Assistant Vice President for Human Resources

Assistant Vice President for Human Resources

Trinity College

Hartford, CT   |   December 10, 2019

Trinity College, located in Hartford, Connecticut, seeks an enthusiastic and collaborative leader for the position of Assistant Vice President for Human Resources (AVP). The AVP will be responsible for providing strategic leadership in all aspects of the Human Resources (HR) function across the institution, help advance a culture of change, and make meaningful contributions throughout the Trinity community. Working collaboratively with leaders across the campus, the AVP will lead an effective and responsive HR operation and develop strategic programs and innovative practices in support of the College’s mission. The AVP will promote a high-performing, positive, diverse, equitable, and productive culture with the goals of maintaining high levels of employee effectiveness and morale while fostering an inclusive and collegial environment. This Assistant Vice President for Human Resources will have a critical role in assisting Trinity College achieve one of its strategic plan goals of becoming a first-choice destination for students, faculty, and staff.

Having a dual reporting structure, the AVP will report to both the Vice President for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion and the Vice President of Finance and Chief Financial Officer. This innovative dual reporting structure will provide the AVP an opportunity to work in close partnership with two College leaders who bring unique perspectives and valuable skill sets in responding to an increasingly complex higher education environment. Most significantly, this bold, forward leaning structure will afford the new AVP an opportunity to join leaders who are passionate about working collaboratively with stakeholders across the campus to ensure that Human Resources is included as an essential thought partner in the strategic planning and implementation of new ideas that respond compassionately, effectively, and timely to the expressed needs and concerns of members of the Trinity community.

About the Institution

Since its foundation in 1823, Trinity College, located in the heart of Hartford, Connecticut, has been educating students in the liberal arts with the educational and experiential foundations they need to succeed as informed global citizens. Trinity is a member of the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) and the Consortium on Financing Higher Education (COFHE). Faculty and alumni include recipients of the Pulitzer Prize, the MacArthur award, Guggenheims, Rockefellers, and other national academic awards. Trinity students integrate meaningful academic and leadership experience on the College’s celebrated campus, in the capital city of Hartford, and in communities all over the world.

Among the strategic plan’s broad goals is to design a distinctive, relevant liberal arts education that positions Trinity increasingly as a first-choice destination for students, faculty, and staff. Click here to view Summit: A Strategic Plan for the Future of Trinity College.

Home to over 2,100 full-time undergraduate students and 91 graduate students, the College maintains a rigorous academic profile complemented by a vibrant and diverse co-curricular program. Our student body is diverse, representing 41 states and 70 countries with 21% students of color and 50% women. Just over 90% of students live in campus residences. As the preeminent liberal arts college in an urban setting, Trinity College prepares students to be bold, independent thinkers who lead transformative lives. The College employs 258 full-time faculty and 53 part-time faculty, along with 272 exempt staff and 123 non-exempt staff. There are 24 unionized administrative staff within the Campus Safety department.

Trinity’s historic and beautiful 100-acre campus is located in the South End of the city of Hartford. With more than 1.8 million square feet and spread among 72 buildings, Trinity’s campus is a mix of classic collegiate gothic architecture and modern architectural design. Perhaps one of the most emblematic features on campus is the Long Walk buildings, which were designed by famed architect William Burges and house academic classrooms and offices as well as residence halls. The Long Walk is the oldest example of Collegiate Gothic architecture in the country, and it underwent a $33 million renovation, which was completed in 2008. The Trinity College Chapel is also an iconic building. The space is used for services, a variety of concerts, and other College events.

Leadership in Human Resources at Trinity College

Anita Davis – Vice President for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Anita Davis joined Trinity College in September 2018 as the inaugural Vice President for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. Reporting to the President, Davis provides strategic leadership to the College’s efforts to create an environment where all members of the community feel they are able to thrive. Davis came to Trinity from the Associated Colleges of the South (ACS), where she served as Director of Diversity and Inclusion for the ACS consortium of 16 colleges and universities. She also was a tenured Associate Professor of Psychology at Rhodes College in Memphis, which, like Trinity, is one of a small number of liberal arts colleges located in a city.

In her role with the Associated Colleges of the South, Davis’s primary responsibilities were to support member institutions in their collective and individual efforts to advance diversity and inclusion goals on their campuses working with a range of stakeholders including senior leadership, faculty, staff, and students. At Rhodes College, she was the inaugural Director of the African American Studies Program for five years, and associate dean of academic affairs for seven years, with responsibilities including accreditation, curriculum and program assessment, faculty recruitment, evaluation, and mentoring, and supporting diversity and inclusion initiatives.

A member of the National Association of Diversity Officers in Higher Education and the Liberal Arts Diversity Officers (LADO), Davis holds Ph.D. and M.A. degrees in clinical/community psychology from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and a B.A. from Rhodes College.

Dan Hitchell – Vice President of Finance and Chief Financial Officer

Dan Hitchell was appointed as Trinity’s Vice President of Finance and Chief Financial Officer, beginning in July 2016. Reporting to the President, Hitchell is responsible for the strategic oversight and management of the College’s financial resources and operations. He came to Trinity from Ohio Wesleyan University in Delaware, Ohio, where he served as Vice President for Finance and Administration and Treasurer. In an announcement to the campus community about Hitchell’s appointment, President Berger-Sweeney wrote, “Dan brings to Trinity the ability to frame complex financial issues in straightforward terms, to create feasible solutions, to plan and implement capital projects, to manage the college’s debt portfolio, and to steward the college’s resources.”

Prior to time at Ohio Wesleyan, where he began in 2012, Hitchell served for six years at Webster University in St. Louis, where he was Associate Vice President for Resource Planning and Budget, and, before that, for 15 years at Saint Louis University as Director of Financial Planning and Budgeting. Dan holds a B.S. in quantitative business analysis from Western Kentucky University in Bowling Green, Kentucky, and an M.B.A. from the University of Evansville in Evansville, Indiana.

Hartford, Connecticut

Trinity College is located in Hartford, Connecticut, which is considered a historic river city that provides a wealth of learning, recreation, and cultural opportunities. The city’s vibrant arts community includes the Wadsworth Atheneum, the oldest public art museum in the country; The Bushnell, Connecticut’s premier performing arts center; and Hartford Stage, one of the leading resident theaters in the United States. Trinity College and the city of Hartford are deeply connected, and the College boasts a vast network of connections with the city, allowing faculty, students, and staff to engage in community-based and real-world learning and research.

Hartford is also located in New England’s Knowledge Corridor, which runs from Middletown, Connecticut, north to Springfield, Massachusetts, and nearby Northampton and Amherst. The Hartford metro region, with one million residents, also plays host to seven Fortune 500 companies. Hartford serves as the seat of state government, with the State Capitol, the Legislature, and numerous state agencies located just blocks from campus.

Because of Trinity’s location in Hartford, the College is able to offer experiences and connections found at few small liberal arts colleges. Through the city, our students are made stronger and more world ready, our faculty have incredible research opportunities, and our staff and administration have access to programmatic resources and collaborations – all of which make Trinity’s liberal arts environment dynamic and innovative.

The Position

Reporting directly to both the Vice President for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion and the Vice President of Finance and Chief Financial Officer, the AVP will serve as the lead human resources officer for the College. Leading a team of five, the AVP will be responsible for all HR operations including recruitment, employment services, employee and labor relations, training and development, benefits management, salary administration and job classification, performance appraisals, health/wellness, conflict resolution and grievance procedures, workers compensation, leave administration, records management, and personnel policy development and interpretation.

The AVP will ensure that the human resources functions are aligned with the mission of the institution.

The Assistant Vice President will have the following opportunities and goals:

  • Lead a strong and effective Human Resources team while creating a collaborative and trusted environment for all faculty, staff, students, and the Trinity campus community;
  • Build collaborative relationships throughout Trinity and become a leader of and for human resources, promoting its ability to function as an innovative and flexible resource while creating opportunities for the exchange of ideas and education;
  • Develop, recommend, and implement strategic HR strategies, policies, and initiatives to help advance a culture that embraces a strong and positive work environment and reinforces the philosophy that people are the College’s most valued resource;
  • Lead employee engagement initiatives that result from the Spring 2019 employee engagement survey and the subsequent action plan;
  • Work in collaboration with key campus decision makers, serving as a trusted advisor and expert on organizational issues, management practices, complex and sometimes sensitive employee relations matters and risk mitigation;
  • Serve on the President’s Planning and Budget Committee and develop effective relationships with the President’s Cabinet and internal stakeholders;
  • Lead the Retirement Committee and Benefits Committee, and convenes other committees as needed;
  • Serve as the liaison to the Evaluation and Success Committee of the Board of Trustees; and
  • Meet regularly (at least monthly) with the President to update and advise on strategic institutional matters.
Qualifications and Experience

Candidates should have a commitment to the mission and values of Trinity College and liberal arts education and also have a history of progressively responsible experience.

The AVP will also have the following capabilities and attributes:

  • An experienced and strategic Human Resources practitioner who has a strong understanding of HR best practices and a proven record of visionary leadership;
  • The ability to lead with both a decisive and consultative style, foster open communications, and proactively build positive relationships with faculty, staff, and students;
  • Strong commitment to collegiality, mutual respect, and inclusiveness; act in a fair, flexible, honest, trustworthy, and ethical manner at all times. In all instances, build an organization that honors confidentiality and earns trust;
  • Strong written and oral communication skills and have the ability to relate to people from all backgrounds and at all levels of an organization; be a team player who operates with transparency and fosters trust and collaboration within the organization;
  • Effective negotiation skills in order to formulate policies and programs and arrive collaboratively at solutions with various stakeholders;
  • Successful planning, organizational, administrative, supervisory, and budget-management skills;
  • Deep understanding of data collection methodology and analysis that will support data-informed decision-making;
  • Bachelor’s degree is required; advanced degree is strongly preferred. Significant human resources leadership experience may be considered in lieu of an advanced degree; and
  • Higher education experience is highly desirable.

This search is being led by Mo Lashendock of Koya Leadership Partners. To express your interest in this role, please submit your materials, including your letter of interest, and resume here. All inquiries and discussions will be considered strictly confidential.

Trinity College is committed to building a representative and diverse faculty, administrative staff, and student body. We place high value on an environment that offers equal opportunity in the workplace and encourages mutual respect, interaction, and engagement. We seek to honor the range of differences that mark us as distinctive, and encourage applicants from diverse cultures, backgrounds and ethnicities reflective of our growing student body. Trinity College is committed to being an academic community free of discrimination and prejudice and, to this end, abides by all applicable federal, state and local laws pertaining to non-discrimination and fair employment practices. Trinity College is committed to providing equal opportunity to all faculty and administrative staff in its employment and personnel practices, and to policies and practices which assure that there will be no discrimination against any individual on the grounds of race, color, age, ethnicity, national origin, religion, disability, sexual orientation, gender expression or gender identity. Applicants with disabilities should request, in advance, any needed accommodation in order to participate in the application process.

About Koya Leadership Partners

Koya Leadership Partners, a member of the 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.

Koya is an equal opportunity employer fully committed to creating an environment and team that represents a variety of backgrounds, perspectives, styles, and experiences. We encourage all to apply because we believe a diversity of voices leads to better discussions, decisions, and outcomes for everyone. For more information about Koya Leadership Partners, visit