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Derek Hughes

Director of Human Resources

As Director of Human Resources (HR) I serve as an advocate for both the company and the people who work in the company. An expectation I have personally, and in my role, is to remain fair, consistent, and objective to meet both needs successfully.

The role of the HR professional has changed. In the past, HR Directors were often viewed as policy makers, drivers of systematized delivery, and even a policing area of management. The role was more closely aligned with personnel and administration functions that were viewed by the organization as paperwork. This made employee advocacy difficult and allowed for furthering of executive agendas.

Today, the role of the HR Director has changed. In my role today I am challenged to parallel the needs of the changing University. This requires me to support managers as a strategic partner, and to serve employees as an advocate and change manager/mentor. This does not delineate the existence and responsibility for employee benefits administration, compensation, and employee paperwork, but instead redirects the central focus.

My typical responsibilities include:
  • Recruiting & Hiring
  • Training
  • Organizational Development
  • Communication Development
  • Performance Management
  • Coaching
  • Policy Recommendation
  • Salary and Benefits
  • Team Building
  • Employee Relations
  • Leadership
Of course, like any good job description, there is still room for other duties as assigned.

I earned my degree in Business with emphasis in Human Resources from Concordia College in Moorhead, MN. My work history includes experience working in private, higher education as a HR Generalist for Concordia College. Following my role at Concordia I joined the corporate world in a role of HR Generalist for Cargill in Fargo, ND, which leads me to my current role. I am active member of The Society for Human Resources Management (SHRM) and the Valley City Human Resources Professionals.
Office Location: McFarland Hall 208