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JUNE 2017

New director plans to strengthen Center for Human Resource Management’s work


Darren Brooks (pictured), the new director of the college’s Center for Human Resource Management, describes human resource management as a dynamic field, and he is intent on preparing the next generation of human resource (HR) professionals to be leaders who think strategically and innovatively.

Over the next three years, Brooks says the center will push to strengthen the pipeline of freshmen and sophomores interested in exploring HR as a career option in an effort to at least double the number of HR majors to around 100 or 125.

His plans include stepping up efforts to communicate to students the many components of human resource management and the value the field brings to organizations. Increasing employer networking and internship opportunities, implementing a mentoring program and providing more opportunities for students to compete in case competitions are included in the center’s strategy.

“The center is in a position to connect students with business leaders and alumni who offer experiential learning opportunities inside and outside the classroom,” Brooks said. “Human resource management is no longer simply a back-office function, but is now positioned as a strategic function that can help a firm gain a competitive edge.”

“Instead of simply reacting to constant and swiftly changing external and internal factors, HR professionals are now an integral part of driving organizational strategy by using data and information to predict trends in laws and regulations, technology, worker demographics and globalization.”

Brooks sees the center playing a critical role. “Our board members are committed to student development and excited about strengthening their connection with our students,” he said.

In his first meeting with the Center for Human Resource Management’s board of directors in the spring, Brooks told members he will place renewed emphasis on building a strong professional community among board members, corporate partners, alumni, faculty and students.

Pamela Perrewé, the Haywood and Betty Taylor Eminent Scholar Chair of Business Administration and Distinguished Research Professor, who held the position since 2006, says Brooks is “the perfect choice for director.”

Brooks has held executive-level positions in human resources and information technology in the private and public sectors. In addition to serving as the center’s director, he is on the college’s teaching faculty and served as an adjunct professor beginning in 2011. He has taught human resource management, compensation management, negotiation, change management, training and development, and performance improvement, among other courses. He earned his doctorate from Florida State in 2009 in instructional systems and learning technologies with an emphasis on human performance improvement.

In addition to increasing the number of HR majors, Brooks says wants to ensure the center, already with a strong track record of supporting research, continues to be viewed as a thought leader. To that end, he will strive to increase support of faculty research and bolster the college’s reputation among employers that Florida State is the place to recruit top HR and management professionals.

In her new role as the center’s associate director for research, Perrewé will lead efforts to expand research collaboration between faculty members and HR practitioners.

“It is through faculty research that the center is able to expand the body of HR knowledge, Brooks said. “Relationships with HR professionals and faculty provide platforms for graduate and undergraduate research and shared opportunities to solve real and relevant human resource management problems.

"In order to serve our students and receive support from faculty, board members, alumni and corporate partners, we have to be viewed as a value to them. We are committed to making that happen.”

By Barbara Ash

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