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 Tuesday, June 17, 2008 IssueFaculty/Staff E-Newsletter


Candice Bowen assumes leadership of Human Resources
by Melanie O. Massengale

As the new executive director of CU-Boulder’s Department of Human Resources (HR), Candice Bowen sees opportunity as well as challenges in her position. “We have a rich mixture of people from different backgrounds in human resources and I hope to learn a lot from my staff and their experience,” she said. “My goals include helping CU-Boulder employees to be as successful as possible in their jobs and creating a respectful environment where everyone can thrive.”

One of the first challenges is a new comprehensive plan. HR will now provide a full complement of human resource services for professional exempt staff and, to a lesser extent, for faculty. “We are developing a more comprehensive organization that includes a full compliment of HR services for professional exempt employees," Bowen said. "For example, the professional exempt staff didn’t know they could come here for advice; there was no process in place for them.”

Under the new plan, Human Resources will have a greater role in hiring, selection and classification for professional exempt staff. Also, HR will provide leave administration and employee relations services for the professional exempt staff and Family Medical Leave Act guidance for faculty. Finally, HR will assist in the faculty search process. “We have the market tools at hand to recruit from the best possible applicant pool and the expertise to ensure that the process follows legal best practices,” said Bowen.

Bowen has a formidable background in human resources management and law. At CU, she has served as director of the former Office of Sexual Harassment (2001) and the Office of Labor Relations (2002). In 2005, Bowen assumed the directorship of the Office of Discrimination and Harassment. Previous positions at other institutions included director of human resources at Marcus Evans, Inc., a corporate provider of business conferencing tools and events; administrative law judge for the Illinois state and local labor relations board, and labor and employment legal liaison for the Chicago Housing Authority.

The position of executive director of Human Resources is responsible for oversight of the entire department as well as for management of the offices of discrimination and harassment, labor relations, Employment Services and Organizational and Employee Development. In this capacity, Bowen will interpret federal and state laws and university policies for the campus and will provide representation of the Boulder campus to CU System Human Relations.

In her stewardship of human resources, Bowen follows Zan Johns, who served as director for 10 years before retiring in Sept 2007. “Zan’s legacy was one of inclusiveness—she practiced diversity in all that she did; she conducted herself with integrity and she created in Human Resources a culture of respect,” Bowen said.

Bowen hopes to continue and expand this vision using the collaborative model she inherited. The addition of professional exempts and faculty to the department’s purview lends urgency to developing the comprehensive strategy. To meet the challenge, she will be taking suggestions from her staff. “A fair and equitable workplace where individual employees are encouraged to succeed promotes productivity and makes the campus a better place for all of us to be,” she said.

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