University of North Carolina General Administration – Senior Associate Vice President for Leadership and Talent Development


The University of North Carolina General Administration (UNC-GA) seeks an accomplished and innovative individual with exceptional operational, organizational and interpersonal capabilities for its inaugural Senior Associate Vice President for Leadership and Talent Development (SAVP). The SAVP reports to the Vice President for Human Resources for the University of North Carolina system and is responsible for designing and implementing programs that provide assessment, coaching, training, and executive development to the most senior levels of leadership throughout the University of North Carolina system. The SAVP will be responsible for developing and fostering system-wide best practices and building capability in leadership development, talent management, and succession planning activities.

University of North Carolina System

With a mission to discover, create, transmit, and apply knowledge to address the needs of individuals and society, the multi-institution University of North Carolina (UNC) system is a leader in U.S. higher education. In 1795, UNC became the first public university in the United States to open its doors to students. Today, the system encompasses 17 distinct institutions, including elite research universities, leading liberal arts institutions, five Historically Black Colleges and Universities, a world-class arts conservatory, a residential high school for gifted math and science students, and a university founded to educate American Indians. Together these institutions contribute to the state; generate intellectual talent, research output, and jobs; and teach and train the next generation of North Carolina citizens. Nearly 225,000 students are enrolled on its 17 campuses and each year, more than 30,000 students graduate from over 200 academic degree programs. Further information about the constituent institutions is available here:

The UNC Board of Governors is the policy-making body legally charged with “the general determination, control, supervision, management, and governance of all affairs of the constituent institutions.” It elects the president, who administers the university. The 32 voting members of the Board of Governors are elected by the General Assembly for four-year terms. Each of the UNC campuses is headed by a chancellor who is chosen by the Board of Governors on the president’s nomination and is responsible to the president. Each university has a board of trustees consisting of eight members elected by the Board of Governors, four appointed by the governor, and the president of the student body, who serves ex officio. Each board of trustees holds extensive powers over academic and other operations of its campus on delegation from the Board of Governors. For more information about the Board of Governors and its members, please see

UNC General Administration houses the offices of the President and other senior administrative officers of the multi-campus University of North Carolina. This core administrative staff is responsible for executing the policies of the UNC Board of Governors and providing university-wide leadership in the areas of academic affairs, business and financial management, long-range planning, student affairs, research, legal affairs, and government relations. UNC General Administration also has administrative oversight of a number of university affiliates, including UNC Healthcare, UNC-TV, the North Carolina Arboretum, the NC State Education Assistance Authority, the NC State Approving Agency, the UNC Press, and Go Global NC.

North Carolina has long been known for a visionary approach to higher education. A sustained commitment to college access, cutting edge research, and public service has built the University of North Carolina into one of the best public higher education systems in the country. To ensure the sustainability of its place as a premier public higher education system, UNC has engaged in a strategic planning process designed to focus the university system on a new set of system-level goals that strengthens its institutions, improves student outcomes and expands access to affordable high-quality degrees. The strategic planning process will be guided by the following priorities:

  • Access: The UNC system must continue its proud heritage of access and student diversity
  • Affordability and Efficiency: Ensure a UNC education is within the financial means of all in the state
  • Student Success: Increase degree attainment and ensure value and relevance for students
  • Economic Impact and Community Engagement: Deepening partnerships that strengthen local communities and the state’s economy
  • Excellent and Diverse Institutions: Help institutions achieve excellence within individual missions

University of North Carolina Leadership

Margaret Spellings, President
Nationally known as an education thought leader and public policy expert, Spellings most recently served as President of the George W. Bush Presidential Center in Dallas, Texas, where she planned, managed, and implemented programs on economic growth, education reform, global health, and special initiatives focused on women and military service. Prior to that, Spellings served as President and CEO of Margaret Spellings & Company and as President of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation. From 2005 to 2009, she served as the U.S. Secretary of Education, overseeing the creation of the Spellings Commission Report on Higher Education, which recommended a national strategy to guide colleges and universities in preparing students for the 21st-century workforce, and implementing No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB). From 2001 to 2005, she was Chief Domestic Policy Advisor for President George W. Bush.  Before her service in the White House, Spellings was senior advisor to then-Governor Bush of Texas, led governmental and external relations for the Texas Association of School Boards, and held key positions at Austin Community College and with the Texas Legislature.

Spellings is a graduate of the University of Houston, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in political science. She also received an honorary doctorate and Distinguished Alumna Award from the university in 2006.

Matthew Brody, Vice President for Human Resources
Mr. Brody assumed the position of Vice President for Human Resources and Chief Human Resources Officer for the University of North Carolina System in January 2015. In this capacity, Mr. Brody works in collaboration with the university’s 17 constituent institutions in providing leadership and strategic direction for the delivery of human resource programs, strategies, and services system-wide for approximately 48,000 permanent employees. Prior to joining the System Office, Mr. Brody held a variety of senior management positions for over 13 years at the University System’s flagship campus, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. His prior roles at the Chapel Hill campus included Senior Director, Assistant Provost, and Associate Vice Chancellor for Human Resources. In addition to his experience at the Chapel Hill campus, Mr. Brody has also previously held management-level positions at both Duke University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

Mr. Brody is a graduate of The University of Maryland University College, where he holds both a bachelors and a master degree.

Chapel Hill, North Carolina

Chapel Hill was created to serve the university community and traces its origins to the establishment of the university by the University of North Carolina Board of Trustees in 1793. Today it is a multicultural university town that is home to a resident population of 59,000, quality schools, a lively arts and cultural scene, and top-ranked medical facilities. Hailed as “America’s Foodiest Small Town” by Bon Appetit Magazine, Chapel Hill is rapidly becoming a hot spot for pop American cuisine. Along with Durham and Raleigh, Chapel Hill forms the Research Triangle, a growing metropolitan area of more than one million people that provides a wide range of cultural, recreational, and educational opportunities and one of the nation’s fastest-growing high-tech centers. Raleigh-Durham placed 7th in the most recent “Best Places in the USA to Live” feature in US News.

Centrally located in the state, Chapel Hill offers a convenient departure point for day trips to explore all that the state of North Carolina has to offer—from the Blue Ridge Mountains to the Atlantic coastline. Coupled with mild climate and affordability, North Carolina is a deservedly desirable place to live.

The Role

Reporting to the Vice President for Human Resources, the Senior Associate Vice President for Leadership and Talent Development is responsible for creating and launching an executive development leadership strategy designed to support, assess, and coach the highest levels of UNC leadership and to build a strong and differentiated bench and talent pipeline. This is a new role as result of the university system’s renewed focus on enterprise-wide executive leadership development and succession planning, which is intended to ensure the UNC system has the leadership capabilities necessary today and for the future.

The SAVP will join a senior leadership team in the Human Resources Division at UNC General Administration (GA), the system-wide HR office for the University of North Carolina. The 33-member HR team serves as a resource to the 17 HR campus offices throughout the state as well as the President and other university senior leaders in the areas of benefits, classification and compensation, equal opportunity and compliance, employee relations and HRIS, and also provides direct HR services for the 500 staff members employed at General Administration and its affiliates. The successful candidate will have the opportunity to identify and hire a staff member to assist in the leadership and talent initiatives once on board.

The SAVP will specifically and proactively address the following objectives:

Facilitate and coordinate executive performance management
As part of UNC’s commitment to excellence, the assessment of key university executives is a priority. The new SAVP will be tasked with evaluating and proposing refinements to current Chancellor performance management programs and identifying areas of improvement in content, administration, and timing. The SAVP will develop a rigorous assessment strategy for Chancellors and other senior executives to promote insights for individual development and performance enhancement opportunities. This strategy should be data-driven, implementable, and supported by technology solutions that contribute to quality, efficiency, and adaptability across campuses and other leadership groups.

Lead executive leadership development efforts
The SAVP will create and implement an enterprise leadership strategy, pipeline, and program focused on developing leaders who can lead at the highest levels academically and administratively, and who are versatile enough to transition across campuses and levels. The SAVP should be a subject matter expert on a variety of best practice approaches that can proactively identify executive-level high performers across the university system and facilitate targeted leadership development, coaching, assessment, and development opportunities and programs. This strategy, which is targeted to the upper echelons of university leadership, may also help inform similar efforts by campus-based HR professionals for talent development programs targeted to entry and mid-level management positions as well.

Deliver executive search support to General Administration and the constituent institutions
The SAVP will be the key executive tasked with providing expert support and facilitation of Chancellor searches throughout the system. This will include partnering and supporting search committees, Board of Trustee Chairs, and external search firms in the efficient and effective identification, recruitment, and onboarding of Chancellor candidates. This aspect of the position will require frequent travel to the campuses prior to and during a Chancellor search and a sustained partnership with campus and external stakeholders. As with the SAVP’s performance management and leadership development initiatives, it is expected that the implementation and execution of best in class Chancellor search activities will facilitate cross institution collaborations and shared services opportunities to promote other senior executive search capabilities.

Develop and implement cross institution talent management capabilities
In support of the imperative to develop a talent bench and pipeline that encourages talented and ambitious individuals to remain in the UNC system, the SAVP will work across the system to develop cross-institution initiatives and programming designed to promote the retention of key executive talent. Such initiatives may include enterprise-wide skills inventories, resume banks, loaned executive programs, talent scorecards, and related initiatives that contribute to professional development, talent management, and succession planning.

Qualifications and Experience

The successful SAVP candidate will possess the following abilities, attributes, and experiences:

  • A minimum of 8 to 10 years of experience managing a unit, program, or consulting activity with responsibility for developing various levels of leadership, talent identification, and assessment programs;
  • Demonstrated track record for designing and delivering a “best-in-class” talent management and development process which actively invests in high-potential talent identified through a disciplined performance management and succession planning process;
  • Demonstrated experience in developing and/or implementing talent management tools, dashboards, and other techniques to inform and support a comprehensive and sustainable program of leadership development;
  • Knowledge of best practice coaching and program design methodologies that produce successful, results-driven programs applicable to senior leadership;
  • Proven ability to think strategically and translate strategies into actionable plans;
  • Strong stakeholder management and relationship-building skills, and exceptional oral and written communication skills;
  • Intellectual curiosity, results orientation, bias for action, innovative spirit, organizational savvy, tact and flexibility;
  • Ability to effectively deal with ambiguity, organizational complexity, and a variety of leadership styles and proficiencies;
  • Prior experience in or with higher education and/or public sector organizations is desirable but not required. Experience facilitating or managing executive searches is preferred;
  • Bachelor’s degree required with strong preference for an advanced degree in human resources, business, industrial psychology, organization development, or a related field.

Background checks will be performed on all final candidates. Applications, expressions of interest and nominations should be sent to Beth Schaefer and Amy Sugin of Neumann Executive Search Partners at

The University of North Carolina General Administration is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer that welcomes all to apply, including protected veterans and individuals with disabilities.

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