News Releases

Joe Vitale Named Chief Human Resources Officer

April 30, 2015

Communications Staff

Oberlin College Vice President for Finance and Administration Mike Frandsen has announced the appointment of Joe Vitale as the college’s chief human resources officer. Vitale will be responsible for providing overall strategic leadership for the Department of Human Resources as well as the management and operation of the Offices of Employee Relations and of Payroll and Benefits. His tenure at Oberlin will begin May 26.

“We are very excited to bring someone with Joe’s experience and energy to this role at Oberlin,” says Frandsen. “He will be a great addition to my staff and to our community. I am confident that with Joe’s leadership, and his development of partnerships both on and off campus, HR at Oberlin will become a strength.”

Vitale comes to Oberlin from Kent State University, where he has been a member of the division of human resources since 2005. He served as vice president and provided leadership for the Departments of Benefits, Communications, Compensation, Employee/Labor Relations, Equal Opportunity & Affirmative Action, HR Outreach & Initiatives, Records, Talent Acquisition, Human Capital and Training & Development.

“I believe Oberlin College can offer a human resource leader the ability to focus creative efforts toward an excellence agenda that meets the needs of a diverse workforce, while providing an environment ripe for innovative human resource planning and employee development,” says Vitale. “I view HR's role as one that seeks to attract, develop, and retain talented diverse professionals that can serve our student body while enriching the institutional experience for all members of the campus community.”

Under his leadership, Kent State transitioned to an online employment application system for university faculty and staff. The system enabled the university to process more than 35,000 applications, resumes, and curriculum vitaes annually. In addition, he helped lead an initiative to standardize Kent State's hiring process through “SAFE Hiring.” This process and training maximizes middle management knowledge of employment practices and policies and encourages proper screening and vetting of candidates.

In 2012, Vitale helped establish the Higher Education Recruitment Enterprise (HERC) group, which includes 30 distinguished colleges and universities. Under his leadership, the Ohio, Western PA, and West Virginia HERC became the first HERC nationally to integrate a non-educational member through a new membership with the Cleveland Clinic.

Vitale has more than 20 years of human resources experience. He has worked as a deputy finance director for U.S. Sen. John Glenn and was elected council pro tempore for the city of Olmsted Falls. In 2013, he was a finalist for Cleveland Crain’s “2013 HR Executive of Year” award.

A native of Lorain, Ohio, Vitale holds a bachelor’s degree in social and behavioral sciences from the Ohio State University. He holds Professional in Human Resources (PHR) and Certified Diversity Recruiter (CDR) certifications. He lives in Olmsted Falls, Ohio, with his wife and two children.

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