Saturday, April 1, 2023

Chief HR Officer Announces Retirement

Chief HR Officer Announces Retirement

Chief Human Resources Officer Mark Walters has announced that he plans to retire at the end of the fall semester.  

Walters first joined the UW–Madison community in 1998 and has played a key role in several campus-wide initiatives throughout his career. His campus achievements include leading the HR Design Strategic Plan Initiative in 2015 to develop a diverse and engaged workforce, steering UW–Madison through Act 10 legislation changes, and heading the Title and Total Compensation project that will go into effect in November 2021. Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, Walters has been a leading voice and advocate for employees.   

“I am extremely grateful to Mark for his many years of service to UW-Madison,” Rob Cramer, interim vice chancellor for finance and administration, said. “He has navigated several large-scale projects in addition to a global pandemic, and his impact on campus will be felt even after his retirement. He has helped us move the needle on how we manage our most valued asset, our employees, and we are better off because of his leadership.”  

Before his appointment as chief human resources officer, he was OHR’s senior director of strategy and operations.  

“Mark’s been an incredible asset to campus for over twenty years,” said Chancellor Rebecca Blank. “He’s been a tireless advocate for employee equity, inclusion, and well-being initiatives throughout his career.”  

Walters states – “I am very thankful for being part of the Badger community for over two decades. During my tenure, we were able to drive and support many human resource initiatives, often during very turbulent times. I am particularly proud of the work the Office of Human Resources and HR community skillfully accomplished during the pandemic – what an outstanding job!”  

Patrick Sheehan, HR Core Team Lead on the Administrative Transformation Program (ATP), will serve in the interim chief human resources officer role. Sheehan has over 10 years’ experience at UW–Madison and previously served in OHR as the director for talent acquisition and retention and director of workforce relations. His current work with ATP involves developing recommendations for revised business processes, roles, accountability structures and roles of secondary systems. 

“Patrick provides a seamless transition for our core initiatives in OHR,” Cramer said. “He has a deep understanding of UW-Madison and higher education processes and has established relationships both within OHR and across campus. OHR is well poised for success under Patrick’s forward-thinking leadership.” 

Sheehan has an undergraduate degree from Santa Clara University, as well as both a JD and MBA from Willamette University, specializing in Employment Law and Human Resources Management. 

“Outside of our family, we spend the most time with people we work with,” Sheehan said. “This should be an environment that feels safe and welcoming for all of our employees and where people feel valued and respected. I look forward to building on Mark’s great work and continuing to make this a great place to work.” 

The chief human resources officer provides leadership, policy direction, and management oversight for all HR services for UW–Madison faculty and staff. The university has more than 20,000 employees, including about 2,100 faculty and 12,500 staff across multiple shifts, plus 5,000 graduate assistants and 7,000 student employees.  

Walters’ last day on campus will be December 30.