President Julie Sullivan shared the following in an email with faculty and staff.

As I expressed at our recent State of the University gathering, we are experiencing rapid transformation in higher education and in our world, changes that create complexities for our St. Thomas workplace.

Our new 2025 strategic plan compels us to strengthen our workplace culture as we embrace change. In order to achieve any of the strategic priorities that are required for St. Thomas to thrive in the future, we must first and foremost ensure that we are nourishing and sustaining our best assets – our employees.

Strengthening our culture requires that we build the structure and supports needed to help our employees develop, adapt and succeed. Our first step is to hire a values-based leader who will enthusiastically embrace St. Thomas’ mission and work alongside our strong human resources team to guide us in creating a strategic and integrated human resources function. This leader will help us develop processes to attract, retain, and promote top talent and ensure that we consistently foster a caring and adaptable culture for all employees at St. Thomas. Human Resources (HR) under this vision will become a strategic asset that nurtures employees and advances the values, behaviors, recognition and reward systems that promote our mission.

I am pleased to announce that today we are launching the search for Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer. This elevated position will report directly to me and work alongside our current HR professionals and the senior leadership team to implement the cultural and organizational changes necessary to implement the university’s priorities.

The search for the right candidate will be co-chaired by Jodee Kozlak and Dr. MayKao Hang. Jodee is founder of Kozlak Capital Partners, has served as the Chief Human Resources Officer for Target Corp., and is a member of the St. Thomas Board of Trustees. Dr. MayKao Y. Hang is Vice President of Strategic Initiatives and Founding Dean of the Morrison Family College of Health. The search committee also includes:

  • Phil Esten, VP and Director of Intercollegiate Athletics
  • Kymm Martinez, VP, Marketing, Insights and Communications
  • Amy McDonough, Chief of Staff
  • Erin Muckerheide, Interim AVP, Human Resources
  • Mark Vangsgard, VP, Business Affairs and Chief Financial Officer
  • Wendy Wyatt, Vice Provost, Academic Affairs
  • Kha Yang, AVP, Inclusive Excellence

The committee hopes to attract and interview qualified candidates over the next few months. I expect that this position will attract a wide array of candidates interested in helping St. Thomas grow and thrive.

I am dedicated to further strengthening a St. Thomas workplace culture based on trust, proactive communication and transparency. I look forward to sharing more in the coming months about the progress of this search.

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