On February 25th, Presbyterian College (PC) President Matthew vandenBerg announced that Theresa R. (Terri) Tibbs (right), associate vice chancellor of human resources at Fayetteville State University (Fayetteville, NC), will serve as PC’s next vice president of human resources and Title IX. Tibbs, who will become the first African American executive in College history, starts on April 1st.
“I am honored and humbled to become PC’s next vice president of human resources,” Tibbs said. “My hope is to partner with the faculty, staff, leadership and community to support student success through the recruitment and retention, professional development, and engagement of employees.”
In her role as associate vice chancellor of human resources, Tibbs provides campus-wide leadership in the planning and administration of the university’s Department of Human Resources. She is an active participant in the school’s pandemic, emergency management, and employee engagement teams.
Tibbs leads a staff of 18 in her department at Fayetteville State, a school with approximately 1000 employees, and manages a budget of more than $2 million. She serves as deputy Title IX coordinator, EEO officer, diversity and inclusion officer and the university’s HR lead for campus re-accreditation and strategic planning committees.
“President vandenBerg is inspiring and a visionary,” Tibbs said. “Through discussions and meetings with various college stakeholders, I have felt a sense of respect for PC’s history as it embraces new opportunities as well as diversity and inclusion, all with a focus on student success.”
“I am thrilled to welcome Terri to the leadership team at PC,” said vandenBerg. “Terri is an eminently qualified human resources and higher education executive who impressed us immediately with her thoughtfulness, poise, track record of success, and depth of expertise.
“We selected Terri after an exhaustive national search that produced a robust pool of worthy and talented candidates. We look forward to welcoming our accomplished new colleague, who embraces PC’s values and will be a champion of progress and innovation.
“PC owes a debt of gratitude to the members of our search committee whose work enabled this remarkable successful outcome,” vandenBerg said. “Our entire campus community will continue to benefit from their leadership, service, and commitment.”
The eight-member search committee, assisted by the executive search firm CarterBaldwin, includes:
- Hartwell Dew, Chair of the Search Committee
- Dr. Serge Afeli, associate professor of pharmacology
- Dr. Sarah Burns, associate professor of psychology
- Dr. Laura Crary, professor of art history
- Ann Taylor Morgan, PC Board of Trustees member
- Dee Nichols, senior associate athletic director for compliance and senior women’s administrator
- Dr. Don Raber, provost
- Dr. Michael Rischbieter, professor of biology
Tibbs co-led campus efforts in developing an employee engagement strategy for Fayetteville State University. The planning included enhancing communication, supervisor and manager training and development, and a mechanism for feedback and communication. She has also provided oversight regarding HR optimization efforts that have significantly reduced the time to hire and resulted in more than a 50% reduction in time and effort for approvals.
Committed to student success, Tibbs championed the Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) initiative at Fayetteville State. The initiative increases the awareness and confidence of faculty and staff in responding to their peers and students who may be experiencing a mental health crisis. She was instrumental in facilitating an onsite MHFA certification of 15 faculty and staff trainers.
She optimized the human resources team by rebuilding Fayetteville State’s HR staff over a two-year period. Tibbs filled vacant positions and created a culture of team effectiveness, customer focus, process improvement and automation.
During the pandemic, Tibbs led the human resources return-to-work efforts at Fayetteville State. She helped create policies to ensure the safe return of staff and faculty to campus. The return-to-work efforts included communication, protocols, training, staffing and review of employee flexibility requests.
At Fayetteville State, Tibbs served as an adjunct lecturer of human resource management and as an employee relations and training manager. She also served as chief of staff at Elizabeth City State University (Elizabeth City, N.C.).
Tibbs’ prior experience includes roles as director of corporate human resources and director of human resources at Pactiv, a corporation with sales of more than $4 billion. Her duties with Pactiv included acquisition and integration activities.
Tibbs holds numerous professional certifications including Deputy Title IX Coordinator Certification, Diversity and Inclusion Certification from Cornell University, and Mental Health First Aid Facilitator Certification.
Tibbs earned a master’s degree in management science (human resources management) from the State University of New York (Binghamton) and a bachelor’s degree in psychology from North Carolina A&T State University.
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