VP of Human Resources to retire

By Alex Cragun, Staff Writer

Vice president of Human Resources Loretta Harper will retire at the end of the month after 36 years of working in higher education.

Joan Gines, associate vice president of the U Division of Human Resources, said Harper is a talented worker and will be missed when she retires Aug. 29.

“I have worked in the Human Resources field for 30 years and have never before encountered an HR professional (of) the same caliber as Loretta Harper,” Gines said.

Since her appointment in 2000, Harper has established the Well-U benefits program and Employee Appreciation Day, and consolidated the former Human Resource branches into one division for all U employees.

“(Loretta Harper has transformed) Human Resources at the University in myriad ways that have significantly improved our work environment and our benefits,” said U President Michael Young in a statement.

Harper has received many awards in recognition of her work, but said the success of those she has affected is a much greater reward.

“The highlights of my career have been to provide leadership in a manner that allows others to succeed and reach their full potential,” Harper said in a statement.

Harper received the Excellence in Human Resources Practice Award, a nationally recognized award in the field, by the College and University Professional Association for HR.

As vice president of human resources, Harper is responsible for all human resources for academic, administrative and health related areas.

“Her cell phone is always turned on,” said Terri Crow, executive assistant for Human Resources. “Her work days are not limited to the standard work schedule-it’s unpredictable and busy.”

Following her retirement, Harper plans to move to her home state of Georgia to spend more time with family and pursue neglected hobbies and interests.

Barbara Snyder, vice president of student affairs, will begin interviewing for Harper’s replacement in September. According to many who worked closely with Harper, this will be a difficult find.

Tom Loveridge, associate vice president for human resources, said that Harper was an asset to the department.

“Under (Harper’s) guidance and direction, Human Resources has taken giant steps forward in virtually every area,” he said. “She will be deeply missed by all of us who have had the privilege of working with her.”

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