Syracuse University

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University announces new leadership in Office of Human Resources

July 18, 2012

Jim Reilly

Tom Rose, formerly an assistant vice president with Sun Life Financial, Canada’s largest insurance company, has been appointed vice president for human capital development and chief human resources officer. 

The position has been open since 2010, and Rose was recruited after an extensive international search. He will oversee the human resources function for the University and will report to Kal Alston, senior vice president for human capital development, who is excited about the opportunities that his arrival makes possible for SU. 

“He is deeply intellectually engaged and really eager to take up the questions of how to develop human capital in a world that is broadening and deepening, and that challenges institutions like SU to develop the best in our people in order to accomplish our ambitions,” Alston says. “I have enormous confidence in his ability to lead HR into the future in a way that makes sense for the institution we are and that we hope to be. I also am genuinely excited about him as a person, colleague and partner in the enterprise going forward. SU is first and foremost an academic institution, and Tom understands at a fundamental level that HR and HCD are all about serving the academic mission, no matter which group of employees or departments we may be addressing.” 

Tom RoseRose, who has a Ph.D. in clinical psychology from DePaul University and graduate-level training in industrial organizational psychology, began his career at Sun Life in Boston as director of human resource development for U.S. operations in 2001. For more than a decade, he served as assistant vice president in various roles, focusing on talent and career development, executive coaching, performance management, innovation and global employee engagement. Prior to joining Sun Life, Rose worked for a major U.S. consulting firm on issues of leadership, team-building, culture and organizational change with clients such as Hasbro, Pfizer and Aramark, and served as director of training and development for Reebok International, where he launched Reebok University.

A U.S. Air Force veteran and member of the American Psychological Association, Rose has published in academic and trade journals in the areas of community psychology, organizational behavior management and human resources development. 

Rose says he is eager to step into his leadership role at SU. “I am thrilled to have joined Syracuse University at this critical moment in this institution’s history, when our challenges include increasing our status as a prominent research institution, strengthening the financial well-being of SU, and building new models of Scholarship in Action,” he says. “This requires that we more fully engage, focus and leverage the efforts of all parts of the SU community—faculty, staff and alumni and students—if we are to be successful.”  

He is joined by two recently promoted executive directors in HR: Karen Purtell Morrissey serves as executive director for HR Operations, and Sonya Williams serves as executive director for HR Services, while continuing her role in overseeing Academic Human Resources. 

“I am looking forward to being part of the process of building the innovative human resources strategies we need to accomplish our organizational objectives, and to be joining such a strong team in HR,” Rose says. “When organizations succeed at the kind of transformation to which SU is committed, human resources has to go first. Transforming ourselves is the first order of business for HR.” 

The Office of Human Capital Development encompasses the offices of Human Resources; Academic Human Resources; Equal Opportunity, Inclusion and Resolution Services; and the Early Education and Child Care Center. Its mission is to reach across institutional boundaries to support and advance the University’s values of opportunity, access and inclusion.

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