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Michigan State University
Office of the Provost
East Lansing
Posted: 09/07/2023
Director of Faculty and Academic Staff Affairs

Director of Faculty and Academic Staff Affairs


Department Summary

The Office of the Vice Provost and Associate Vice President for Faculty and Academic Staff Affairs (FASA) reports to the Provost. Faculty and Academic Staff Affairs has four primary roles:

  • To develop policies, resources, and processes relevant to academic careers and work. Maintaining faculty affairs and advising academic leaders and other constituencies on interpretation and application of University policies related to faculty and academic staff.
  • Provide leadership and consultation on complex employment situations for appointment processes for faculty and academic staff during the academic career lifecycle (to include but not limited to: recruiting, retention, academic labor bargaining and contracts, tenure and promotion policies; evaluation and promotion of non-tenure-system faculty and academic specialists, compensation and salary equity matters; and retirement processes)
  • Promote professional development, leadership development, and mentoring opportunities for faculty and academic staff.
  • Collaborate with academic leadership on the improvement of organizational culture and address performance, conduct, and compliance issues (including Title IX-related issues) for faculty, academic staff, and executive management.

 Job Summary

The Director serves as a member of the Faculty and Academic Staff Affairs team in developing and implementing Faculty and Academic Staff Affairs policies and strategic plans for the University. The Director serves as a critical leadership partner with unit leaders across the University on all human resources-related functions for 5,700 faculty, academic staff, and executive management. The Director reports directly to the Assistant Provost for FASA (Culture, Performance, Conduct and Compliance). 


  • Coordinate closely with Vice Provost and the FASA team to identify policies and opportunities to improve and sustain a positive working environment to ensure the institution’s commitment to a diverse, inclusive and resilient workforce where all employees feel valued for their contributions.
  • Coordinate closely with Assistant Provost leading organizational culture, performance, conduct and compliance to ensure and support leadership accountability in these areas.
  • Advise, coach and partner with college, school, department and unit leaders on how to strategically navigate academic human resource and employee relations matters in alignment with MSU policies.
  • Work with unit leaders to ensure adherence to University, state, and federal employment laws and policies, collective bargaining agreements, Title IX, Clery and other compliance requirements.
  • Collaborate with the Office for Faculty and Academic Staff Development on faculty/academic staff success, advancement, and leadership programs.
  • Serve as a liaison and collaborate with MSU Human Resources, Office of the General Counsel, Office of Vice President for Research and Innovation, Office of Institutional Equity, Office for Institutional Diversity and Inclusion, Office of Audit, Risk and Compliance, Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer, the Faculty Grievance Office, and other units to provide/exchange information, advise on, and/or resolve issues.
  • Represent the Office for Faculty and Academic Staff Affairs on workgroups, taskforces, projects, and search committees.
  • Perform other related duties as required.

Academic Labor Relations 

  • Lead or participate as a member of the administration’s academic collective bargaining teams contract negotiations, to include but not limited to the Union for Non-tenure Track Faculty and Graduate Employees Union.
  • Serve on labor/management committees.
  • Communicate with central and college human resources offices, union representatives, managers and employees to resolve workplace issues governed by collective bargaining agreements, including conducting grievance investigations, making recommendations for resolution of grievances, and providing guidance to senior university officials relating to academic employee relations.
  • Provide strategic analysis of academic labor agreements and employment policies at other institutions to inform labor negotiation strategy and/or policy development. Compile, analyze data and create reports to support university labor strategy.

Skills and behaviors that contribute to success and effectiveness of the role:

  • Demonstrated integrity, transparency, self-efficacy, and continuous learning
  • Demonstrated success in creating an environment focused on diversity, equity, inclusion, and mutual respect
  • Hands-on HR functional experience; balancing strategic thinking with tactical execution
  • Strong collaborative focus
  • Demonstrated knowledge of the implications of data related to the institution
  • Demonstrated experience in dealing with conflict and diffusing difficult situations
  • Ability to identify needs and provide creative problem-solving, including creating customized solutions
  • Proven ability to influence and work effectively across all levels in the organization
  • Continuous/process improvement experience and mindset
  • Strong communication, coaching and facilitation skills
  • Demonstrated change management skills

Minimum Qualifications

Master’s degree in human resources or a related field and at least seven (7) years of experience in human resources, labor relations or a closely related field; or a bachelor’s degree and at least 15 years of experience in human resources or closely related field. Experience in human resources functions, policies and procedures and applicable employment laws; demonstrated ability to convene and foster effective collaboration among individuals representing differing viewpoints, interests or positions; analytical and critical thinking skills; demonstrated decision-making and problem-solving skills.

Desired Qualifications

Knowledge of academic culture, including the unique characteristics of a major research university. Applicable work experience in higher education, including familiarity with employment policies and procedures, conflict resolution, and administrative experience or ability. Strong knowledge of national and global HR issues within higher education.