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University of Kansas - Employee Relations Specialist Sr.

    The University of Kansas

    Employee Relations Specialist Sr.

    Position Overview:

    • The Employee Relations Specialist Senior position provides innovative, high-quality support to employees, supervisors, and campus leaders.
    • This position provides professional level expertise in consultation with other Employee Relations members, General Counsel and other key leaders to provide a broad range of services, including but not limited to consulting, training, conflict resolution, policy interpretation, and reporting in areas such as performance management, progressive discipline, legal compliance, union negotiations, notices of non-reappointment and other sensitive employee matters. 
    • This position will support Workers Compensation, Background Screenings, FMLA and other available leave programs and ensure compliance. The senior-level specialist is expected to exercise independent discretion in decision making and execution of responsibilities, while working as part of a cohesive team focused on supporting our employees while minimizing risk.

    The University of Kansas is a major educational and research institution with approximately 29,000 students on five campuses, and 10,000 employees. The main campus is in Lawrence, a vibrant, thriving community of more than 90,000 that is just 40 miles west of Greater Kansas City and 20 miles from the state capital. The University of Kansas Human Resource Management Office focuses on a high quality of customer service and engagement through collaborative activity across teams in Employment, Benefits, Employee Relations, Learning and Development, HR Systems and ADA Resources Center for Equity and Accessibility as well as other office partnerships such as General Counsel, Office of Institutional Opportunity and Access, University Ombud, Office of Faculty Development, etc.

    In a continuing effort to enrich the campus environment and provide equal educational and employment opportunities, the university actively encourages applications from members of underrepresented groups in higher education.

    Job Description :

    • 50% - Performance Management

    Progressive Discipline: Works to address personnel situations for University employees. Counsels, supports and advises managers and employees on policies, best practices, processes, systems and ultimately corrective steps to manage performance, conduct, and/or work-related issues through goal development and expectation documentation. Provides leadership and advice to members of the campus community for terminations or layoffs and assists campus leaders with the implementation. Engages with team members to facilitate effective communication regarding issues to explore system and procedural improvements.

    Investigations: Participates as team member to investigate working climate issues and personnel policy/procedure violations. Participates in development of an investigation plan for each situation. Participates in investigation interviews and collects relevant documentation. Keeps accurate and thorough records and notes of the investigatory process. Participates in development of comprehensive report for the appropriate University administrators in order to make recommendations to address identified problems. In consultation with supervisor, may initiate and/or coordinate steps of progressive discipline based on recommendations.

    • 30% - Training and Proactive Communication: Responsible for developing, coordinating and implementing proactive communication and training initiatives in various formats (online, in-person, etc.) for employee relations topics with an emphasis on content related to management/supervision best practices for tools for new supervisors and new employees. Continues to re-evaluate and update communications, resources and training materials and formats based on university need and user feedback.
    • 10% - Policy, Compliance and Support: In consultation with Employee Relations colleagues and General Counsel, interprets policies, procedures, compliance documents, federal and state statues and provides recommendation/counsel as appropriate. Drafts, reviews and participates in drafting and revising policy and procedures, facilitating discussion groups as appropriate. Provides leadership and/or support in the areas of labor relations and negotiations, unemployment, leaves, and disciplinary action. May provide subject matter expertise or oversight of specific program areas.
    • 10% - Other: Based on employment trends and campus issues, responsible for other special projects designated by HRM leadership. Attends and/or participates in professional development training activities as assigned.

    Required Qualifications:

    1.Bachelor’s degree and four years of work experience in human resources or a related   field.

    2.Effective written communication skills as demonstrated through application materials.

    3.Minimum of two years of experience working collaboratively in a team environment as demonstrated through application materials.

    4.Minimum of one year of experience in creating and providing education/training or information to diverse groups of employees.


    Contact Information: Julie Thornton

    For more information and to apply please visit the KU Employment site:,1,dIuMWVYmMkN7pUc5yiFuQRrWAFJDtQ27tgrJrFpB9IM7ByKB1YiRXQklrHylma74hVeSI2zNdvGLWlTZ-VE92IvoYAu71dgkD8v3z02pqQ,,&typo=1

    The University of Kansas prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, ethnicity, religion, sex, national origin, age, ancestry, disability status as a veteran, sexual orientation, marital status, parental status, gender identity, gender expression, and genetic information in the university's programs and activities.  Retaliation is also prohibited by university policy. The following persons have been designated to handle inquiries regarding the nondiscrimination policies and are the Title IX coordinators for their respective campuses: Director of the Office of Civil Rights and Title IX,, Room 1082, Dole Human Development Center, 1000 Sunnyside Avenue, Lawrence, KS 66045, 785-864-6414, 711 TTY (for the Lawrence, Edwards, Parsons, Yoder, and Topeka campuses); Director, Equal Opportunity Office, Mail Stop 7004, 4330 Shawnee Mission Parkway, Fairway, KS 66205, 913-588-8011, 711 TTY (for the Wichita, Salina, and Kansas City, Kansas medical center campus  es).