Robert Schwartz and Janet Lindner will serve as the University’s new associate vice presidents for human resources and administration, respectively, Yale Vice President for Finance and Administration designate John Pepper announced in an e-mail to the University’s faculty and staff Monday.
Schwartz is currently the vice president of human resources and administration for the biomedical services division of the American Red Cross. Lindner had served as Yale’s interim associate vice president for administration since May. Both will assume their new positions in January, as will Pepper himself.
“[Schwartz’s] experience covers every aspect of human resources management,” Pepper said. “Janet [Lindner] has just impressed me enormously. She’s a real straight shooter.”
The new appointments are the latest in a series of changes to the University’s administration over the past two weeks. Yale President Richard Levin announced Dec. 9 that Pepper would be the new vice president for finance and administration. Dean of Yale College Richard Brodhead was named president of Duke University Dec. 12 and will assume the post this July.
Former Associate Vice President for Administration Peter Vallone had many of the same responsibilities as both new associate vice president positions. Pepper said this fact reflects the amount of work the University sees it needs to do. Both could play a major role in improving Yale’s historically contentious labor relations.
Pepper said Levin made the final decision on both appointments, but he himself was very involved in the process and recommended both Schwartz and Lindner.
“I feel great about these two individuals,” Pepper said.
Schwartz and Lindner could not be reached for comment Tuesday.
Schwartz will be the University’s chief human resources officer, responsible for labor relations, compensation and benefits, recruitment, and training programs. Pepper said one of Schwartz’ goals will be to improve productivity and job satisfaction, making Yale a “world-class human resources organization.”
“We want to be even more a model of that,” Pepper said.
Before his time at the Red Cross, Schwartz had been senior vice president of Teleglobe Communication and senior vice president of human resources for Nabisco in Canada.
Pepper said Yale held a national search for the position and considered many highly qualified candidates from within the University. But, he said, Schwartz’s idea that the role of human resources is to help both individuals and organizations develop to their best capacity was the biggest reason in favor of his appointment.
“Rob [Schwartz] is going to be a terrific asset for us,” Pepper said. “I very enthusiastically embraced this [appointment] and recommended this to Levin.”
Lindner will be responsible for procurement and administrative support services, including parking, graduate housing, receiving and travel.
Pepper said purchasing is “a huge area,” especially as the University prepares to cut costs.
Lindner will also work on special projects, Pepper said, in something of the same way Yale Secretary Linda Lorimer takes on special projects for Levin.
Lindner had previously served as the University’s executive director of administration and chief administrative officer of the city of New Haven.
Pepper said Lindner is “an enormous talent.” He also praised her instincts and said she knows Yale well.
Bob Proto, the president of Local 35, which represents service and maintenance workers at the University, said working with Yale is “a two-way street,” with the University allowing the unions’ bargaining units to grow as long as they show efficiency. Proto said he hoped both new associate vice presidents, along with Pepper, would bring a new perspective to the office.
“I’m anticipating a new direction that could lead to a solid partnership,” Proto said.
The search for a new associate vice president of facilities is ongoing, Pepper said. Pepper said Acting Associate Vice President of Facilities John Bollier is “doing an excellent job” and is a candidate for the position.
“I would expect they’ll be further announcements on that sometime in the New Year,” Pepper said.