This week, the two finalists for the position of Vice President for Human Resources gave presentations on “The Role of Strategic Human Resources in the Life of Today’s Institution of Higher Education” to an audience of UMaine faculty and staff.
Joe Eulberg’s presentation on “The Role of Strategic Human Resources in the Life of Today’s Institution of Higher Education” titled “The University of Maine/U.S. Public Universities. The Rules Will Keep Changing: Who Wants To Play/Who Wants to Win?” was held March 28 in the Bangor Room.
Eulberg said he is attracted to UMaine’s “thirst for change” stating that public universities are the “key to driving economic growth and social mobility.” He stressed the importance of being flexible in the way UMaine delivers its product so it may be delivered to a wider market.
Eulberg studied Psychology at Texas A&M University, where he received his bachelor’s degree in 1979 and master’s degree 1983. While working on his doctorate in Organizational Behavior at Naveen Jindal School of Management, UT Davis, Eulberg began his professional career with an internship at Hay Management Consultants. He spent most of his professional career at Accor (eight years) and Bob Evans Farms (seven years).
Eulberg has worked in human resources for over 25 years and led companies through transitional periods similar to the current One University initiative. Eulberg mentioned his involvement in an initiative at Bob Evans Farms, in which they assigned eight-person teams to each one of their five main goals.
He then went on to work as a Director of Training/Compensation and Benefits at Pier 1 Imports, an organizational development consultant for Anheuser-Busch (1991-1992), a senior vice president of human resources at Accor North America (1992-2000), vice president of human resources at 7-Eleven (2000-2003), senior vice president of human resources at Nash Finch (2003-2006), executive vice president of human resources at Acosta Sales and Management (Feb. 2007-Aug. 2007) and the executive vice president of human resources at Bob Evans Farms (2008-2015).
Eulberg was a leader during the project to build an updated headquarters for Bob Evans Farm. The new headquarters, which cost roughly $46.5 million, was a response to the aging headquarters near Columbus Ohio according to Eulberg. Eulberg told the Columbus dispatch that “We spent millions of dollars trying to fix that campus after years of neglect. We can spend another $30 million, $40 million there, and it still wouldn’t be right.”
The building and two manufacturing plants was eventually sold and leased back to Bob Evans Farms after a difficult third quarter, stocks dropped 22 percent, the company sold 17 restaurants and Eulberg was laid off. The proceeds of the building sales were used to initiate stock buybacks.
Chris Lindstrom gave his presentation on March 30. Lindstrom has worked as a human resources executive for over 30 years. After receiving his bachelor’s degree in human resources management from Millikin University, he started as a human resources representative for Honeywell International Inc. Honeywell invents and manufactures aerospace technologies, home and building solutions, security systems and personal safety products.
Over the next seventeen years, Lindstrom filled human resources positions at Honeywell plants in Illinois, North Carolina, Minnesota, Hong Kong and Singapore. Lindstrom managed the closure of Honeywell’s regional headquarters in Hong Kong and the startup of the new headquarters in Singapore.
After leaving Honeywell, Lindstrom went on to Anderson Windows as a director of corporate HR services. From 2012-2016 he worked as a vice president of human resources for Insitu, where he was tasked with talent acquisition, including one process at Insitu that brought in over 250 people in 15 months.
Lindstrom’s presentation of “The Role of Strategic Human Resources in the Life of Today’s Institution of Higher Education” began with a brief summary of his professional history. He then explained the reasons he was interested in UMaine, including the university’s rich history and the opportunity to engage in “lifelong learning.”
According to Lindstrom’s presentation, the biggest challenges to higher education are funding, the costs of maintaining a relevant infrastructure and administrative cost efficiency. He believes UMaine’s mission should focus on increasing funding from private sources and increasing UMaine’s “geographical impact.”
In reaching these goals, Lindstrom said HR’s role should be culture control, leadership assessment, talent acquisition and goal alignment. He also stressed the importance of flexibility in job design, individual development and career planning, workforce diversity and “collaboration with industry peers.”
Lindstrom then cited past examples of when these strategies had helped him meet financial goals at Insitu and collaborative goals at Andersen Windows. Several times, Lindstrom was tasked with the integration of acquisitions, as well as the integration of plants.