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University of Missouri VP for Human Resources R. Kenneth Hutchinson Announces Retirement Plans


Christian Basi

September 05, 2007

Contact: Jennifer Hollingshead
Office: (573) 882-0601
E-mail: hollingsheadj@umsystem.edu

hutchinsonk.jpgR. Kenneth Hutchinson, Vice President for Human Resources of the University of Missouri, will retire Dec. 31, 2007, after a 41-year career with the University.

"I have thoroughly enjoyed my career with the University," Hutchinson said. "To me, the University is a family of people, which includes curators, faculty and staff, dedicated to the work of this great university. HR culture, effectiveness and advocacy will determine its ongoing success."

As Vice President for Human Resources, Hutchinson's responsibilities include labor and employee relations, compensation matters, faculty and staff benefits, recruitment, professional development, affirmative action and human resources information systems.

Hutchinson, who turns 65 on Oct. 13, disclosed his retirement plans on Wednesday in a letter to Dr. Gordon H. Lamb, Interim President of the University. After his retirement, Hutchinson plans to do some private management consulting. Hutchinson said he seriously considered retirement a year ago, but stayed on to serve as internal consultant to the Board of Curators for its search for a permanent president of the University.

"Hopefully, we will soon complete the presidential search and name a new president," Hutchinson said. "The new president will be afforded an opportunity to choose a key member of his or her team. The timing, while not perfect, seems right."

A native of Salisbury, Mo., Hutchinson joined UM in April 1966 in an entry-level personnel job at the University of Missouri-Kansas City. Through a decade of promotions, Hutchinson became Director of Employee Relations and Personnel at the University of Missouri-Columbia. Two years later he became chief human resource officer for the UM system, comprising all four campuses. He was promoted to Vice President in 1998.

Dr. Lamb said Hutchinson has built a significant legacy during the last four decades.

"Ken is a great executive with a justified national reputation for his broad and deep experience in management," Dr. Lamb said. "Ken has served as a trusted advisor on critical decisions and he has provided constant leadership in relations with the University's most valuable resource - our people."

Hutchinson's professional accomplishments include being elected as a Fellow in the National Academy of Human Resources, the only executive from the higher education sector nationally to receive such recognition. Hutchinson also serves the Academy as a member of its national Board of Directors.

Hutchinson has served by appointment of the UM President on panels that studied the institution's administrative and organizational structures as well as the operations of its Health Sciences complex. He served as national president of the College and University Professional Association for Human Resources, a Washington-based association comprised of more than 1,600 higher education institutions.

Hutchinson also served on the Board of Trustees of the Washington-based Employee Benefits Research Group, a national think tank on benefits issues. At UM, he has chaired the system-wide Retirement and Staff Benefits Committee, during a period in which UM's benefits structure was significantly enhanced to build competitiveness with peer institutions.