New VP for Human and Organizational Development and Planning Named

By Dave Maley, March 20, 2019
Hayley Harris will join the college on May 6.

Professional headshot.

Ithaca College has selected Hayley Harris, a human resources professional with nearly two decades of experience leading strategic HR initiatives, as its new vice president for human and organizational development and planning. Harris has served since 2017 as the human resources director for Cornell University’s Research Division, a large, complex division comprising over 25 research centers and administrative units. She will begin her new position at IC on May 6, 2019.

Since joining Cornell in 2008, Harris has served in progressively responsible strategic human resources roles, partnering with deans, vice presidents and vice provosts to advance the university’s mission by providing comprehensive HR leadership for their units in the areas of talent management, succession planning, recruitment and retention, compensation and classification, employee relations, and organizational development.

“I am impressed with Hayley’s current work at Cornell University, and with her success in mobilizing diverse communities and realizing complex priorities in times of change,” said Ithaca College President Shirley M. Collado. “I’m excited to welcome her to the IC community and look forward to her leadership, particularly with her expertise in implementing strategic plans as we prepare to launch our own this fall. Hayley’s career has been marked by a strong commitment to inclusion and equity, as well as a robust awareness of best practices which ensure that departments under her care realize their full potential. The energy and expertise she will bring to our campus is absolutely critical to our continuing efforts to position Ithaca College as an innovative, responsive and nimble workplace.”

“I am thrilled and honored to join the Ithaca College community, especially at a time when the campus is engaged in a strategic, transformative planning process,” said Harris. “I look forward to working with academic and administrative leaders, managers and staff to ensure that their daily work experience is a welcoming, inclusive and engaging one, and that employees are supported in achieving their long-term professional goals. The fact that Ithaca College is located in an area that I already love and that allows me to maintain the personal and professional connections I’ve developed here makes this an opportunity for which I am truly grateful.”

Among other accomplishments in her positions at Cornell, Harris served in a leadership role for training, communications and end-user support to implement Workday as Cornell’s new human resources information system; was the HR lead for establishing the Navigate initiative, with the goal of helping faculty and staff navigate the operational complexities of international research, instruction and engagement; and served as the HR lead for the 2014 Cornell presidential search, reporting directly to the Board of Trustees at that time.

“It has been my pleasure to work with Hayley over these last 10 years,” said Mary George Opperman, vice president and chief human resources officer for Cornell University and a member of the Ithaca College Board of Trustees. “She is a remarkable HR professional and a terrific person, and Ithaca College is so fortunate that she will be bringing her many talents, her dedication, and her incredible work ethic to its campus. We will really miss her at Cornell, but I am looking forward to continuing to work with Hayley as a colleague and peer.”

A Human Resources Expert, and More

At Ithaca College, Harris will be responsible for developing an innovative, collaborative human and organizational development division focused on best practices in contemporary human resources, and serve as a strategic partner to IC’s senior academic and administrative leadership. As a champion of the institution’s overall culture, she will work to deepen and enhance employee connections with the college’s values and beliefs, including a continuing commitment to greater diversity of people and ideas, to equity and full participation, to nurturing a workplace-of-choice, and to celebrating a talented, accomplished workforce and their contributions to Ithaca College and its mission. The division strives to positively impact the life experiences of all members of the campus community, and comprises the functional areas of payroll services, training and development, employee benefits and work/life, student employment, compensation and workforce planning, and talent management.

The search committee was co-chaired by Diane Gayeski ’74, dean of the Roy H. Park School of Communications; and Marc Israel ’05, assistant provost for finance and administrative operations.

“We were very fortunate to have met and interviewed such a talented group of individuals for this position, and are excited by the outcome of the search and to welcome Hayley to the Ithaca College community,” said Israel.

“I was pleased we had the opportunity to review a robust pool of applicants, and a set of finalists who came with really diverse perspectives and accomplishments,” said Gayeski. “This distinctive position calls for a person who is an HR expert, and more — and we’ve found that in Hayley Harris.”

Harris’s previous positions at Cornell have included HR business partner roles in Administrative Human Resources and in the College of Engineering and Computing and Information Science. Prior to joining Cornell, she served for eight years in HR positions in the Yale School of Medicine and in the university’s central HR operations.

She earned her B.M. from Boston University and M.Phil. from Yale, and obtained Senior Professional in Human Resources certification in 2006. Harris also represented Cornell in the first cohort of the Emerging Leaders Network, a three-year program designed to prepare emerging leaders to fill future chief human resources officer positions in higher education.