Job Openings >> Seattle Pacific University - Assistant Vice President for Human Resources
Seattle Pacific University - Assistant Vice President for Human Resources
Title:Seattle Pacific University - Assistant Vice President for Human Resources

Academic Career & Executive Search is pleased to assist Seattle Pacific University (SPU) in their search for an Assistant Vice President for Human Resources. 

 For best consideration, please apply by October 27, 2021. 

SPU seeks an accomplished human resource leader highly adept in HR best practices. This position requires a highly involved leader, actively engaged across campus, and dedicated to fostering strong working relationships in a thriving environment. The successful candidate is both relationship and process oriented. 

This critical role provides strategic, transformational leadership and administration in the development and implementation of all matters relating to human resources and employee development to meet the mission, goals, and objectives of the University. These include but are not limited to: employee relations; employee recruitment and hiring; performance appraisals; succession planning; compensation; employee training; and benefits and workers comp administration. 

This experienced leader brings extensive managerial, interpersonal, creative problem solving, and communication skills along with a commitment to customer service and inter-cultural competence. The ideal candidate is a strategic thinker skilled in planning, staff and workforce development, business process reengineering, and adept at labor law and budget management.  

SPU is a faith- and mission-based institution. The successful candidate will need to be aligned with the these and the values of the University. 

This position reports directly to the Senior Vice President for Finance and Administration and oversees a friendly, dedicated, and motivated staff of 4.8 FTE. The University enrolls approximately 3,500 students and employs approximately 200 full-time faculty and 450 staff.  

This position offers exceptional benefits: SPU pays the employee premium for medical, dental, and vision insurance, makes contributions to an employee HSA account and to a retirement account. Tuition discount program available for the employee and qualified immediate family members. 


Provides leadership to the following Human Resources department functions: 

  • Employment benefits programs (e.g., medical, dental, retirement, life and long-term disability insurance). Includes communication with all employees, annual renewals and negotiation with consultants and vendors, and design and administration of benefit plans. 
  • Recruitment of staff. Includes position marketing, mission and faith matches, strategic goals, and development of appropriate approaches to expand the pool of available qualified candidates. 
  • Campus employee cross-training and development initiatives. Includes the planning and coordination of supervisor and compliance training, staff development initiatives, and the development of on-line training presentations and in-person training seminars for all staff. 
  • Staff compensation plan. Includes classification studies and annual market benchmark update. Perform classification reviews for Fair Labor Standards Act compliance. Recommend market benchmarks and salary placement analysis. 
  • Information systems serving personnel records and administration. Includes integration with other University systems such as payroll, budget planning and control, accounting, and other applications. 
  • Hiring, training, evaluating, coaching, and supervising staff in the Human Resources department. 
  • Campus-wide on-line staff performance evaluation system. 
  • Management of institutional policies and compliance regarding employment of non-US citizens on campus. This includes visa and other required immigration paperwork for both faculty and staff. 
  • Management and development of departmental budget. 

  • Consults with and advises employees and supervisors regarding Human Resources personnel and benefit policies, work-related concerns/grievances/investigations, personal improvement plans, progressive discipline and, if necessary, terminations.  

  • Develops, recommends, and upon approval, promulgates all Human Resource and benefit policies. 

  • Leads and supports the University's efforts in diversity, equity, and inclusion as it relates to Human Resource Office's operations, and institutional staff recruitment, and compensation. Includes coordination with the Office of Inclusive Excellence to measure and track effectiveness. 

  • Serves as University's responsible official for institutional compliance in areas of employment, wage and hour, employment-related ADA, ERISA, HIPAA, ACA, Title VII, and other federal, state, and local laws and regulations as they apply to employees. 

  • Supports the University's Title IX Coordinator through participation in the development of policy and facilitating formal and informal discrimination complaint processes in collaboration with Legal Counsel, Title IX Coordinator, and others. 



  • Bachelor's degree. 

  • Five or more years' experience in the human resources area and progressively increasing responsibility. 

  • Thorough understanding of benefit and compensation planning and administration. 

  • Working knowledge of Federal and State employment laws and regulations. 

  • Successful track-record of preventing discrimination claims and investigating harassment complaints. 

  • Five years of supervisory experience managing exempt and nonexempt personnel. 

  • Demonstrated ability to develop effective working relationships with employees at all levels of the organization. 

  • Development and presentation of employee and supervisor training program. 

  • High level of emotional intelligence; strong interpersonal, verbal, and written communication skills. 

  • Strong understanding and agreement with the University mission and faith statements; and willingness and ability to interview prospective applicants regarding their Christian commitment.  

  • Professional in Human Resources (PHR) and/or Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM) certification or Certificate in Human Resources Management. 

  • Proficiency with Microsoft Office suite, especially Word, Excel, and SharePoint. Familiarity with Human Resource Information Systems.  


  • Master's degree in human resource management, business administration or related field. 

  • Experience in all areas of the human resources department and demonstrated progression in responsibility. Experience working on highly analytical projects. 

  • Experience developing online training programs and developing web content a plus. 

  • Experience with Banner (Elucian), a plus. 

About the Institution 

Seattle Pacific University (SPU) was founded in 1891 by Free Methodist pioneers who valued a non-sectarian approach to education that welcomed all those seeking scholarly excellence rooted in the Christian faith. Located just minutes from downtown Seattle, SPU welcomes students from around the globe to grow together and serve in a diverse community of thoughtful scholarship and outward-focused Christian faith. Its comprehensive academic program serves over 3,500 undergraduate and graduate students. As a Christian university, SPU is historically orthodox, clearly evangelical, genuinely ecumenical, and distinctively Wesleyan, and seeks applicants who are committed to its Christian mission (SPU Statement of Faith and Mission). The University provides a world-class education in a world-class cosmopolitan urban center with rich cultural diversity and is committed to building an excellent and diverse staff and teaching faculty.  Learn more at

With over 200 full-time faculty and 450 staff, SPU’s promise of value and difference lies in its commitment to its students, who learn to anticipate and shape the future; see the world with compassion; experience academic rigor; explore — or grow deeper in — Christian faith, and study in the heart of a global community.  

SPU offers 71 undergraduate majors and 59 minors. There are 31 master’s degree programs, five doctoral degree programs, and eight graduate certificates offered by the School of Business, Government, and Economics; the School of Health Sciences; the School of Psychology, Family, and Community; the School of Education; Seattle Pacific Seminary; and the College of Arts and Sciences. These programs serve 574 master’s students and 204 doctoral students. Both undergraduate- and graduate-level programs integrate internships and research throughout their curricula. 

For the fourth year in a row, SPU was ranked a “Best National University” by U.S. News & World Report, reflecting the University’s emphasis on undergraduate teaching and research wherein students work alongside faculty, as well as its growing graduate programs in business, education, fine arts, psychology, nursing, and theology. SPU faculty and staff members provide students with a holistic, diverse, and multidisciplinary learning environment, fostering critical inquiry and preparing students to be lifelong learners, stronger in their intellect, and in their relationship with Christ. 

SPU enables faculty and staff to project their faith, multiplying God’s love and compassion through students who are being equipped for meaningful lives of service. The University values both discovery and instruction and encourages faculty to find their own balance between research and teaching. Class sizes put faculty closer to students, allowing them to build rewarding relationships through personal mentoring and individual instruction. Faculty and staff uniquely equip students for their futures, using Seattle to guide engagement with technology, trade, urbanization, and more.  

Living in the Area 

As part of the Pacific Northwest (PNW), Seattle is surrounded on all sides by mountains and is built around a body of water called the Puget Sound, known as one of the most stunning places to live in the world. From breathtaking mountains to the majestic Pacific Ocean and lakeside parks to the iconic Space Needle, Seattle is blessed with an incredible landscape.  

West of the Cascades, an area that includes Seattle, the climate is Mediterranean-mild with cool summers and moderate winters. Seattle has a reputation as a rainy city, but actually gets less annual rainfall than Boston, Houston, New York, Chicago or Washington, D.C., according to the NOAA National Centers for Environmental Information.  

Summers are filled with outdoor opportunities where you can enjoy lovely parks and green spaces that dot the Emerald City (Seattle's nickname), hundreds of biking and hiking trails within an hour’s drive of the city, or if you prefer water sports, you can go sailing, kayaking, water skiing, or parasailing around the Puget Sound. In addition to the summertime activities, there is no shortage of winter activities. Some of the best ski areas in the country are within a day’s drive, and there are hundreds of miles of maintained trails for snowshoeing and cross-country skiing.  

With its diverse population of residents, you will enjoy a variety within the culinary, music, and art scenes, where you can choose between more than 140 theater companies, over 100 art galleries, as well as festivals all around the city.  

For sports fans, Seattle is home to pro football’s Seahawks, the Mariners major league baseball team, and the Sounders of Major League Soccer, who average more than 40,000 fans per match at the stadium they share with the Seahawks as well as the Seattle Kraken, the brand new NHL Pro hockey team that is all the buzz.  

From a business and economic standpoint, Washington is ranked high by numerous entities. Forbes ranks Washington high in its “Best States for Business List”, especially in the categories of labor supply, economic climate, and growth prospects. A “U.S. News report” lists Washington as the best state for growth and third overall for economy. Known for its own tech giants (i.e. Amazon, Microsoft, and Boeing), recent additions to the region are companies like Google, Adobe, Dropbox, Apple, Facebook, and Snapchat. The city was ranked by Forbes and The Seattle Times as the second fastest-growing city in the U.S. in 2018.  

Great day trips are one unique aspect of living in the Emerald City of the Pacific Northwest with the Cascade Mountains just an hour and a half away, Portland less than three hours away, and the beautiful Olympic Peninsula and Washington rainforest a four-hour drive/ferry ride away. On top of that, if you are feeling international, Vancouver, Canada is under three hours away by car.  

If you visit or live in Seattle, whatever you are in the mood for, you can find it on the historic monorail that runs through the Seattle Center as Seattle is also home to one of the best transit systems in the U.S., according to Business Insider ranked #7 in the country. 

To Apply  

For best consideration, please apply by October 27, 2021. 

Please do not email your application materials. Only applications submitted through the link will be accepted.  

Materials should include a cover letter and CV.  

Inquiries and nominations are treated confidentially and can be sent to Jennifer Muller, Managing Partner with Academic Career & Executive Search:  

Diversity Statement 

As part of their mission of cultural engagement, SPU is committed to building an excellent and diverse staff and faculty. Diversity is an ethos that is inseparable from their Christian faith. At SPU, they recognize diversity as a basic feature of God's creation and a core theme of the gospel. At the heart of their mission-centered commitment to becoming a more diverse community is a desire to represent the breadth of God's kingdom more fully. 

They strive to become a workplace of choice and to recruit, develop, and retain faculty and staff who can embrace, value, and engage differences with humility and care. 

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