Director, Employee Relations & HR Partnerships

Rochester Institute of Technology | Rochester, NY

Posted Date 11/20/2023

Director, Employee Relations & HR Partnerships


Finance & Administration

Human Resources

Job Responsibilities

RIT, one of the nation’s preeminent universities, seeks an experienced, innovative, creative professional to serve as Director, Employee Relations and HR Partnerships to lead the human resource employee relations function for approximately 4,000 university faculty and staff. The successful candidate will be an innovative leader who brings a fresh, new vision to the Employee Relations and HR Partnerships function.

The Director, Employee Relations and HR Partnerships is responsible for designing and implementing an employee relations strategy focused on cultivating employee relations aligned with RIT’s values and is responsible for the development, administration, and compliance with employee-related university policies. This role will lead a team of HR Business Partners to provide employee relations services across the university and will play a key leadership role in processes aimed at proactively addressing workplace concerns and improving employee engagement and workplace performance. The ideal candidate will have deep knowledge and experience developing and administering human resources policies, programs, and procedures and have the ability to solve problems, think strategically, identify effective and creative courses of action, and provide recommendations. The role requires the incumbent to effectively communicate with all levels of the organization, and possess excellent oral, written, presentation, and listening skills. This position also requires excellent interpersonal skills and the ability to build strong relationships across a wide range of stakeholders including the HR team, the Office of Legal Affairs, the Office of Compliance and Ethics (including Title IX), RIT leadership, employees, and students.

Key responsibilities include:

  • Develops and supports comprehensive, contemporary, positive employee relations strategies in collaboration with senior HR leadership; manages implementation of adopted strategies.
    • Builds strong relationships and engages in high-level interaction with constituents throughout the university; involved in diverse and highly sensitive or confidential activities.
    • Provides advice and guidance on employee relations and employment issues to RIT supervision at all levels; coaches and guides HR Business Partners in these areas.
  • Provides leadership and direction to the HR Business Partner team in support of the strategic and operational needs of the university.
    • Creates and maintains a culture that emphasizes quality, continuous improvement, team work, and high performance.
    • Establishes unit and individual goals and objectives to achieve operational excellence in areas of responsibility.
    • Provides leadership for process improvement initiatives within the HR Business Partner team.
    • Ensures that HR policies, processes, and programs are consistent with the University’s mission and core values and foster a high level of psychological safety, trust, and engagement.
    • Provides oversight and guidance on a full range of employee relations matters including investigations, grievances, disciplinary issues, and corrective action.
  • Partners with the HR leadership team, manages administration of university policies for all employees.
    • Ensures the uniform and equitable application of human resource policies and procedures.
    • Supports HR Business Partners and university administrators, faculty, and staff with interpretation of and compliance with federal and state employment laws and regulations as well as university-level HR policies, procedures and practices. Consults with internal and external legal counsel as appropriate.
    • Working with senior leadership and governance bodies, recommends, develops, manages and communicates new policies and updates/changes to policies and procedures
  • Maintains a thorough understanding and knowledge of applicable state and federal employment law, including but not limited to discrimination, harassment, sexual harassment and Title IX. Escalates matters to the University’s legal team as appropriate for guidance.
  • Maintains current knowledge industry trends and best practices to ensure RIT’s practices are the most current and meet the University’s needs.
  • Manages HR’s investigative process, in accordance with the appropriate policy, including conducting investigations by creating an investigative plan, conducting notifications to appropriate stakeholders, conducting witness interviews, making determinations, drafting investigation findings and reports, and communicating investigation outcomes with key stakeholders;
    • Collaborates with legal affairs, the office of compliance and ethics, ombuds, public safety, and other key departments as appropriate in responding to inquiries, addressing concerns, resolving complaints, and managing investigations. Identifies employee relations issues, and directs team to take appropriate actions to address and resolve those issues.
    • Meets regularly with the Office for Compliance and Ethics and Title IX unit for case management of staff and faculty investigations within their purview.
  • Provides oversight of the University’s discipline process, including related to the corrective action and performance improvement processes and documentation to ensure consistency and fairness.
    • Works with managers on performance management issues and provides coaching and counseling, deciding when to issue different types of corrective action, making recommendations and decisions regarding terminations;
  • Provides HR management support to assigned client areas and serves as HR liaison with Global Campuses, Threat Assessment Team, and Staff Council or appropriately delegates associated responsibility to HR Business Partners.
  • Active, participatory member of the HR Leadership team responsible for developing and articulating the organization’s strategy, goals, and objectives.

Required Qualifications

Education and Experience:

  • Bachelor’s degree
  • 7 or more years of demonstrated success in developing, leading and executing Human Resources initiatives, including 3 or more years in a leadership/management role.
  • Highly-developed reasoning ability and decision-making skills.
  • Strong analytical, verbal and written communication and change management skills.
  • Knowledge and demonstrated application of best practices in Human Resources competency areas, particularly employee relations, performance management, employment law, organizational design and change management.
  • Ability to influence direction at all levels throughout the university.

Preferred Qualifications

  • Experience working in higher education setting
  • Master’s degree and/or SHRM PHR
  • Six sigma lean practices experience
  • Global Human Resources experience

Work Location

Hybrid — Remote/On-campus

Wage Band


FLSA Category


Employment Category


Required Application Documents

Cover Letter, Curriculum Vitae or Resume, List of References

What do we believe at RIT?

Rochester Institute of Technology is a diverse and collaborative community of engaged, socially conscious, and intellectually curious minds. Through creativity and innovation, and an intentional blending of technology, the arts and design, we provide exceptional individuals with a wide range of academic opportunities, including a leading research program and an internationally recognized education for deaf and hard-of-hearing students. We are dedicated to building a diverse community, one where employees feel a sense of belonging, and are valued for their contributions and the perspectives they bring.

As a member of the RIT community, you'll receive a comprehensive employee benefits package that offers multiple options and access to additional employment advantages. You can tailor your benefit elections to meet your needs (affordable medical/dental/vision benefits; paid vacation/sick time/retirement saving plan with exceptional employer match; and tuition assistance for you and your family, to name a few).

Department/College Description

We are seeking an individual who has the ability and interest in contributing to a community committed to student-centeredness; professional development and scholarship; integrity and ethics; respect, diversity and pluralism; innovation and flexibility; and teamwork and collaboration. Select to view links to RIT’s core values, honor code, and statement of diversity.

How To Apply

In order to be considered for this position, you must apply for it at: Click the link for search openings and in the keyword search field, enter the title of the position or the BR number.

Additional Details

The hiring process for this position may require a criminal background check and/or motor vehicle records check. Any verbal or written offer made is contingent on satisfactory results, as determined by Human Resources.RIT does not discriminate. RIT promotes and values diversity, pluralism and inclusion in the work place. RIT provides equal opportunity to all qualified individuals and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, creed, age, marital status, sex, gender, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, national origin, veteran status or disability in its hiring, admissions, educational programs and activities.RIT provides reasonable accommodations to applicants with disabilities under the Rehabilitation Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act, the New York Human Rights Law, or similar applicable law. If you need reasonable accommodation for any part of the application and hiring process, and you wish to discuss potential accommodations related to your application for employment at RIT, please contact the Human Resources office at 585-475-2424 or email your request to

Hourly/Salary Minimum


Hourly/Salary Maximum


Employment Type
Full Time

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