In 1957, the Personnel Office was established within the Bursar's Office. Ten years later, the Board of Governors approved changes in the University administrative structure which were intended to decentralize the administrative burden and delegate broad areas of responsibility. As a result of these changes, the Personnel Office became a separate department and oversaw the operation of six divisions: Employee Relations, Employment Services, Classification and Compensation, Information Systems, Training and Development, and Occupational Health and Safety.
In 1967, David Gordon Tyndall was appointed first Vice-President (Finance and Administration), responsible for formulating and implementing policy on finance and general administration. Reporting to the Vice-President (Finance and Administration), Personnel Services and Staff Relations provided advice, assistance, and services to departmental administrators on all matters affecting non-academic personnel and ensured that policies, regulations, and guidelines were consistently applied throughout the campus.
In 1985, University President Paul Davenport requested a review of the Offices of the Vice-Presidents (Finance and Administration) and (Facilities and Services). The Board approved a new structure in 1986, in which a new Vice-President (Administration), Allan A. Warrack, was appointed with an Associate Vice-President (Finance), Alan A. Rennie. The title was changed back to Vice-President (Finance and Administration) in 1991 with the appointment of Glenn Harris.
The task set by Davenport when he created the President's Employment Equity Implementation Committee in June 1991 was, in general terms, to "prepare an employment equity plan for the University of Alberta which meets the terms and conditions of the Federal Contractors Program and which is acceptable to the University community and observes the policies of General Faculties Council and the Board of Governors respecting employment." The goal of the Committee has been to develop a plan which reaffirms the President's commitment to three main actions: first, to increase the pool of employment candidates with appropriate educational qualifications; second, to aggressively recruit candidates when jobs are available and remove artificial barriers to employment; and third, to create a campus community in which all individuals are treated with equality and respect and all can reach their full potential.
The Committee includes academics and non-academics, women and men, Aboriginals, visible minorities, and persons with disabilities. Some members have first-hand knowledge of discrimination in the workplace and many are experienced administrators, aware of both the unique administrative structure of the University and the resources necessary to ensure employment equity. The Committee is guided by certain key principles that are at the core of the University of Alberta, principles that speak to the University's unique management structure, its commitment to hiring by merit, its commitment to the amelioration of conditions of disadvantaged groups, and its fiscal realities.
Personnel Services and Staff Relations, Pensions and Benefits Administration, and Payroll merged to become the Human Resources Group. In 1994, the Vice-President (Finance and Administration) undertook to radically reorganize the Human Resources Group, a process essential to carrying out the University's human resources strategies and fulfilling its commitment to employment equity. The reorganization has involved creation of a more integrated, consultative, and values-driven human resources function.
In 2004, Dr Larry Beauchamp, lured away from his position as Dean of Education at the University of Alberta, took on the role of Vice-Provost and Associate Vice-President (Human Resources).
Located in Assiniboia Hall and reporting to the Vice-President (Finance and Administration), Human Resource Services supports the University of Alberta's commitment to excellence in teaching, research, and community service by providing innovative human resource programs and services. Partnering with faculty, support staff, and administrators to foster excellence, productivity, and fairness, Human Resource Services works to strengthen the University's ability to attract, develop, and retain an excellent workforce.
Human Resources is responsible for employment, labour relations, personal safety, benefits administration, staff training and development, and the development of human resource policies.
Human Resources also provides recruitment and training services, helps meet staffing goals, promotes equal opportunities, interprets policy, and assists with managing job performance. The department's primary goal is to help foster a work atmosphere that emphasizes respect and a work community that maintains the University of Alberta's position as one of Canada's pre-eminent research universities.
Human Resource Services' portfolio consists of the following departments and their respective units:
- Academic Staff Administration
- Campus Security Services
- Environmental Health and Safety
- Human Rights
- Staff and Student Payments
- Staff Programs
- Health Promotion and WorkLife Services
- Pension Administration
- Pension and Benefits Advisory Services
- Support Staff Human Resources
- Compensation and Job Design
- Employee Relations
- Employment Services
- Interim Staffing Solutions
- Staff Learning and Development
To read more about Human Resources Services, please visit their website.