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Chief Human Resources Officer

Massachusetts College of Art and Design
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Human Resources

Massachusetts College of Art and Design

Chief Human Resources Officer

Academic Career & Executive Search is pleased to assist Massachusetts College of Art and Design in its search for Chief Human Resources Officer (CHRO).

For full consideration, please apply by March 20th.

This is a vibrant period for Massachusetts College of Art and Design (MassArt) and a unique opportunity to lead at a distinguished institution as the College commemorates its 150th anniversary. The next CHRO joins MassArt at a time of robust enrollment, with a fresh leadership team, a new branding initiative as well as the introduction of a refreshed strategic plan. Guided by a dynamic new President, MassArt is poised for transformative growth while remaining steadfast in its mission to cultivate artists, designers, educators, and makers from diverse backgrounds who shape communities, economies, and cultures for the common good. Reporting to the Vice President of Administration and Finance, the CHRO attracts, develops, engages, and retains top talent. The CHRO sets the tone for the employee experience, advises the senior leadership team, and leverages the human capital that supports organizational advancement. The CHRO joins the senior leadership team, serving as a member of the President’s Executive Cabinet and as a strategic partner to the team in order to forward MassArt’s position as the nation’s first and only, public independent college of art and design. The individual will be an informed decision maker who capitalizes on opportunities to promote the organization’s mission, vision, and values actively.

The CHRO will work with operational leaders to forecast future workforce requirements, proactively advance organizational leadership and development, and maintain MassArt’s core values in a rapidly changing higher education environment, while also being a driving force for operational efficiency and service excellence.

The CHRO will wear multiple hats. The person will be an advocate for employees at the senior leadership table, the voice of the organization when interfacing with employees, a strong strategic business and tactical partner to the senior leadership team, an executive leader for the human resources team, an effective ambassador for MassArt in creating the brand as the employer of choice, and an advisor and confidential sounding board to executives in the organization. The CHRO also plays an integral role in driving the organization’s commitment to strengthening its position as a diverse, equitable, and inclusive organization. The CHRO promotes a culture of inclusion, teamwork and cohesion, accountability, and high performance within the human resources organization.

This position reports to the Vice President of Administration and Finance.


  • Develops an overall human resources strategy for MassArt that advances the organization’s strategic plan.
  • Provides leadership to the human resources team in talent acquisition, human resources operations, employee and labor relations, employee engagement and retention, and talent and organizational development efforts.
  • Provides leadership to the payroll team in coordination with Massachusetts HRCMS, Payroll functionality, and coordination with all human resources operations.
  • Promotes alignment and consistency of compensation, payroll, benefits, and retirement plans.
  • Partners with administration and finance in analyzing department performance, developing short- and long-range financial projections, and creating operating plans and budgets to meet financial and other performance targets.
  • Ensures compliance with all federal, state, and local employment laws and regulatory standards of the Department of Labor, Affirmative Action, OSHA, and others.
  • Develops goals for the human resources function and directs their execution, ensuring that team members have the necessary resources to meet them; reviews HR performance in relation to established goals to ensure continual improvement in HR service delivery.
  • Evaluates both short-term and long-range planning for new and existing programs, strategies and other requirements to ensure compliance with regulatory and business expectations.
  • Works with and establishes strong relations and communication with campus union representatives.
  • Works to establish strong partnerships with all college departments to increase the visibility and professional standing of the Human Resources Office. Meets regularly with VP’s and other key stakeholders to ensure regular feedback and communication.
  • Partners with the Massachusetts Department of Human Resources and the other Massachusetts Public Higher Education Institutions and Colleges of the Fenway to ensure alignment and integration as well as best practices of the human resource functions.
  • Participates directly or through Human Resources Office staff, in educational activities with professional organizations (i.e., CUPA-HR, SHRM, etc.) to maintain updated knowledge, skills and abilities.


  • Bachelor's degree in Human Resources, Education, Business Administration, or a related discipline
  • 5 to 8 years directly related Human Resources experience of which a minimum of 3 to 5 years must be at the Director or higher level
  • In lieu of an earned Bachelor’s degree, applicants with 10 or more years of directly related Human Resources of which a minimum of 5 years must be at the Director or higher level shall be required
  • Prior experience working in a unionized work environment
  • Experience in developing and maintaining a positive environment for employees, a highly engaged workforce and developing creative solutions that foster employee retention
  • Experience with recruiting, applicant tracking systems, and the complex legal framework surrounding hiring and daily operations of the Human Resources Office
  • Outstanding demonstrated leadership and managerial skills
  • Experience in employee relations best practices
  • Demonstrated proactive, effective, communication skills


  • Minimum of 8 years directly related Human Resources experience of which a minimum of 5 years must be at the Director or higher level
  • An advanced degree in Human Resources, Business Administration, Public Administration, or other related field
  • Directly related management experience working in Higher Education
  • Directly related experience working in the public sector
  • Track record of success in leading process improvement and change management initiatives
  • Prior experience developing and implementing training programs for a variety of constituencies
  • Human Resources Credential (SHRM or HRCI)

About the Institution

Founded in 1873, and celebrating its 150th anniversary in 2023, Massachusetts College of Art and Design (MassArt), is the nation's first and only independent, free-standing public college of art and design. MassArt is an inclusive community of thinkers, doers, makers, educators, innovators, and leaders striving to shape the future through art and design. They've spent 150 years demonstrating the truly amazing things that happen when a world-class art and design education is an option for every deserving student. Located in Boston's hub of arts and culture along the Avenue of the Arts, MassArt enrolls 2,000 students and offers a comprehensive range of undergraduate and graduate degrees in 18 disciplines, as well as continuing education and youth programs. 

MassArt prepares artists, designers, and educators from diverse backgrounds to shape communities, economies, and cultures for the common good. MassArt provides state-of-the art facilities and studios housed in nine buildings along Huntington Avenue in the Fenway neighborhood of Boston, close by the Museum of Fine Arts and the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. The college offers twenty-two areas of concentration in fine arts, design and art education, and awards one undergraduate degree, the Bachelor of Fine Arts, and graduate degrees including the Master of Fine Arts, the Master of Art in Teaching, Master of Education, Master of Design Innovation, and the Master of Architecture. The college also offers certificate programs in Communication Design, Fashion Design, Furniture Design, and Industrial Design.

The College is NECHE (New England Commission of Higher Education) accredited and a member of AICAD (Association of Independent College of Art and Design), as well as the​​ Colleges of Fenway, a collaboration of five neighboring Boston-based colleges in the Fenway area representing more than 12,000 undergraduate students (16.2% of total Boston undergraduate population attending 4-year colleges, 700+ full time faculty, and 2300-course offerings and the ProArts Consortium.

Living in the Area

With a population of nearly 700,000, Boston often feels like a small town with the perks of city life. It is a cosmopolitan city offering cultural diversity, a rich culinary and arts scene, and proximity to world-class schools, employers and health care. It is on the cutting edge of medicine and technology but traditional in its love of sports and the city’s deep history. With a modern, attractive, and completely walkable downtown, Boston is dotted with Revolutionary period historic sites along the Freedom Trail and preserved old streetscapes mixed in with modern commercial office buildings.  The scenic Charles River offers endless opportunities for outdoor activities.

Arts and culture amenities in downtown Boston and the entire surrounding area are exceptional, and most, like the Boston Pops and the Museum of Fine Arts, are well known beyond the city limits.

The surrounding suburbs offer an excellent alternative to city living with access to a well-used commuter rail system. Each neighborhood has its own town center that is functional, accessible by the rail system, and filled with local businesses.

Education, at all levels, is outstanding in Boston and the surrounding areas. Public schools are nationally recognized, and a driving reason people move to the area. Additionally, the entire Boston Metro area is centrally located near everything Massachusetts and the Northeast has to offer – skiing in New Hampshire, beaches in Cape Cod, and trips to New York City are all only 2 to 3 hours away.

To Apply

For full consideration, please apply by March 20th.

To be viewed by the search firm, you must apply directly at:

Please apply through the application link and do not email applications.

Applications will be reviewed as they are received and should include a cover letter and curriculum vita. Ideally cover letters should not exceed two pages. All applications are treated confidentially.

Inquiries, referrals, and nominations are also treated confidentially

Inquiries and questions: Please send to

Nominations and referrals: Please send the nominees’ name, title, and contact information if available to

Institution’s EEO Statement

MassArt provides equal employment opportunities to all employees and applicants for employment without regard to race, color, religion, gender, gender identity or expression, age, sexual orientation, national origin, ancestry, disability, military status, genetic information, pregnancy or a pregnancy-related condition, or membership in any other legally protected class. MassArt complies with all applicable federal, state, and local laws governing nondiscrimination in employment in every location in which the college operates. This policy applies to all terms and conditions of employment.

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