When Professor John Budd steps down this month as Chair of the Department of Work and Organizations and Director of the Center for Human Resources and Labor Studies, it will be after nine years of thoughtful and steady leadership.
Budd, finishing his third three-year term, looks back at his tenure with appreciation and a quiet pride. “I tried to continue the legacy of people who came before me,” he says, “and am grateful for all of the people who were so dedicated to the performance of our academic programs, and to maintaining and building our national and international academic reputation.
“I took the approach that there was never anything fundamentally wrong with the way things were, nothing that needed to be fixed,” he says. “I kept our strong history in mind, and looked to see what I could do to facilitate the continued success of our faculty, students and staff.”
During the course of the past nine years, Budd oversaw a number of notable changes. In July 2011, the department of Human Resources and Industrial Relations (HRIR) became the department of Work and Organizations (WOrg) with the addition of several faculty members from the Carlson School’s department of Strategic Management and Organization. The change resulted in a stronger integration of the research and teaching on the behavioral foundations of managing and leading people in organizations across the Carlson School. “By many metrics we see this as a tremendous success,” Budd says. “Faculty are cohesive, very productive, and are working together to expand our contributions across all the school’s degree programs.”
The PhD program underwent a curricular change in 2009-10, as well as a structural change in 2014 with the integration of the PhD-HRIR program into the BA-PhD program at the Carlson School. “Another big change we navigated was the reorganization of the Masters program with the addition of the position of Professional Director of the MA-HRIR program,” Budd says, “and some fairly substantial administrative restructuring.”
The financial model of the CHRLS underwent a major adjustment during his tenure. “Before, we had a certain degree of financial autonomy, as we were on our own as a revenue-generating and cost-responsible unit. Now, we’re fully integrated into the school’s budgetary model, which brings us fully in line with the rest of the school,” he says.
One of the most significant responsibilities Budd had as Chair of the WOrg department was facilitating the process of faculty promotion and tenure. “During my term, we had three successful tenure cases; three successful promotions to full professor; and seven successful 4th year reviews. These are multi-month, extensive processes that are done as a team of faculty, but it did fall to me to oversee things,” he says. “I’m most proud of how successful our faculty and staff have been able to be. Hopefully I’ve helped provide a supportive environment where people can do good work. And, I’m especially proud to have done this while navigating the challenges of creating WOrg and all the changes that entailed,” he says. “I’ve really appreciated the support and cooperation received from faculty and staff; it’s made my job easier and more rewarding.”
Additional instructional changes include the hiring of two full-time senior lecturers and several part-time adjunct instructors. Budd worked with them on transitioning into their teaching roles at the University, held a teaching retreat with instructors, and a research retreat with affiliated faculty.
Something really unexpected was the opportunity to develop a Massive Online Open Course, or MOOC. Working with other Carlson School faculty and staff, Budd organized and oversaw a grant with Coursera, the online platform for the specialization comprised of four courses and a capstone, titled “HR for People Managers.” This specialization offers an introduction to the key principles, policies, and practices of human resource management. It is offered fully online, and has had a tremendous, global reach. “In just my class alone, there have been more than 31,000 learners,” he marvels. The more than 900 learners who have participated in the capstone course have come from over 100 countries, including India, Egypt, Nigeria, Syria, Cameroon, Afghanistan, Bangladesh and the United Arab Emirates. “To have that kind of global exposure around core HR expertise is really personally rewarding, and rewarding for Carlson and the University,” he says. “It helps deliver the University’s mission to corners of the globe we never would have dreamed of.”
A popular professor, having won the coveted Herbie Award for Teaching Excellence eight times over his 27-year teaching career, he understands the value of building relationships, both in the classroom and after graduation. “I’m always touched by the level of alumni affinity for the program, and it’s such a pleasure hearing about their successes,” he says. “I’ve enjoyed being able to connect with alumni in a number of locations. And, hopefully just because I’m no longer the director doesn’t mean I won’t be able to continue to do so.” In fact, he plans to meet with several MA and PhD alumni while attending a conference in Seoul this summer.
Carlson School Dean Sri Zaheer noted Budd’s service to the school recently in a recent school-wide email, and thanked him for his years of leadership and service to the department and the school.
Professor Connie Wanberg will assume the duties of the Chair of the Department of Work and Organizations, and Professor John Kammeyer-Mueller will take on the role of Director of the Center for Human Resources and Labor Studies. More details on this transition and interviews with Wanberg and Kammeyer-Mueller will appear in future issues of Centerpoint.
While Budd is stepping away from his duties as Chair and Director, he won’t be leaving the Carlson School anytime soon. After a well-deserved sabbatical, he will return to full-time teaching in the fall of 2019, and continue his teaching, research, and service to the Carlson School and the University. “I’m looking ahead to more success for our faculty, staff, students and alumni,” he says, “and to our 75th anniversary in 2020!”
Work and Organizations Assistant Professor Alan Benson recently won two major early career awards. He is the recipient of the 2018 Frank Giarratani Rising Star Award and the John T. Dunlop Scholar Award.
The Rising Star Award, presented by the Industry Studies Association, recognizes the contributions of junior scholars through their industry-based research. Benson was honored for his work on managing career ladders in the retail industry, specifically his paper “Strength from Within: Why Transfers Outperform Hires.”
The Labor and Employment Relations Association’s Dunlop Award recognizes outstanding contributions to research that address industrial relations/employment problems of national significance. The award committee said Benson was honored for “your work on the economics of human resources, your research into compensation plans, incentives, and staffing practices, and your research on dual career issues in job searches.”
Benson’s research interests are in empirical personnel and labor economics. Specifically, he analyzes “big data” for personnel management, using the analytical tools of microeconomics to make casual connections between firms’ practices and outcomes. He has been at the Carlson School since 2013.
An occasional series highlighting a member of our faculty, our alumni community, and a current student.
Faculty Member Avner Ben-Ner
When did you start teaching at the Carlson School?
What did you teach this semester?
Business Principles for the HRIR Professional and Organizational Theory Foundations of High-Impact HRIR
Do you have any advice for current students?
Read widely and exercise often. Both are good for your mind and body, and for your professional productivity.
What have you read recently?
Beautiful Game Theory: How Soccer Can Help Economics, book by Ignacio Palacios-Huerta, professor of management at London School of Economics. Related to my research on behavior in organization. And End Game, a book by Michael Dibdin. Has little to do with game theory as such, it’s an excellent detective story set in southern Italy.
Is there any little-known fact about you that people might be surprised about?
I grew up not too far from Dracula’s castle in Transylvania
Alumna Tina Liu
Where are you working currently?
What do you like about working in the HR field?
I enjoy the variety of work every day, especially opportunities to help my business partners become better leaders, coaches, and strategists. I think that working in the HR field gives you a ‘big picture’ lens of business challenges across geographies, functions, and silos, and also allows one to, as Professor Budd often says, “Think Global, Act Local”, and to have impact in both arenas.
What was your favorite part of the MA-HRIR program? Did you think the program prepared you well for the ‘real world.’?
If I’m being honest, my favorite parts of the MA-HRIR program were my classmates and the innumerable hours we spent in Seven Corners. More practically, it was the variety of courses and experiences that helped provide a broad foundation of knowledge. There will always be a gap between theory and practice in the world of HR (hint: anything involving people can get messy), but the MA-HRIR program’s emphasis on providing ‘real world’ examples through case studies, internships, and external engagements was very useful.
What’s a hobby or something fun you like to do when you’re not working?
I blame living in California for my interest in wine the past few years, but I also love to travel. What brought me into the world of HR was a strong interest in cross cultural business and work practices. That has never gone away, and I try to leave the country at least twice a year for some immersive travel experiences that keep me humble, open minded, and remind me how connected, yet diverse, everything is.
Do you have any advice for current students?
It’s OK not to have a 5 or 10 year plan. Interesting things happen when you have the self-awareness to identify opportunities to challenge yourself or build new skills, and then go after them. Also, don’t miss an opportunity to get to know your fellow students and alumni (no matter what discipline). These networks will provide a critical peer network that can support, encourage, educate, and open doors in the future.
Part-Time Student (and recent graduate!) Kersten Dolgner
Why did you choose to attend the Carlson School’s MA-HRIR program?
I liked that the appeal of returning back to the UMN Campus and participating in a reputable program.
Where did you go for your undergraduate degree, and what was your major?
I attended Carlson for my undergraduate studies and was a HRIR major. You can never get too much of a good thing! 🙂
Do you have any work experience?
As a part-time student in MA-HRIR, I came into the program with several years of work experience that included: recruiting, HR systems, payroll, employee relations, and benefits.
What’s been your favorite part of the program so far?
My peers have been the highlight of the MA-HRIR program. Meeting fellow part-time students who work across different industries has provided unique perspectives on organizational cultures and HR practices. I am fortunate to now have a network of peers within the Twin Cities who I can call on for advice and recommendations (oh and happy hours, let’s not forget happy hours!)
What do you like to do in your free time?
In full disclosure, I’m looking forward to re-connecting with my free time. The past three years in the program have consumed most of my spare moments. However, I’m looking forward to running again, reading books for fun, and planning my upcoming wedding.
Our heartfelt thanks go to the eight members of the CHRLS Alumni Association Board of Directors whose three-year terms are ending this spring. Because of the their hard work and dedication, the Board was able to continue its mission of strengthening the relationship among alumni and the CHRLS, the Carlson School, and the wider University community.
Rolling off the board are Justin Ahlstrom, who served as President of the Board this past year, and Corey Bonnema, Ian Charpentier, Xuanfei (Anna) Huang, Roxana Martin, Tara Miller-Hochhalter, Monica Percic, and Na Sun.
Princeton-area HRIR alumni James Parker, Julie Fraunhoffer, Jonelle Parker, Justin Grgurich, and Lindsay Wenzel joined Anne Obst from the CHRLS at the first Princeton-area HRIR alumni gathering on May 22.
Each year the HR Tomorrow Conference planning committee offers one scholarship for an HR professional to attend the conference at no cost. The offer is made to those working for nonprofit organizations with limited budgets, who would not otherwise be able to attend. The 2018 scholarship recipient was Jean Sandquist, HR manager at People Serving People, a family-focused homeless shelter. “Attending the HR Tomorrow Conference made me feel connected to other HR professionals who are experiencing the same or similar challenges in the workforce,” she says. “Without your generosity, I would not have been able to attend.”
This is the second year the conference committee has offered the scholarship. Conference Planning Committee Chair Tara Miller-Hochhalter says, “As an Alumni Board we recognize that not all organizations are able to offer to pay for their employees to attend professional conferences, especially non-profit organizations. Additionally, some people may struggle to pay for the conference out of their own personal funds. We want to give people that otherwise may not be able attend the conference a chance to spend the day with students and HR professionals learning more about a variety of HR topics,” she notes. “We think it is valuable to meet with other people in HR and build the overall community of Human Resources and supporting one another.”
Generous donations provided by seven 2018 HR Tomorrow Conference Sponsors made possible two additional scholarships for incoming MA-HRIR students. João Halab, upper left, and HoJae Kim, lower left, who are both starting the program this Fall, had only positive things to say about the conference. “My favorite part of HR Tomorrow was that it provided an inside look at what topics and issues HR professionals are currently interested in,” says Halab. “It was very encouraging to see so many HR people focusing on their professional development and connecting with others in the field.”
“My favorite part was the networking that occurred during lunch,” says Kim. “It was very informative and helpful to clarify any questions I had ahead of beginning a new chapter of my life in terms of the HRIR program.”
Sponsorships were provided by Best Buy, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Cardiovascular Systems, Inc., Chevron, General Mills, UnitedHealth Group and Wells Fargo, with additional support from Luncheon Sponsor Polaris, Reception Sponsor Ecolab, and Breakfast Sponsor Land O’Lakes.
“We are so grateful for the generous support of our sponsors,” says Anne Obst, external relations coordinator for the Center for Human Resources and Labor Studies. “Without their ongoing support, we wouldn’t be able to present such an outstanding conference each year. And, the ability to offer scholarships to incoming students is an extra bonus!”