VP of People, Culture + Operations

Posted on 01 March 23 by Joelle Allen

  • Minneapolis, MN
  • -

Powered by Tracker

Job Description

kpCompanies is leading the search for a VP of People, Culture and Operations for University of Minnesota Foundation (UMF). This is an exceptional opportunity for a strategic enterprise-wide thought leader with a broad background in human resources management and administration with deep experience leading organization effectiveness, talent development and change management in organizations recognized for strong leadership development practices.

Formed in 1962, the University of Minnesota Foundation (“UMF” or the “Foundation”) serves as a key partner with the University in building and sustaining excellence among students and faculty and fueling discovery in important areas on all University of Minnesota campuses. A separate 501(c)(3) non-profit organization with the sole purpose of supporting the University of Minnesota, UMF raises and manages philanthropic gifts from individuals and organizations and works in collaboration with University leaders and development officers from all campuses, colleges, and programs, UMF ensures that fundraising activities are consistent with the University’s highest priorities and the donor’s philanthropic intentions. UMF has been designated by the University of Minnesota’s Board of Regents as the central development office for the University. UMF accepts and manages gifts on behalf of all five University campuses, its 16 schools and colleges on the Twin Cities campus, and all other programs. UMF also oversees two subsidiaries: one that manages real estate and provides real estate expertise and advice to the University and UMF leaders (UMFREA) and one that manages the philanthropic endowment investment strategies (UMFIA).

This position is responsible for overseeing, innovating and infusing best practices that drive business impact across all UMF human resources programs and initiatives enterprise-wide. These include, but are not limited to: talent acquisition, talent development, diversity, equity and inclusion strategy and practices, change management, organizational design and effectiveness, leadership and staff training and development, performance management, succession planning, competitive compensation practices, employee relations, and administration of the HRIS, payroll programs and oversight on general office operations and space strategies for UMF. In addition, the VP of People, Culture and Operations staffs the Human Resources Committee of UMF’s Board of Trustees and leads HR and Ops staff.

The VP of People, Culture and Operations reports directly to UMF’s President and CEO and partners closely with the Vice President, Human Resources at the University of Minnesota.

Key accountabilities include:
  • Trusted Ally & Business Partner: Serves as a business partner to UMF’s President and CEO, UMF’s Executive Leadership Team and consultant to the Board of Trustees, with the ability to independently develop and analyze alternative solutions and make recommendations that translate to operational objectives
  • Inclusive Leadership: To be successful, the candidate must possess strong people management skills, ability to recognize, value and work with diverse communities of the University, along with being a competent influencer, coach and collaborator. This position will supervise UMF’s diversity, equity and inclusion efforts. Cultural competence and the ability to collaborate and influence across identities is paramount.
  • Partnership & People Management: Provides strategic guidance to the HR function and initiatives based on insights derived from business performance metrics, HR key performance indicators, and industry benchmarking data. Additionally, cultivates positive relationships with key partners within UMF and University-wide and demonstrating strong business acumen and strategic thought leadership
  • Proven Experience in Executive-Level of Human Resources: Broad and deep generalist knowledge and experience in human resources including organization development, workforce planning, talent acquisition and pipeline development, talent management, performance management, skill assessment, succession planning, executive coaching, training and development, employee engagement, employment law, executive compensation, and total rewards. Experience in overseeing office operations preferred
  • Fiscal Responsibilities: Oversee compensation programs; including market reviews and recommendations, enterprise salary budget forecasting, development and execution of compensation philosophy, Annual Incentive Program, salary increase matrix and new position range placement. Manage position inventory for all employees. Respond to salary and benefits surveys; assist in development of internal surveys
  • Knowledge of local, state, and federal rules and regulations: Oversee the development and
  • implementation of UMF’s HR policies and procedures. Assist employees / managers with complex HR issues by providing counsel and accurate policy interpretation. Additionally, they will work closely with University HR and Legal expertise to strategize and solve complex HR issues and situations

Passion for the University, its mission and the work of the Foundation is integral to the success of this position. In addition to the alignment of HR strategies with UMF’s mission, the position responsibilities include the following:
  • Leads the execution of HR Services including: Organization Design, Learning and Development framework, DEI practices, Total compensation, HR Operations, Talent Acquisition, Talent Management, and Employee Relations
  • Serves as a key member of the Executive Leadership team to drive UMF’s strategies and goals, and to determine the role and contribution of the human resources function in overall strategy achievement and mission advancement for UMF and the University
  • Lead efforts to develop, implement and assess short and long-term HR strategies and goals including evaluating emerging trends and benchmarking best practices with peer institutions/Foundations that will impact HR and Operations policy and program development for UMF
  • Advise President and CEO and Executive leadership team on appropriate org-wide HR metrics, develop dashboards and staff demographics, succession planning, and talent reviews
  • Develop and lead DEI strategies to advance UMF’s commitment to ensuring a more equitable and inclusive workplace that attracts, develops and retains employees who represent the broad diversity and community
  • Lead compensation strategy, including developing financial modeling of pay structures that allow for appropriate differentiation among employee performance levels while adhering to principles of the talent philosophy
  • Oversee the facilities and operation services for the University of Minnesota Foundation including space administration and building services
  • Provides guidance and leadership to the HR and operations team
  • Partner and collaborate with the University’s Vice President for Office of Human Resources, serve on university-wide committees and task forces to ensure UMF’s representation and alignment with U-wide policies, programs, and strategic initiatives

  • Bachelor’s Degree in human resource management, business, organizational psychology or related field; Master’s Degree strongly preferred
  • Experience in strategic planning and implementation
  • 12-15 years of strategic level human resources experience
  • Additional human resources business operations or general business management experience in a premier growth oriented consultative sales & services business/corporation and/or higher education, non-profit fund-raising organization strongly preferred
  • Proven ability to build and lead HR and operations teams within a complex, matrix organization, as well as proven ability to work across colleges and build collaborative relationships institution-wide
  • Knowledgeable about both centralized and decentralized business models with the ability to capitalize on maximizing effectiveness within varied structures
  • Strong commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion, and proven ability to work with a diverse group of employees and experience/familiarity with the Intercultural Development Inventory (IDI)
  • Effective interpersonal and analytical skills with exceptional communication and collaboration skills.
  • Ability to work in complex environment with accompanying change management and organizational development experience is preferred
  • Expertise with various process improvement methodologies such as Lean and Six Sigma a plus

Interested candidates should submit cover letter, resume, and salary expectations. Position will remain open until filled. Priority will be given to applications received prior to October 1, 2022.
  • Apply via email to Joelle Allen at
  • Apply by mail at: UMF VPHR Search c/o kpcompanies, ATTN: Joelle Allen 5775 Wayzata Blvd, Suite 700, St. Louis Park, MN 55416.
  • Apply on Linkedin at:

All submissions received in strictest confidence. kpCompanies is an equal opportunity employer.

kpCompanies believes in practices that create real equity and pay parity regardless of background or identity and we freely discuss compensation with all qualified candidates the first time we interview them. Saving the salary discussion for the first conversation allows us to fully understand the needs of each candidate and to ensure that qualified candidates, even those who’ve historically been overlooked and/or underpaid, don’t self- select out of the processes based on salary alone, as our experience and research suggests.

In addition to those who opt out because they fear the salary may be out of reach for them, we equally don’t want to miss out on conversations with candidates who are slightly over the range when in some cases the total compensation including factors such as bonuses, flexibility, and better health benefits, etc may exceed expectations. Finally, as a search firm – we are always looking for top notch talent to introduce to our clients. Should the salary or any other requirement not be a fit, there is often a chance that someone on our team is
working on another position you may be a better fit for. If you would like to discuss your qualifications for this role as well as discuss salary and compensation - just give us a call, we’d be happy to discuss!

Job Information

Rate / Salary





Not Specified

Skills / Experience

Not Specified


Not Specified

Our Reference


Job Location