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Assistant Vice President, HRIS, Benefits and Payroll

Institution: Simmons College
Location: Boston, MA



Simmons College, in Boston, Massachusetts seeks an experienced and innovative leader for the position of Assistant Vice President, HRIS, Benefits and Payroll (AVP). Reporting to the Senior Vice President of Finance and Administration, the AVP will be responsible for leading the day-to-day operations of the HRIS, Benefits and Payroll functions supporting the College.

This senior leadership role offers the opportunity to make a significant impact during a period when the College is proactively implementing enhancements and improvements of its operations to strengthen the institution’s position within the higher education marketplace. The AVP will redefine the human resource operation of HRIS, Benefits and Payroll infrastructure to meet the evolving needs of the campus community in a changing academic landscape.

The ideal candidate will have experience in implementing best practices regarding payroll to ensure compliance, consistency, efficiency and customer service across the institution. S/he will oversee continued enhancements in Workday business processes and functionality in order to meet its full potential, and will provide strategic direction in the effective and efficient implementation of a high quality benefits program.


The Assistant Vice President is responsible for the leadership of Human Resources operations. Working collaboratively with leaders across the campus, the AVP will oversee an effective Human Resources operation that will support a high performing, diverse, and productive culture in support of the College’s mission. The College desires to attract, develop and retain top talent.

The AVP will be a seasoned human resources professional who is energized by the opportunity to define policies, streamline processes and provide superior customer service to the College community. In addition, the AVP will possess prior experience in a human resources management role at a higher education institution and substantive experience in the areas of HRIS system management, benefits and payroll.

The AVP will manage the day-to-day administration and operations of the HRIS, Benefits and Payroll functions for the College and be responsible for process oversight for onboarding operations, ensuring completion of all operational tasks with a focus on accuracy, urgency, compliance and ownership. The ideal candidate will:

  • Maintain the highest levels of customer service, for self and for team, in quality and responsiveness of communication to both internal and external customers;
  • Oversee the human resources function for the College and be responsible for administration and oversight of its operation, serving approximately 1,200 faculty and staff and managing four professional staff members;
  • Develop, recommend, and implement human resources strategies and initiatives to help drive a culture that embraces innovation and change in support of a highly performing workforce;
  • Provide leadership, coach and develop Human Resource employees in this area (HRIS Analyst, Benefits Specialist, Payroll Coordinator, Payroll and Benefits Coordinator);
  • Identify opportunities and formulate solutions for operational process improvements;
  • Oversee maintenance of employee records (electronic and hard copy) to ensure confidentiality; and
  • Ensure all employee changes, including new hires and terminations, are accurately updated in a timely manner.


The ideal candidate for the Assistant Vice President of HRIS, Benefits and Payroll will be a collaborative leader who embraces Simmons College culture and mission. In addition, the AVP will possess strong leadership experience and effective communication and interpersonal skills. Candidates should also have the following qualifications:

  • Bachelor’s degree in Human Resources or a related field;
  • Master’s degree preferred;
  • Minimum of 8-10 years human resources related experience, preferably in higher education with at least 3-4 years managing, coaching and developing staff;
  • Strong knowledge and experience as a Human Resources practitioner with a proven record of visionary leadership;
  • Ability to lead with both a decisive and consultative style, foster open communications, and proactively build positive relationships with faculty, staff, and students;
  • Strong understanding of current HR compliance related matters and best practices;
  • Be articulate in written and oral communications and be able to relate to people at all levels of an organization; be a team player who operates with transparency and fosters collaboration within the organization;
  • Demonstrate a deep commitment to diversity and inclusion;
  • Ability to serve as a change agent and an innovative and forward-thinking leader;
  • Experience working with enterprise-wide administrative systems implementations and in analyzing business processes;
  • Demonstrate a strong commitment to collegiality, mutual respect, and inclusiveness; act in a fair, flexible, honest, trustworthy, and ethical manner at all times;
  • Ability to take initiative and independently organize, prioritize, and carry out detailed work under time constraints;
  • Superior problem-solving and decision-making skills;
  • Ability to remain highly organized and efficient in a fast-paced, multi-tasking, confidential environment; and
  • Intermediate to advanced proficiency with Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint.

Simmons at a Glance

Simmons College has an enrollment of 4,655 (undergraduate and graduate students) and employs approximately 750 faculty and 450 staff. Supported by an innovative and committed leadership team, Simmons is poised for growth and new approaches to reflect the changing landscape of higher education.

Simmons offers a broad range of undergraduate degree programs: 52 majors, with minors in any of the fields offered as a major as well as 14 other minors. Over forty different Certificate, Masters, and Doctoral degree programs are offered across five graduate schools: The School of Nursing and Health Sciences; the College of Arts and Sciences; the School of Library and Information Science; the School of Management; and the School of Social Work. In addition, there are five 3+1 accelerated degree programs in the undergraduate plus graduate schools; and nine degrees offered as 4+1 programs.

The distinguished Simmons faculty includes noted researchers, published authors, Fulbright scholars, health professionals, and community leaders. They advise numerous government, non-profit, and corporate organizations in the United States and around the world, while remaining passionate educators who take pride in personally mentoring their students.

Simmons is proud to have over 48,000 alumni across the globe including philanthropists, CEOs, innovators, thought leaders and high profile professionals in the media, the arts, politics and health care. Philanthropy is vital to Simmons and provides many of the resources necessary to continue achieving the mission. During the past decade, thanks to the generosity of alumni, parents, and friends, a culture of philanthropy has taken hold. Cash gifts increased by 17% percent last year, and during the past five years, New Gifts and Pledges have increased by 49%. In the most ambitious capital campaign to date, Making Education Work (MEW), the original goal of $85 million was reached nearly a year earlier than planned. The campaign came to a close in June 2015, having surpassed the revised goal of $100 million.

Other points of pride include the Simmons Leadership Conference, the preeminent and longest-running women’s leadership forum in the country, attracting a national audience of 3,000 business and professional women annually. The Corporation for National and Community Services (CNCS) has named Simmons College to the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll for eight consecutive years. Simmons is one of only 16 colleges in the country – the only one in Massachusetts – to earn the “Honor Roll with Distinction” level for five of eight years since the Honor Roll began in 2006.

College Leadership and Governance

President Helen G. Drinan is the eighth President of Simmons College. Before being named President in 2008, Ms. Drinan served as the Chair of the Simmons College Board of Trustees. A double Simmons alumna from the School of Management and the School of Library and Information Science, her relationship with Simmons spans nearly four decades. President Drinan is a highly regarded executive with decades of leadership experience in the corporate and not-for-profit sectors. During her tenure at Simmons, President Drinan has helped to elevate the academic profile of the undergraduate student body, added new academic programs, improved Simmons’s financial strength, created, built and implemented Strategy 2015, launched fast growing online national programs and is building a team dedicated to transformational change, inspired by institutional success

President’s Operating Team

President Drinan and her Operating Team lead Simmons College operations. The team includes the Provost, and the Deputy Provost; the Senior Vice President for Finance and Administration; the Chief of Staff; the Vice Presidents of Enrollment Management, Advancement, Marketing, Student Affairs, and Strategic Initiatives; the General Counsel; and the Chief Information Officer and Associate Vice President of Administration. Please read more information about the leadership team on

Donna Ng became Senior Vice President for Finance and Administration at the beginning of August 2015. An expert in higher education finance and business, Ng was previously Vice President for Business Affairs and Treasurer at Scripps College, and has served as Senior Associate Provost for Budget and Planning at Wellesley College, and Budget Director at Babson College. Ng holds a BS in accounting from Boston College, and an MBA from Babson College.

Please send nominations and applications including a letter of interest and CV to the Brill Neumann team working on the search:

Andy Evans, Beth Schaefer, and Mo Lashendock

Brill Neumann Associates

As a College committed to diversity, Simmons encourages applications broadly. Simmons is an equal opportunity employer and is committed to continuing to develop a more diverse faculty, staff,
student body and curriculum.

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