As I approach my retirement in December, I want to share what an honor and privilege it has been to serve as the University of Tennessee’s first vice president of human resources. Growing up in East Tennessee, graduating and spending the first 14 years of my career at UT Knoxville made the opportunity to come back to UT nine years ago so special.
There are so many things I am proud to have been a part of in HR improvements. Just a few examples include:
- becoming a strategic partner to our senior leaders;
- expanding our services to include executive recruiting and needs assessments;
- redesigning HR statewide to a service center model with an East Regional Service Center in Knoxville, West Regional Service Center in Memphis and a statewide HR Call Center;
- developing HR’s first strategic plan with priorities in compensation, technology and metrics, performance management and professional development, recruitment and workforce strategic planning and work culture enhancement;
- implementing an employee engagement survey;
- creating a Compensation Advisory Board;
- implementing an applicant tracking system;
- requiring background checks for all new hires;
- developing an annual conference for Women in Leadership;
- creating annual President’s Awards for faculty and staff and
- raising the minimum rate of pay four times.
I would like to take this opportunity to applaud our human resources officers and the talented HR team across the state. I also want to thank UT’s dedicated faculty and staff. You are our most valuable asset and vital to the University’s continued growth and success. I appreciate your support and will always remember with great pride and fondness my 23 years at this wonderful institution!