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IU announces new VP for human resources, leadership changes for communications, government relations

For Immediate Release Jun 15, 2018
John Whelan
John Whelan has been appointed IU’s first vice president for human resources.Photo by Eric Rudd, IU Communications

GARY, Ind. – As part of a continued commitment to enhancing the workplace environment and well-being of its employees, Indiana University has appointed its first vice president for human resources, effective July 1.

As approved today by IU’s Board of Trustees, current Associate Vice President John Whelan will assume the newly created position. He will serve as the top human resources executive at the university, which is one of Indiana’s largest employers with more than 20,000 workers across the state. Whelan will report to IU President Michael A. McRobbie, who recommended the appointment.

“This new position further signals IU’s continuing strong commitment to doing all that it can to improve the conditions and workplace environment of all IU employees,” McRobbie said. “As a vice president, John will be in the strongest position to ensure that HR issues and the needs of IU’s employees are always considered in the development and implementation of IU policies and institutional strategy.”

Bill Stephan
IU Vice President for Engagement Bill Stephan will assume the additional responsibility for IU’s federal relations activities effective July 1.Photo by Chris Meyer, IU Communications

Whelan, a native of Boston, joined IU in 2014 after having previously been the chief human resources officer at Baylor University. He has also served as director of human resources at the University of Notre Dame and in human resources positions at Bristol-Myers Squibb, Gillette and the investment bank of Brown Brothers Harriman.

While at IU in the Office of the Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, Whelan has overseen efforts to reorganize human resources across all of IU’s campuses, operating as a single office with uniform policies. He has also guided the development and implementation of HR2020, IU’s first-ever human resources strategic plan. The comprehensive plan aims to systematically address and improve broad issues such as workplace satisfaction, health and wellness, hiring and promotion, training, parental leave, workplace safety, controlling benefit costs, and employee diversity, equity and inclusion.

Duties among several other university leaders will be realigned as part of organizational changes that IU trustees also approved Friday.

Effective July 1, IU Vice President for Engagement Bill Stephan will assume the additional responsibility for IU’s federal relations activities, working closely with Vice President for Government Relations Mike Sample. Sample, who has served as vice president at IU since 2005, has indicated his intention to retire as vice president in June 2019.

Brad Wheeler
IU Vice President for Information Technology and CIO Brad Wheeler will also assume the position of IU’s vice president for communications and marketing.Photo by Eric Rudd, IU Communications

Stephan, who joined IU in 2000, will continue to oversee all of the university’s functions linked to economic development and technology commercialization. Beginning in January, he will assume joint responsibility with Sample for IU state relations activities during the upcoming budget session of the Indiana General Assembly. Stephan will assume full responsibility for this area on July 1, 2019, with the title vice president for engagement and government relations upon Sample’s retirement.

In addition to his current economic development duties, Stephan is also responsible for universitywide marketing and communications activities. These activities will begin to transition next month to IU Vice President for Information Technology and CIO Brad Wheeler, who, in addition to maintaining his present position, will also assume the position of IU’s vice president for communications and marketing.

In his present role, Wheeler manages the technological infrastructure that supports IU communications and marketing activities. The universitywide implementation of Salesforce – which is expected to help optimize IU’s external communications – along with Wheeler’s experience as a professor of information systems at IU’s Kelley School of Business make this a strong fit for continuing the good progress of the university in these areas.

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