• Palm Desert, CA
  • Full-time

Company Description

Founded in 1958, College of the Desert is one of 112 community colleges in California, a vital part of the world’s largest system of higher education. The college’s annual student population is approximately 13,000 and the operating budget is approximately $36 million per year. The governing Board of the Desert Community College District is comprised of five elected Trustees and a Student Trustee elected by the student body.

As a comprehensive California community college, COD offers transfer students the opportunity to complete lower division course requirements prior to transfer to four-year institutions.  COD also offers a number of vocational and technical programs including nursing, digital design and production, turf grass management, advanced transportation technologies, culinary arts, and a full range of administration of justice courses at the Public Safety Academy training facility.  As a result, the College plays a significant role in the overall economy of the Coachella Valley region, contributing over $30 million annually.

The main campus is located in Palm Desert, California, in the beautiful and diverse Coachella Valley, a thriving year-round community of approximately 450,000 residents with the natural beauty and recreational amenities typical of a resort destination.  Recreational opportunities, such as world-class golf and superb hiking, abound thanks to an average of over 350 days of sunshine per year. The Coachella Valley is also home to a rich and varied agricultural production featuring citrus groves, table grape vineyards, and dates.  Irrigation for the valley’s agriculture industry comes from both the All American Canal and underground aquifers.  In addition to the original campus in Palm Desert, COD has campuses in both the Eastern Valley with sites in Indio and Mecca/Thermal and the Western Valley located in Palm Springs. 

COD is a federally recognized Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI) and has been a recipient of several recent Title V grants from the U.S. Department of Education.  With the goal of strengthening COD as an HSI, the grants have provided millions of dollars in increasing transfer rates and improving academic support services focusing on Hispanic and first generation college students.

The College is also a nationally recognized leader in renewable energy and alternative fuel training. COD is the administrative home of the Advanced Transportation Technology and Energy (ATTE) statewide initiative and operates one of seven centers established by the California Community College System to develop curriculum and conduct training for workforce development in emerging transportation and energy industries.

COD’s McCarthy Family Child Development and Training Center at the College earned national accreditation in August 2011 from the National Association for the Education of Young Children. This is a distinction held by only 8% of the childcare centers in the nation. The Center not only provides child care to students, employees, and the public, but also serves as a training facility for students interested in becoming early childhood education professionals.

The College enjoys strong community support as evidenced by the 2004 passage of a $346.5 million bond measure to upgrade the infrastructure, renovate buildings, and construct new buildings to accommodate the college's growth. The construction phase is well under way with the completion of an infrastructure upgrade, a new Alumni Center, Public Safety Academy, Student Services building, Nursing Complex, renovated classrooms, and athletic field lighting. 

With its upcoming new facilities and an excellent faculty and staff (112 full-time faculty, 300 adjunct faculty, 190 support staff, and 35 administrators), the College’s future is very bright.  The College enjoys strong financial support from both the COD Alumni Association and the COD Foundation.

Job Description


The Executive Director, Human Resources and Labor Relations, is an Educational Administrator designated by the Board of Trustees of the Desert Community College District.  The Executive Director is charged by the Board of Trustees with satisfactory implementation of Board policy and district or college procedures as applicable to the position.  Under the direction of the  Superintendent/President, the Executive Director, Human Resources and Labor Relations is responsible for management and operation of all human resources and employee relations functions of the college and for developing and recommending policy, goals and objectives for human resources.


The Executive Director, Human Resources and Labor Relations is responsible for leadership, planning, organizing, directing, supervising, and evaluating the activities of the Office of Human Resources; collective bargaining and contract administration for classified and academic employees; liaison with legal and regulatory agencies; supports staff development campus-wide, wellness activities, and diversity and equity awareness efforts, and other activities related to a comprehensive Human Resources Office.



  • Develop, administer, interpret, and recommend changes in personnel policies and procedures.
  • Provide overall management for the recruitment and selection activities of classified, faculty, and management personnel according to federal, state, and local regulations and procedures.
  • Develop and administer compensation and benefits programs for all employee groups that support the organizations goals, objective and values.
  • Administer, interpret, and implement collective bargaining agreements for faculty and classified staff.  Serve chief negotiator on the District collective bargaining teams.
  • Receive, investigate, and evaluate discrimination complaints, collective bargaining grievances, disciplinary issues, and other employee concerns to assure due process and facilitate resolution for all employees. Confer with senior management, legal counsel and other personnel regarding personnel issues; make recommendations, and implement solutions to resolve problems.
  • Analyze and evaluate position classifications and make recommendations for new management, faculty and classified staff job descriptions; direct, administer, and coordinate the maintenance of the position classification system and compensation schedule for all employee groups.
  • Provide overall system management for the processing of personnel transactions, the personnel agenda for the board, and the maintenance of personnel records and electronic personnel data system.
  • Develop annual and long-term plans in conjunction with budget development and program management.
  • Administer and coordinate the employee appraisal program for classified, faculty, administrative, and confidential employees.
  • Develop, promote, administer, and evaluate the District’s staff diversity program and policies.
  • Provide overall management for the unemployment insurance and worker’s compensation claims processing for the District.
  • Oversee and coordinate the completion of required federal, state, and local reports.
  • Direct day-to-day operations of the Office of Human Resources, including selection, training, supervision and evaluation of assigned staff.
  • Provide representation to the District in arbitrations, disciplinary proceedings, layoffs, and reductions in force before administrative law judges, hearing officers, local and state courts, and other legal forums as required.
  • Plan and assist in the development and implementation of a District wide staff development program, orientation for new employees, and employee training for Equal Employment Opportunity, unlawful discrimination, contract administration, and diversity and equity programs.
  • Represent the Office of Human Resources and the District at local, regional, and state-wide meetings. Participate in and provides leadership for committees as assigned, department meetings, and district-level activities when appropriate.
  • Perform a variety of additional tasks as assigned.



Knowledge, experience and abilities to perform the above listed responsibilities and functions in an efficient, effective, harmonious manner.



Knowledge of:  Principles, trends, methods, strategies and procedures pertaining to human resources management, labor relations, staff diversity and staff development; principles, methods, techniques and strategies of organizational planning, evaluation and forecasting; principles and practices of management and supervision; wage and salary administration, job analysis and job description, legal mandates, policies and procedures, appropriate to the administration of a comprehensive human resources program in a community college, e.g., the Education Code, retirement systems that apply to community college personnel, and workers’ compensation; data management, storage and retrieval systems and an understanding of the dynamics of the changing environment in information technology.


Ability to:  Develop, design and implement reports, policies and studies covering a wide range of college institutional services concerns; make clear and concise oral presentations; apply technology to effectively and efficiently manage all College institutional services; establish and maintain effective and harmonious working relationships with a diverse population of students, staff and community; communicate effectively both orally and in writing; work in an atmosphere of collegial decision-making; demonstrate consensus-building skill; demonstrate understanding, sensitivity and commitment to meeting the needs of the diverse ethnic, cultural, socioeconomic and disability backgrounds of students, faculty, staff and community; lead, develop, supervise and evaluate assigned personnel.


MINIMUM QUALIFICATIONS: Master’s degree in human resources, management, public administration or business administration or related area and one (1) year formal training, internship or leadership experience reasonably related to the assignment.


DESIRED QUALIFICATIONS: Five (5) years recent Human Resources management experience.  Prior experience in the California Community College system and knowledge of Education Code and Title V.  Prior experience as Chief Negotiator in a multi-union environment.



Valid California driver’s license and must have an acceptable driving record and current vehicle insurance meeting State of California requirements.



Environment:  Office environment.  Constant interruptions.  Driving a vehicle to conduct work.  Requires some evening and weekend responsibility.

Additional Information


***** NOTE: Please attach these required documents under Additional Documents) *****

  • Resume/CV
  • A maximum five (5) page statement addressing how your qualifications and experience have prepared you to serve as Executive Director, Human Resources and Labor Relations at College of the Desert
  • All transcripts from graduate and/or post-graduate degrees
  • A list of at least six (6) professional references
  • A list of Human Resources certifications (if applicable)


Applications must be received by May 12, 2013.

Paper applications will not be accepted, please attach all documents electronically.


Initial screening will take place beginning May 13, 2013 .

Interviews are expected to begin the week of June 24, 2013.

Start Date: Immediate

Salary Range: 93,738 - 135,732 (annually)


Benefits: District covered medical, dental, vision, prescription, long-term care, life insurance,
and employee assistance up to $15,000, for the employee and eligible
dependents.  Any additional costs are paid by the employee. 


Travel expenses associated with the first level interviews will be paid by the candidate.


College of the Desert is an Equal Opportunity Employer.