Steps to Transform HRM and be a Best-in-Class Employer

Barbara A. Bichelmeyer, Provost & Executive Vice Chancellor; Jason Hornberger, Vice Provost for Finance; and Mike Rounds, Vice Provost for Human Resources, Public Safety, Facilities and Operations
Monday, Dec. 12, 2022, 1:27 p.m.
KU Lawrence Faculty and Staff

Dear Colleague,

We are planning changes in our human resources (HR) structure that will advance our efforts to be an exceptional learning community. Before we share details, we want to reassure you there won’t be a loss of jobs and this is not a cost-cutting effort. Instead, these changes are designed to transform our HR functions and help KU achieve best practices in HR administration for higher education.

HR is an important function in any organization. We value the work that all our people do, especially our staff in Human Resource Management and staff with HR responsibilities in our Shared Service Centers. Our changes and efforts in the months ahead will improve our HR organization and work by clarifying roles and relationships between HRM and SSC staff, by improving and automating work processes where appropriate, and by providing professional development and career advancement opportunities for our HR staff. These changes will relieve our HR professionals of time-intensive tasks that can be automated, better prepare them to support the needs of supervisors and leaders across the Lawrence and Edwards campuses and help ensure our HR practices and activities are consistently delivering high-quality experiences for all KU employees.

Our transformation will take place in three phases over the next 18 months.


Phase 1 will begin in January, with the  creation of an integrated leadership group to oversee the process. In Phase 1, oversight of Operations teams and Human Resource Management, which are currently within the same reporting structure, will be separated. We will move SSC HR staff into this new structure from their current structure in Finance. The combined HR structure will be re-envisioned by the integrated leadership group to strengthen our HR operations and better address our strategic HR needs, such as providing more comprehensive professional development for employees and supervisors

Phase 2 will focus on process improvements in our HR operations. We will provide greater professional development support for our HR staff, so they can better focus on providing strategic services to stakeholders throughout the Lawrence and Edwards campuses.

Phase 3 will place an emphasis on transforming our HR efforts to achieve best practice in higher education, the standard which is known as the HR business partner service model. Moving to this model will ensure each academic and administrative unit will receive dedicated and comprehensive HR services.

To be competitive for top talent and to be an institution where people want to build their careers, we need to make advances in our HR processes and support. We will transform our methods to better support our HR staff who work so hard to support all of us. We will provide HR staff with comprehensive professional development and help them build new strengths necessary to address rapid shifts in technologies and changing employee needs and expectations. .

This transformation is foundational and critical to advancing all the other goals in Jayhawks Rising, our strategic plan. We appreciate the work taking place in our departments and offices across the institution, and especially the work of our HR employees. This is an area where we have been understaffed and underserved for some time.

We hope the disruption during this initiative will be minimal. If you experience any challenges along the way, you are welcome to reach out to any of us to share your concerns and experiences. We will be back in touch soon with additional information about specific steps and how the transformation will help KU be all it aspires to be.

Thank you for all you do for KU.


Barbara Bichelmeyer

Provost & Executive Vice Chancellor

Mike Rounds

Vice Provost of Human Resources, Public Safety, Facilities and Operations

Jason Hornberger

Vice Provost of Finance