Director of Employee and Labor Relations 
Job Posted: 15 November 2023
Company: Michigan State University
Closing Date: Until Filled
Location: East Lansing, Michigan


Link to application and full position listing


Director of Employee and Labor Relations

Michigan State University (MSU), a leading global research university, seeks candidates for the position of Director of Employee and Labor Relations (Director). Reporting to the Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer, the Director is a key member of the Human Resources (HR) Executive Leadership Team and is responsible for spearheading the strategic progression of the University’s employee and labor relations initiatives and ensuring its alignment with MSU’s vision, mission, and core values. 

MSU is unwavering in its commitment to fostering an inclusive environment that constantly improves workplace relations, and the Director will be instrumental in enriching the employee experience and fostering a positive workplace culture at MSU. This leader will introduce and oversee practices that fortify positive working relationships between the University and its workforce and offer expert advice to the Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer on strategies related to employee and labor relations. The Director will be charged with addressing labor and employee-related concerns, queries, and grievances, and, as the chief negotiator for the University, will help to steer bargaining strategies that balance the institution’s financial stability, its reputation for excellence, and its desire to be an employer of choice.

Ideal candidates will have a depth of experience in employee and labor relations management, including leading or participating in contract negotiations with labor unions, as well as advanced knowledge of applicable state and federal laws and regulatory compliance. The next Director will have exceptional interpersonal and relationship-building skills, and a facile, transparent communication style. A bachelor’s degree is required, and an advanced degree is preferred. 

Founded in 1855, MSU is a premiere land-grant university and an innovator in research, teaching, and application of knowledge. The University was established to make higher education broadly available for the benefit of the public good and served as a model for the Morrill Land-Grant Colleges Act of 1862. Michigan State University has evolved into a world-class institution, offering a full spectrum of programs, and attracting gifted professors, staff, and students. The University is part of the Big Ten Conference and since 1964 has been one of 66 members of the prestigious Association of American Universities (AAU). As one of the top research universities in the world, Michigan State’s trailblazing spirit and continued commitment to its core values of excellence, diversity, inclusion, and connectivity are stronger than ever.

All applications, nominations, referrals, and inquiries should be sent in confidence electronically below. 

Rebecca Kennedy is leading this search with Afi Tettey-Fio and Cortnee Bollard.

Michigan State University is committed to cultivating a safe and inclusive campus community characterized by caring and respect for others. Michigan State University is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer.

We collectively acknowledge that Michigan State University occupies the ancestral, traditional, and contemporary Lands of the Anishinaabeg – Three Fires Confederacy of Ojibwe, Odawa, and Potawatomi peoples. In particular, the University resides on Land ceded in the 1819 Treaty of Saginaw. We recognize, support, and advocate for the sovereignty of Michigan’s twelve federally recognized Indian nations, for historic Indigenous communities in Michigan, for Indigenous individuals and communities who live here now, and for those who were forcibly removed from their Homelands. By offering this Land Acknowledgement, we affirm Indigenous sovereignty and will work to hold Michigan State University more accountable to the needs of American Indian and Indigenous peoples.