Bridging Professional and Academic Worlds to Advance the Professional Roles of HR

Host, Nina Woodard, Past President and 2015 Vice President, Workforce Readiness, San Diego Society

for Human Resource Management

Guest, Dr. Kathleen Bates , Assistant Professor, Brandman University

01 What are the Challenges in Moving from the Classroom to the Corporate Cubicle? How do Students get ‘Real World’ Experience – Isn’t it a Catch 22?
Dr. Bates discusses the collaboration and interaction between the faculty, students and HR professionals and suggests local SHRM chapters as one excellent source of professionalism and professionals that can bridge the gap. Dr. Bates shares an example of the project that her students did over three semesters researching the competencies of individuals and organizations that created excellence in the work place. Over 200 students, working on three specific projects over three semesters, looked at the Workplace Excellence Award Winners honored by San Diego SHRM in 2011. In conducting this project the students were able to interact directly with business leaders and HR professionals, as well as identify the specific competencies that supported their winning practices.
02 Why isn’t Academia doing More to Help? What Does the Recent Division Between SHRM and HRCI mean for HR Programs in Universities?
The wheels of progress in universities are slow even in the nonprofit universities such as Brandman which is a part of the Chapman University system. Getting the approvals and accreditation process accomplished for curriculum changes or introducing a new program takes a long time. They are trying to help by proactively looking ahead; however, in order to actually make the program available they need to think at least 5 years ahead to make the new offering really deliver on the promise of being able to prepare students for real jobs. They discussed how the new SHRM certification is looking at competency development and moving professionals along a more strategic learning curve toward a future that will better equip them to be effective in the VUCA world.
03 How can the Bridge be Built? Where do you see HR Programs Going?
In this segment, Dr. Bates shares insights into the support programs that HR professionals and the business community can adopt that will create a win/win for education and for the business community. Internships, mentor programs, active participation in advisory boards, speaking to and for student and university programs all help bring reality to the forefront of student understanding and learning. Dr. Bates shares that the VUCA world management competencies are critical for education and for business. Velocity, Uncertainty, Complexity and Ambiguity have become critical elements of the work environment and require new approaches from business, leaders, individual contributors and especially HR in terms of their strategic alliance of policy and practice to create an organization’s foundation for success.
04 What are the Take-Aways for the Audience?
Dr. Bates shares one take away each for HR, for Academics and for Students in terms of strategic partnerships, engaging with HR professionals, and internships and predicts that HR professionals will need to be business professionals first and foremost.