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New Human Resources AVP Jumping Right In

Mychal Coleman

Ready to bring his expertise to a new organization, and ready for the next phase in his career, Mychal Coleman is settling in quickly to his role as associate vice president of human resources and his new community.

“I wanted a challenge, a new opportunity to build a strategic partnership,” says Coleman. “Working with diverse people, new people and a new group of intellectuals is exciting.”

Making the transition from director of human resources and senior lecturer/faculty at the Carlson School of Management at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities to Moscow, Coleman has one month under his belt at the University of Idaho.

With a strong background in human resources – organizational development and learning, strategic planning, and mergers and acquisitions -- Coleman was sent to Minneapolis to work on a corporate merger. His three-month stay there turned into a 10-year stay and the start of his university career.  As he began earning his doctorate, he was recruited by the Carlson School of Management at the University of Minnesota to join its human resources team and teach.

While at the University of Minnesota, he repositioned the direction of the human resources department from transactional to strategic partner; was responsible for facilitating the dean’s Executive Committee Strategic Plan; partnered with academic departments and program directors to align goals, processes and initiatives; developed the Leadership Series Training programs to increase management effectiveness and productivity; and instituted changed management, transformational and organization development programs to create and expedite change.

Ten years after he first arrived in the Twin Cities, he is now ready to make a new move to Moscow.

“It’s smaller and quaint,” says Coleman. “The twin cities lost something as it grew bigger; Moscow has it.”

While he enjoyed working in a corporate setting, Coleman says working at a university is much more social and interconnected.

“People are more willing to debate issues and come up with a compromise,” says Coleman. “People are more open to change here than in corporate America.”

Armed with a plan, Coleman is looking to drive forward the president’s and provost’s strategic plan, develop leadership, and create operational excellence. His first step is to assess the strengths and weaknesses of human resources, both internal and external. He also plans to create a strategic plan for the department, create a community of quality personnel and develop changed management initiatives, all while making sure the University is running at optimal levels.

Currently, Coleman is in the assessment process. He says the University is in a good position, but has potential to become even better.

“We’ve got a long way to go and we have a short time to get there,” says Coleman.

As the human resources works on developing their strategic plan, Coleman says they will be supporting other units with their plans.