • Unfailing discretion and integrity; excellent judgment. Ability to respect the confidentiality of sensitive information.
  • Experience working with diverse employees, and navigating diversity and inclusion issues, and understanding complexities.
  • Effectively utilize tools and technology to develop employees and build a positive, creative workplace culture.
  • Experience using data analytics to help leadership to assess talent needs, progress, and impact of programs.


Technical qualifications or specialized certifications:

  • Society of Human Resource Management certification or similar preferred.


Specific physical requirements for the job:

  • General office setting, with the opportunity for occasional hybrid work modalities.


Supervisory responsibility:

  • The director will supervise a combination of HR Managers, HR Generalists, HR, and Sr. HR Coordinators, and a combination of other functional experts in payroll, immigration, and faculty appointment/promotion process based on specific divisional needs.
Homewood Campus

Nearest Major Market: Baltimore