Wayne State appoints James Farrell associate vice president for human resources

November 28, 2012

Wayne State University announces the appointment of James Farrell as associate vice president for human resources effective Dec. 3, 2012.

Farrell is a human resources executive with nearly 24 years of organizational effectiveness and transformational expertise, having worked as both a practitioner and third-party management consultant.

Farrell joins Wayne State from KPMG, LLP, US, where he was a director in its advisory practice focusing on HR transformation and business process optimization.

Prior to joining KPMG, LLP, US, Farrell served in a variety of HR positions within the State of Michigan over his nearly 19-year career, culminating in his role as the chief human resource officer/state personnel director. In that capacity, he led Michigan’s enterprise HR operations, which consisted of a 600-member staff serving 18 operating departments and 55,000 employees.

“Jim has an impressive background working with large, multifaceted organizations, which we are confident will transfer to higher education,” said Rick Nork, WSU vice president for finance and business operations, treasurer and chief financial officer.

In his new role, Farrell will help Wayne State’s senior leaders define the direction, priority and strategies for human resources at the university. This will be achieved by creating an HR model that engages human resources professionals as partners with the various colleges and departments to ensure a consistent level of service throughout the university.

“I am a big believer in the mission of higher education and have had a long-term interest in a career move to the university setting,” Farrell said. “I am absolutely thrilled to have this opportunity at Wayne State University. I look forward to becoming a part of the university community with all of its energy and excitement.”

Farrell has served on national and state boards and councils, including as the president of the National Association of State Personnel Executives.

He earned a bachelor’s degree from Michigan State University and a master’s in public administration from Western Michigan University, and he is an International Personnel Management Association certified professional.

Wayne State University is a premier urban research institution offering more than 370 academic programs through 13 schools and colleges to nearly 29,000 students.