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New leadership of University human resources functions announced

June 16, 2010

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Syracuse University Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer Louis G. Marcoccia and Vice Chancellor and Provost Eric F. Spina have announced new leadership for the human resources functions at the University.

Neil Strodel, associate vice president and chief human resources officer, recently announced his retirement effective June 30. As of July 1, Senior Associate Provost Kal Alston and Vice President for Business Operations Jena Prideaux McWha will jointly lead the Office of Human Resources.

alstonAlston has been at SU as associate provost for academic administration and professor of cultural foundations of education and women’s and gender studies since 2005. In addition to this assignment, Alston’s responsibilities include academic resource planning, faculty services and support, and academic policy development. This ongoing partnership with the Division of Business, Finance and Administrative Services (BFAS) is one of many between Academic Affairs and BFAS in which she has been involved, such as the RCM committee, sustainability committee and ad hoc efforts like the sustainable benefits task force. Her collaborations within Academic Affairs and with Student Affairs, Advancement and External Affairs, and other major University divisions are at the center of her work at the University. She will continue to serve as senior advisor to Vice Chancellor Spina.

mcwhaMcWha joined the University in April 2010. She supports Executive Vice President and CFO Marcoccia in the oversight and management of BFAS and plays a lead role in the assessment of opportunities for, and implementation of, operational efficiencies, savings and shared services initiatives in administrative areas. Before coming to SU, McWha most recently served as practice manager for The Advisory Board  Company in Washington, D.C., providing strategic, operational and management advisory services to university executives across the country. She previously has consulted at such entities as Intel Corp., Discovery Communications and her undergraduate alma mater, Princeton University. McWha also has an M.B.A. from Georgetown University.

“I am confident that the talents, skills and experiences of Jena and Kal will provide the leadership and direction necessary for the implementation of best practice improvements in human resources policies and procedures,” says Marcoccia.

McWha and Alston will be responsible for day-to-day oversight of the Office of Human Resources and for collaboratively setting the University’s overall human resources strategy. Both look forward to continuing to develop and support the alignment of HR functions with the mission and vision of the University—inclusive of Academic Affairs and administrative units—as well as continuing to improve services to faculty, staff and student employees. The cross-functional team approach to leadership is important in ensuring that all areas and divisions of the University community have access to services in ways that support success.

“I join Chancellor Cantor and EVP Marcoccia in expressing great confidence in the collaborative leadership of Kal and Jena,” says Spina. “This is a promising opportunity for the University, and I believe that their leadership and the excellent staff in Human Resources will enable us to continue to make progress in establishing a best-in-class HR function at SU.”

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