Queen's University

Strengthening HR at Queen's


An independent review of Human Resources (HR) at Queen’s is recommending a series of steps to strengthen and improve the department’s services and value to the university community.

The most pressing priorities include determining a strategic vision for HR, hiring both an Associate Vice-Principal (V-P) and a Director of Labour Relations and strengthening strategic connections between HR and Faculty Relations in the Office of the Provost.

“On behalf of Queen’s I’d like to thank the members of the review team for their insightful report,” says Caroline Davis, V-P (Finance and Administration), who is now responsible for HR.

“They pointed out that ideally, an effective HR department is a proactive strategic business partner and a client-driven service provider of timely support and advice. I am eager to work with the Queen’s HR team and colleagues across campus to implement these recommendations to make that happen.”

The review also recommends:

  • ensuring a successful and timely launch of the new HR administrative system under the QUASR project;
  • eliminating the current job evaluation backlog;
  • moving forward with a reorganization of the department (including re-staffing);
  • establishing a focus for senior staff issues (grades 10-14);
  • establishing workable and credible performance management and staff grievance processes, and
  • conducting a university-wide review of all policies related to HR functions.

Members of the review team are Timo Hytonen, Senior Vice President, Strategy, HR and Corporate Initiatives for Empire Life, and a former Associate V-P (Administration) at Queen’s; Elaine McDougall, a recently retired 20-year Queen’s staff member who held a variety of senior administrative positions including Associate V-P (Faculty Relations); and Elizabeth Way, a former Manager, Administration for HR Services at McMaster University.

The review team noted a number of factors that have an impact on the HR function, including Queen’s financial situation, morale on campus, the increased unionization of employees, as well as the HR management-related goals that were included in the August report of the Academic Writing Team.

More than 100 staff, faculty, senior administration, and representatives from each union and staff group, as well as HR department managers were interviewed as part of the review process.

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Last updated at 4:16 pm EDT, Fri August 29, 2014
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