Vice Chancellor of Human Resources

Vice Chancellor of Human Resources

University of Pittsburgh

Pittsburgh, PA   |   June 4, 2021

About University of Pittsburgh

Founded in 1787 as the Pittsburgh Academy, the University of Pittsburgh (Pitt) is one of the nation’s oldest institutions of higher education and is now a state-related research university with a global reach. Consistently ranked among top institutions of higher learning in the United States, Pitt continues to build upon a rich legacy of innovation and intellectual exploration within the University as well as a history of collaboration with partners in the city and region of Pittsburgh. Pitt is a member of the Association of American Universities (AAU), which comprises 66 preeminent doctorate-granting research institutions in North America. Pitt offers a broad curriculum of more than 520 academic programs for more than 33,000 students through the efforts of over 13,000 faculty members, research associates, and staff members. Since its founding, the University of Pittsburgh has proudly cultivated a community shaped by ambition, innovation, and excellence as one of the nation’s best institutions for undergraduate education and a national leader in science, engineering, and health research.

Embedded within the City of Pittsburgh, the University includes four regional campuses: Bradford, Greensburg, Johnstown, and Titusville. Each of the regional campuses offers the advantages and environment of liberal arts colleges along with the resources and prestige of a major research university.

The mission of Pitt is to:

  • Provide high-quality undergraduate programs in the arts and sciences and professional fields, with emphasis upon those of special benefit to the citizens of Pennsylvania.
  • Offer superior graduate programs in the arts and sciences and the professions that respond to the needs of Pennsylvania, as well as to the broader needs of the nation and the world.
  • Engage in research, artistic, and scholarly activities that advance learning through the extension of the frontiers of knowledge and creative endeavor.
  • Cooperate with industrial and governmental institutions to transfer knowledge in science, technology, and health care.
  • Offer continuing education programs adapted to the personal enrichment, professional upgrading, and career advancement interests and needs of adult Pennsylvanians.
  • Make available to local communities and public agencies the expertise of the University in ways that are consistent with the primary teaching and research functions and contribute to social, intellectual, and economic development in the Commonwealth, the nation, and the world.

With over 4,500 full-time and 700 part-time faculty members serving almost 25,000 undergraduate students and over 9,000 graduate/doctoral students, Pitt’s large scale is still suited to offer a 14:1 student/faculty ratio. Faculty members have expanded knowledge in the humanities and sciences earning prestigious honors. Pitt students have earned Rhodes, Goldwater, Marshall, and Truman Scholarships among others. Alumni have pioneered MRI and TV, won Nobel and Pulitzer Prizes, led corporations and universities, served in government and the military, conquered Hollywood and The New York Times bestsellers list, and won Super Bowls and NBA championships.

For more information on the University of Pittsburgh, please visit

Living in Pittsburgh

Pitt’s hometown has repeatedly been ranked among the nation’s most livable cities. Pittsburgh is an extraordinary American city in so many respects. The striking geography of over 440 bridges across three rivers and countless streams, creeks, valleys, and ravines; the nationally recognized cultural scene; the pride that comes with cheering for three major league sports teams: the Penguins, Pirates, and Steelers; and the rich tapestry of 90 distinctive neighborhoods give Pittsburgh its genuineness and warmth.

For more information on the city of Pittsburgh, please visit

Campus Leadership

Chancellor, Patrick Gallagher

As the University of Pittsburgh’s 18th chancellor, Patrick Gallagher has strengthened Pitt’s status as one of the nation’s premier public institutions for higher education and research, including being named a top public school in the nation by U.S. News & World Report.

Prior to his installation at Pitt, Gallagher spent more than two decades in public service. In 2009, President Obama appointed him to direct the National Institute of Standards and Technology. While in this role, Gallagher also served as acting deputy secretary of commerce before leaving for Pitt in the summer of 2014.

Gallagher has also completed terms on a wide range of community boards and committees, including the president’s 12-person Commission on Enhancing National Cybersecurity in 2016. He currently serves as chair of the Commission on Economic and Community Engagement for the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities.

Gallagher holds a Ph.D. in physics from Pitt and a bachelor’s degree in physics and philosophy from Benedictine College in Kansas.

Senior Vice Chancellor for Business and Operations, David N. DeJong

As senior vice chancellor for business and operations, David N. DeJong oversees the University of Pittsburgh’s central operational functions, including facilities management; public safety and emergency management; planning, design, and real estate; human resources; business and auxiliary services; and sustainability.

DeJong has held multiple leadership roles during his 32-year tenure at Pitt. As vice chancellor of human resources, DeJong led the acquisition, retention, development, and support of a diverse, highly qualified, and high-performing workforce. He also oversaw the development and implementation of innovative and responsive human resources structures and programs.

Prior to that, DeJong served as executive vice provost, integrating academic planning with resource management, overseeing budget and space planning within the provost’s area, and collaborating on strategic plans for academic and student life facilities.

DeJong joined the University in 1989 as an assistant professor in the Department of Economics within the Kenneth P. Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences. He was promoted to professor in 2001 and served as department chair from 2006 to 2010. He has also served as a visiting professor at the Institute for Advanced Studies in Vienna, Austria; Torcuato Di Tella University in Buenos Aires, Argentina; and the Kiel Institute for the World Economy in Kiel, Germany.

DeJong has extensive research experience spanning macroeconomics, econometrics, and transition economics. He has published more than 40 journal articles and co-authored the book “Structural Macroeconometrics” (Princeton University Press, 2007 and 2011). His work has been supported by grants from the National Science Foundation and National Council for Eurasian and East European Research.

DeJong has earned numerous awards and recognition for his achievements in teaching and research. He holds a Ph.D. in economics from the University of Iowa and a bachelor’s degree in economics from Central College.

DeJong is a board member of the Auberle Foundation, 412 Youth Zone, and UPMC Health Plan.

Office of Human Resources (OHR)

The Office of Human Resources (OHR) is an integral component in support of the University of Pittsburgh’s mission to advance teaching, research, and public service. Through the departments of Administration, Benefits, Compensation, Employee and Labor Relations, Organization Development, Talent Acquisition, Shared Services, and the University Child Development Center, OHR fulfills its mission of recruiting, developing, retaining, and supporting a diverse and talented workforce, and partnering to maintain a productive, dynamic, and inclusive work environment.

OHR is made up of approximately 80 professionals who serve over 7,500 staff across the University community with a focus on individual and institutional well-being, using a team-oriented approach bolstered by strong partnerships. OHR sustains an inclusive environment in which diversity is celebrated and serves as a source of institutional strength. OHR pursues their work with a commitment to excellence, transparency, and a strong sense of accountability to those they serve.

The Opportunity

Reporting to the Senior Vice Chancellor for Business & Operations, the Vice Chancellor will bring a service-oriented approach and demonstrated executive leadership to shape an institution-wide culture of innovation and best practices across the University of Pittsburgh. Serving as the Chief Human Resources Officer for the University, this leader will be a trusted advisor to the senior leadership team and play a key role in advancing the University’s vision for a vibrant, thriving work environment across the entire community.

In cultivating a strategic vision for the University’s human resource operations, the Vice Chancellor will work collaboratively to drive organizational effectiveness and steward changes affecting a diverse population of internal and external stakeholders. The Vice Chancellor will draw upon change management expertise to influence change and transformation among colleagues toward a unified vision of human resources management at the University of Pittsburgh across all five campuses.

The Vice Chancellor will build upon the Shaping the Workplace plan set forth by the Office of Human Resources in 2019 to develop Pitt as an “employer of distinction” in conjunction with the University’s greater strategic framework, The Plan for Pitt. Under the leadership of the Vice Chancellor, the Office of Human Resources will continue implementing systems and initiatives to improve and refine the University’s approach to human resource management, including completing an ongoing employee compensation modernization study across the University. The Vice Chancellor will design solution-oriented initiatives that address key priorities identified by University staff, including the following opportunities and goals:

  • Foster an equitable, diverse, and inclusive work environment. Informed by deep professional knowledge, the Vice Chancellor will work with campus leaders and the Office of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion to develop, communicate, and implement policies across the institution that promote diversity, equity, and inclusion in recruitment, hiring, and compensation practices. This leader will be responsible for continuing and successfully completing a major initiative to update the current employee compensation and classification structure across Pitt.
  • Proactively guide talent management and workforce development. The Vice Chancellor will be a future-focused leader able to work across departments to strengthen performance management and professional development programs for University employees. As a representative of the University, the Vice Chancellor will build capacity around hiring practices and work to develop robust and diverse candidate pipelines with community partners in the city of Pittsburgh and the surrounding area.
  • Direct a strong HR team to implement data-driven strategies and solutions. Building upon strong leadership within OHR, the Vice Chancellor will foster a collaborative environment for the HR team to collect, analyze, and respond to employee needs in a timely manner. Using results from the recent employee engagement survey, the Vice Chancellor will promote data-driven strategies to inform future human resource practices across the University.
  • Oversee implementation of institution-wide policies and practices. As a leader for organizational development at Pitt, the Vice Chancellor will embody university-wide accountability in ensuring new policies and systems are effectively realized across Responsibility Centers at the University. Upon joining Pitt, the Vice Chancellor will work to finalize implementation of the newly adopted human capital management system with Oracle Cloud.

The Vice Chancellor will serve as a liaison for both internal and external constituents, including from University administrators, the Board of Trustees, and other collaborators in and beyond the University. Working with leadership across the University, the Vice Chancellor will collaborate with key groups, including regional campus HR partners, HR directors of administration, and campus leaders of diversity, equity, and inclusion to communicate critical policies and best practices to all senior leaders, faculty, and staff involved in human resources management at Pitt.

As the leader of the Office of Human Resources, the Vice Chancellor will be responsible for providing administrative oversight for all the division’s staff and departmental budgets and will work to further develop both the Consulting Services, Operations, and Benefits teams within OHR.

Candidate Profile

The successful candidate is a strategic, thoughtful, and service-oriented problem-solver able to employ diplomacy to drive institution-wide change. This person excels at leading through influence to guide key decisions that improve the effectiveness of HR initiatives and develop successful working relationships with partners within and beyond an organization. A future-oriented professional, the ideal candidate will serve as a trusted advisor and partner to senior leadership teams and the community to realize a culture of innovation and best practices across human resources functions and foster an engaging and energetic work environment for all employees.

The successful candidate will possess the following attributes and competencies:

Clear and Effective Communication

As a confident representative of OHR and the human resources interests of the University, the successful candidate will be able to effectively articulate the needs of University constituents across a variety of audiences, ranging from individual leaders to staff-wide communications. The candidate will be able to deftly navigate difficult conversations and tailor messaging to influence decisions by senior leaders in support of key priorities and core values.

Focus on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Experienced in leading transformative change within an organization’s culture, the candidate will bring a creative, solutions-oriented approach to challenges regarding diversity, equity, and inclusion in the workplace. With a demonstrated track record of successful implementation and outcomes, the ideal candidate will draw upon deep professional knowledge of best practices promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion across a range of human resources functions to craft policies informed by industry standards and data-informed decision making.

Collaborative Problem Solving

Using demonstrated success in improving processes and systems, the candidate will embody a service-oriented approach to partnerships within and beyond the University. The candidate will employ high levels of emotional intelligence and strong strategic analysis to craft an environment in which all voices are valued in decision making. In conjunction with the ability to listen and collaborate well with partners, the successful candidate will bring a willingness to challenge conventional thinking in an effort to develop consensus-driven solutions to complex problems.

Decisive Leadership

The effective candidate will be able to quickly garner respect, trust, and credibility among leaders and constituents alike to accomplish set goals. A judicious leader with a strong sense of personal and organizational accountability, the candidate will draw upon their judgment and conviction to successfully execute an established plan. Driven by strategic vision, this leader will effectively manage cross-functional teams to collaboratively reach common goals across the University.

In addition, strong candidates will offer:

  • A bachelor’s degree in human resources, business, or related field is required, with an advanced degree being preferred.
  • Fifteen or more years of full-time, relevant, senior leadership experience in a complex, dynamic environment.
  • Previous strategic, executive level experience involving human resources functions as well as demonstrated commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion, and highly developed skills in building a collaborative culture that values the strength of differing views and experiences.

Tom Phillips and Marisa Chock of Koya Partners have been exclusively retained for this search. To express your interest in this role please submit your materials here. All inquiries and discussions will be considered strictly confidential.


The University of Pittsburgh is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer and values equality of opportunity, human dignity, and diversity. EOE, including disability/veterans.

About Koya Partners

Koya Partners, a part of Diversified Search Group, is a leading executive search and strategic advising firm dedicated to connecting exceptionally talented people with mission-driven clients. Our founding philosophy—The Right Person in the Right Place Can Change the World—guides our work as we partner with nonprofits & NGOs, institutions of higher education, responsible businesses, and social enterprises in local communities and around the world.

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