Legail P. Chandler, vice-chancellor for human resources at Washington University in St. Louis, announced his intention to retire on June 30, according to Shantay Bolton, executive vice-chancellor for administration and executive director .
Chandler, who has spent more than 43 years in human resources – most at the University of Washington and the Washington University Medical Campus – has made the HR team a university-wide office that helps nearly 20,000 employees.
Chandler was appointed Vice Chancellor of Human Resources in 2015 after serving as Deputy Dean and Executive Director of Human Resources at the Faculty of Medicine for 11 years. She is responsible for all aspects of the university’s human resources, including the development and implementation of policies and procedures as well as the evaluation and standardization of benefits and compensation. She also oversees the university’s child care services, which includes the Washington University Family Learning Center and the Nursery School.
“Legail’s contributions to making the University of Washington such a great and inclusive place to work are immense, and his commitment to the university’s most important asset – our people – has been extraordinary,” said Bolton. . “I am convinced that nothing is more important to the success of an organization than the hiring and development of its people; she undoubtedly understood the art of recruiting and the science of betting on great talent.
“Under his leadership, the HR team grew in size, distinct expertise and developed strong and agile programs to evolve with the changing needs of our diverse community members.”
During Chandler’s tenure, the HR team focused on supporting employee well-being, fostering a culture of well-being and support; implement programs such as screenings and background checks to keep the community safe; and expanding leaves to include stronger parental and family leaves, short-term disability, and a comprehensive leave policy that emphasizes proactive health care, family and personal care.
HR has also strengthened communications and employee recognition; improved family care services; addition of an executive search function; created a more diverse, equitable and inclusive workplace; and builds more support for leadership development.
“Legail has been an incredible asset to the university since its inception by implementing a new human resource management system at the medical school to, more recently, help our employees maintain a healthy work-life balance during a pandemic. global, ”said Chancellor Andrew D. Martin said.
“She has always demonstrated a deep commitment to being fair and human when dealing with employee or organizational issues,” he said. “Legail and her team stepped up during the early days of the pandemic – and continued throughout – to provide real-time support and services to the WashU community. She made sure the health and well-being of our employees and their families was at the center of all of our COVID-19 planning, ”said Martin.
Forbes recently ranked the university as Missouri’s Top Employer on its 2021 list of “America’s Best Employers.” For this year’s ranking, Forbes said employers were analyzed based on their ability to remain flexible and keep employees safe during the pandemic.
Chandler said she was proud of how the Human Resources team has helped university leaders do a difficult job during this unprecedented time while providing a wealth of programs and resources to help employees cope. and thrive. Working closely with many WashU partners, including psychiatry, public health, occupational health, marketing and communications, and emergency management, Chandler said she and her team are primarily concerned with taking care of people.
“I’ve always believed in the importance of being able to connect with people, of being accessible and of being human,” Chandler said. “When you carry yourself with humanity, listen and work to build trust, it transforms the way people think of you as a leader, their role and where they work. “
Martin also highlighted Chandler’s role as executive sponsor for the implementation of Workday, the new HR administrative and financial system. He said Chandler’s continued leadership and extensive experience in human resource information systems throughout the multi-year initiative helped ensure the successful launch of Workday on July 1.
“Rewarding” years at WashU
A college alumnus, Chandler joined the School of Medicine staff in 1999 as a Human Resources Information Systems Consultant, where she helped implement PeopleSoft HR and Payroll applications and analyze university-wide appointment and payroll business practices.
In 2004, she was appointed Director of Human Resources for the Faculty of Medicine, where, among other responsibilities, she developed and managed the HR function for over 9,000 faculty and non-faculty members and established compensation, recruitment, employee relations and leadership policies. development.
In addition to creating resources for the school-wide diversity and inclusion effort and hiring two experienced professionals to lead it, Chandler’s other accomplishments included the development of internal consulting services for the organizational development, applied leadership and employee relations; and the launch of Smart Choices, a career development program to help staff members define and assess their career goals.
Working with clinical leaders, she also launched the medical school wellness initiative which provides resources for smoking cessation, the walking program and numerous health and wellness events. .
Most recently, in 2018, Chandler established the first federally funded medical assistant apprenticeship program at a university in Missouri at the School of Medicine. The university was just named “Missouri Apprentice 2021 Provider of the Year” for apprenticeship, which covers tuition fees for those accepted into the program.
“Legail has been an invaluable ally who has helped shape the high performance culture of the Faculty of Medicine,” said Richard Stanton, Vice Chancellor of Medical Finance and Administration at the Faculty of Medicine. “She was our HR Don Quixote who never hesitated to step in and step up as we sometimes turned to windmills – and she often managed to bring them down, often forcing us to respect our professed institutional principles.
“His career has been characterized by his deep respect for managers and the management process; its high expectations of our managers; and his deep appreciation for the value of each person and employees as a group, ”said Stanton. “In my 50 years of leadership experience at the highest levels of government and academic medicine, I have never had a better partner. Although I wish her good leads, she will be sorely missed. “
Prior to joining the human resources staff of the Faculty of Medicine, she held several positions, starting in 1983, at the Washington University Medical Campus.
Originally from Kentucky, she began her career in human resources management in 1977 after earning a bachelor’s degree in commerce and administration from Western Kentucky University. She also received a master’s degree in information management from the McKelvey School of Engineering at the University of Washington in 1998.
“It has been a privilege to serve this institution and to learn from others every day,” said Chandler, who is the past president of the American Research Universities Human Resources Institute. “I enjoyed the variety of work in this interdisciplinary institution – seeing what the different units are doing, taking on challenges that seemed virtually intractable, but ultimately being able to solve them. My years at the University of Washington have been very rewarding.
“I am grateful to have spent time here and have every confidence in the exceptional leadership team we have at WashU and within HR,” Chandler continued. “Chancellor Martin and Dr Bolton have a vision which I know will continue to transform WashU and move the university forward.”
In retirement, Chandler plans to spend more time fly fishing with her husband, Larry, traveling with his travel party, and visiting his home state of Kentucky.
An executive search firm will conduct a national search to identify candidates to succeed Chandler. Parker Executive Search will work in partnership with a university research committee currently being formed. On-campus listening sessions with university members will take place in December.