Director, Labor Relations

Brown University, a private coeducational research university and member of the Association of American Universities, seeks a bold, accomplished, and strategic leader to serve in the newly-defined role of Director of Labor Relations.

The Position

Reporting to the Assistant Vice President for Employee and Labor Relations (AVP), the Director of Labor Relations (Director) provides proactive advice, guidance, and recommendations for appropriate courses of action that arise out of various employment situations involving employees who are members of a collective bargaining unit and other labor-management matters to ensure that departmental priorities are accomplished.

The Director will be critical to developing, growing, and sustaining strong partnerships between UHR and the Administrative and Academic departments and bargaining units throughout the University. The Director will collaborate and influence a diverse group of departments and division leaders, fully understand their strategies, goals, and expectations, and provide thoughtful leadership and guidance on various labor relations matters to increase organizational effectiveness. The Director will also ensure alignment within UHR in managing services and processes that involve unionized employees or their managers and in delivering services and information to the University community. Likewise, they will advance the broader understanding of the relationship between effective HR management and University business functions.

In addition, the Director will be responsible for the implementation and day-to-day administration of the University's collective bargaining agreement with unionized undergraduate student employees. This position will be a first point of contact for University offices and undergraduate student employees on union-related administrative policies and processes. The position will work with University leadership and campus partners to promote a positive relationship with student union representatives. The Director and Labor Relations Data Specialist will collaborate with the Office of General Counsel (OGC) and other units on related legal matters and will ensure the smooth administration of student grievance processes. This position will also work closely with UHR's Director of Talent Acquisition and other campus partners to help create and sustain an effective student employment model that holistically supports and promotes positive experiences and outcomes for our students (unionized and non-unionized) at Brown.

Required Qualifications
  • Bachelor's degree from an accredited institution/college and a minimum of seven years' professional-level labor relations experience
  • A broad range of labor relations experience and competencies including practical and functional knowledge in this area, as well as broad human resources competencies
  • Demonstrated proficiency in communication, conflict resolution, analysis and planning, creative problem solving, and consultation
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills, sound business judgment, tact and diplomacy, and the ability to interact with employees at all levels of the University
  • Knowledge of federal and state employment laws and regulations (e.g., FLSA, FMLA, ADA) and prior experience in consulting with internal clients on employee and labor relations matters
  • A demonstrated ability to work effectively with university Human Resources staff, management, legal staff, union representatives, and individual employees
  • Demonstrated commitment to implement initiatives that can help managers foster a culture of diversity, inclusion, equity, justice and belonging
  • Expertise and knowledge in navigating complex unionized employee and student-based work environment and negotiations


Preferred Qualifications
  • Prior labor relations experience in higher education, including student labor relations experience
  • HR certification on labor relations and/or SHRM-CP/SHRM-SCP


To Apply

Brown University has engaged Opus Partners to support the recruitment of this position. Craig Smith, Partner, and Chris Stadler, Associate, are leading the search. Confidential inquiries, applications, and nominations should be submitted by email to Chris at chris.stadler@opuspartners.net .

A complete application will include a resume and cover letter. Brown University values diversity, equity, and inclusion, and seeks a leader who is committed to promoting these values throughout the organization. We encourage candidates to address in their cover letters how they might promote these values as the Director of Labor Relations and to highlight past professional support of initiatives designed to remove barriers and to increase participation by historically under-represented groups.

Brown University is committed to diversity and non-discrimination and supports the employment of qualified individuals with disabilities in the workplace. Brown will comply with all federal and state laws and regulations, including the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA), Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. Brown University is an Equal Employment Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer and encourages applications from Minority/Female/Differently Abled/Veteran individuals. Brown University is also an E-Verify employer.