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University of Illinois official named new head of Pitt HR | University Times

James W. Gallaher Jr. of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign will join Pitt on December 1 as Vice Chancellor, Human Resources.

Since Cheryl Johnson’s departure in July 2019, the personnel management has moved a little. David DeJong was quickly named interim vice chancellor for HR following Johnson’s departure and dropped the interim label in September of that year.

In May 2020, DeJong also took on the role of Assistant Vice Chancellor for Business and Operations after Greg Scott was renewed and Pitt eventually left. The title was dropped in February 2021, and Chancellor Patrick Gallagher announced that he was “restoring the original organizational structure, with Human Resources reporting to the Vice Chancellor for Business and Operations”.

Mark Burdsall, Assistant Vice Chancellor, Human Resources Advisory Services, took over the role of Vice Vice Chancellor, Human Resources in May 2020, however DeJong and Gallagher made it clear that a full search for a permanent Vice Chancellor, Human Resources is underway.

That search led to Gallaher, who served as Executive Director of Strategic Initiatives in Human Resources at Urbana-Champaign, the University of Illinois system’s flagship campus.

The assignment included succession planning, professional development and other campus-level initiatives, including the Return to Onsite Operations Committee, which focused on rethinking work on campus after the pandemic. He also led the development and integration of a newly formed unit that encompasses the HR strategy; dual career program; Employee development and learning; Marketing and communication; and campus wellness services.

In addition, he worked as a clinical assistant professor in the personnel development program. In this function he advised doctoral students and was active in early research and dissertation committees as well as in selected courses.

He also served as vice president of human resources, diversity and wellness at Butler University in Indianapolis and chief human resources officer at Eastern Michigan University. Gallaher began his career in human resources at General Motors, Detroit, where he served in a variety of roles including labor relations, global organizational skills, leadership development, training and assessment, and organizational development.

Gallaher received his Ph.D. in Human Resource Development from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where he also earned his MBA and Master of Education. He also holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in personnel training and development from Southern Illinois University. He is also a veteran and holds an Associate of Applied Sciences degree from the Community College of the Air Force.

– Susan Jones

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