The Human Resource (HR) department at SPSCC recruited Ken Harden to act as interim for the Chief Human Resource Officer position until it is permanently filled. The previous officer, Sheila Emery, retired on Feb. 6.
Harden has over 10 years of experience in the HR field including work as assistant secretary of the Department of Social and Health Services and as assistant director of the Department of Agriculture. He accepted the interim position at the college because he is retired and not interested in a full-time position.
Before a permanent replacement for the HR position can be hired, the position of vice president for administrative services must be filled.
“They have to hire a vice president first before they decide what they’re going to do with this position,” said Harden.
Hiring for the vice president position closes on March 14, and the new vice president will be expected to start no later than July 1.
According to Harden, as the weeks go on the college president and the HR department will discuss what direction they want the department to take and that will make some determination on what kind of person they will look for to fill the HR position.
“Whoever comes in will clearly be able to make a decision about where they want to go and how they want to move, but it will be in line with what the president wants and what their needs are,” said Harden.
“During that time I’ll be like a caretaker, but…I’m not just sitting around waiting for things to happen,” said Harden.
“Part of the responsibility is to look at the organization and make some determination to where we want to go into the future with HR,” said Harden, “to see if everything is up to date and what we need to prepare for the new person that’s going to come in.”
I’m kind of trying to understand the culture of the organization, the needs of the vice president, the president, the dean, and to try and get an understanding of how we can work together to continue the good system that I think they have already set up, said Harden.
“Nothing I will do is set in concrete,” said Harden. “Even if I was here permanently it wouldn’t be set in concrete because that’s just not the way things operate, as new people come in they have new ideas and new ways they’re going to take it.”
“The new person will clearly have their own ideas and rightfully so,” said Harden. “And if they decide to change things, that will be up to them and the president and other people in the group to make that determination of the way that they want to go.”
“It seems like a very good environment to work in, so the next person that gets this job on a permanent basis will have a great organization to work for,” said Harden.