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Guthrie chosen to lead Office of Human Resources

November 9, 2016

Wayne Guthrie, senior vice president, staff operations, for the Arthritis Foundation in Atlanta, has been named the University of Wisconsin–Madison’s chief human resources officer.

Guthrie has a wide range of human resources and leadership experience in higher education, nonprofit and private organizations, Vice Chancellor for Finance and Administration Laurent Heller said in announcing the appointment.

“Wayne will be an excellent addition to the Office of Human Resources team,” Heller said. “He has the right set of skills and experience to lead UW–Madison’s human resources enterprise. I look forward to working with him and the OHR team in addressing the evolving needs of our employees and university.”

Photo: Wayne Guthrie

Wayne Guthrie

Guthrie will start his new role on Jan. 9.

Guthrie has been with the Arthritis Foundation since 2011. Prior to his current position, he served as vice president, human resources, for the foundation’s national office. From 2008 to 2011, Guthrie served as vice chancellor, human resources, for the University System of Georgia Board of Regents.

“Working closely with colleagues in the Office of Human Resources, I plan to pinpoint and further augment existing areas of HR excellence throughout the university,” Guthrie said. “I also will work to increase efficiencies in services and systems and help advance the focus on developing and implementing new user-friendly programs and services that best serve the needs of our faculty and staff.”

Guthrie added, “The Office of Human Resources will also continue to devote attention to faculty and staff engagement, and strive to hire not merely the best available candidates, but those who exemplify UW–Madison’s mission.”

Heller said he is grateful to Mark Walters, interim director of human resources, for the exceptional leadership he has provided for the Office of Human Resources and campus while serving in the interim role.

Guthrie succeeds Bob Lavigna, who retired July 1 after serving as human resources director since 2010.

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 2,200 faculty and 12,500 staff across multiple shifts, plus 5,000 graduate assistants and 7,000 student employees.

An 11-member search and screen committee recommended finalists for the position to Heller. Jeff Russell, dean of the Division of Continuing Studies and vice provost for lifelong learning, chaired the committee.