UR recently hired Stan Byrd as Human Resources Manager in charge of organizational development.

“Organizational development [means] that I take a look at everything, from recruitment to training to discipline,” Byrd said. “I have an oversight to look at all those things, specifically as they relate to diversity inclusiveness.”

He is one of 12 human resources managers who are in charge of areas varying from benefits to staff training. Byrd’s position spans multiple aspects of UR, including the medical center, River Campus and museum.

“I am an internal consultant to the rest of the [UR] organization. I will be supporting individuals and trying to see where they need extra help in whatever programs they have created,” Byrd said.

“There are a lot of great diversity programs on campus,” Byrd said. “What I will be doing is meet with those individuals and get a sense of what they are doing to see what their best practices are [and] to see if there is anywhere to share some of that wonderful knowledge and talent.”

It will be the first time UR has a centralized process to organize and share ideas about diversity programs.

“Someone can be really paying attention to the whole organism [UR], not just little pieces of it,” Byrd said.

This position comes after incoming president Joel Seligman announced his plans to improve UR, such as increasing diversity.

“It is my understanding that the new president has diversity as one of things of importance, and so I think this is a right time for this position to happen,” Byrd said. “I will have great support with me [toward diversity issues]. With our leader saying, ‘Hey we need to look at this’ then people will be more comfortable getting into [increased diversity].”

Byrd’s position is seen as one step towards UR’s commitment to diversity.

“It is great to have an asset [Byrd] of that sort in human resources. It sends a message about how UR feels towards diversity,” Dean of Students Jody Asbury said.

Byrd is currently still in the assessment phase of his work and predicts a formal plan within the next couple of months. His focus will be primarily toward a greater diversity among faculty and staff.

“I will be meeting with individuals at all the other organizations – talking to them about diversity, talking to them about how we can support each other,” Byrd said. “As I gather [information], I am actually writing down things that I feel are gaps and disconnects.”

Bryd’s new position was well received by the Office of Minority Student Affairs.

“I think having a new HR manager with a centralized focus on diversity speaks well for UR’s commitment to diversity in its hiring practices, as well as the UR’s seriousness in dealing with the myriad of issues associated with creating an inclusive community,” Assistant Dean and Director of the Office of Minority Student Affairs Norman Burnett said.

Byrd comes with significant experience with increasing diversity.

“For five years I worked at St. Mary’s Hospital in a very similar role to this [position],”Byrd said. “I was the Director of Organizational Development there, which gave me the hospital-related experience. I also have a lot of community-based organizational experience such as the Catholic Family Center.”

He can be reached mhe@campustimes.org.

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