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Dr. Loretta Harper Honored for Excellence in Human Resource Practice

October 16, 2002 — Dr. Loretta Harper has received a National Recognition for Excellence in Human Resource Practice award from the College and University Professional Association for Human Resources (CUPA-HR). Harper received the prestigious award September 29 at CUPA-HR’s National Conference and Expo in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

The National Recognition for Excellence in Human Resource Practice award honors the achievements of colleges and universities, human resource professionals, or both in improving the quality of programs and services through effective human resource administration practices. Recipients are selected by each of CUPA-HR’s five regions, in accordance with each region’s own awards process, and are recognized by the national association.

Since joining the University of Utah in the fall of 2000, Harper has worked to reorganize the HR function on campus and has become a trusted advisor to faculty, staff, and administrators. In her cabinet-level position as vice president of Human Resources, Harper reports directly to the president. She attends executive sessions of the board of trustees, presenting topics of concern to that body as needed, and is consulted regularly by the president, other vice presidents, deans, and department heads. Harper takes part in decisions with institution-wide impact and frequently advises the president on matters for which legal staff was previously consulted; for example, she served on the university’s Olympic Coordinating Committee, which oversaw preparations for the Olympics and Paralympics.

As a result of the reorganization of the HR operation, Harper oversees many functions, including the campus and hospital HR functions that have been combined with equal opportunity and affirmative action functions. “In my opinion, she is the most effective human resources administrator with whom I have worked in over 30 years of higher education,” says J. Bernard Machen, president of the University of Utah. “Loretta’s competence in matters related to human resources is considerable, but her true strength is the way she works with faculty, staff, and the other vice presidents. In fewer than two years at the University of Utah, she has completely reorganized our HR operation with essentially no conflicts or disagreements. This is directly related to her leadership style wherein she works with others to solve problems and freely offers advice and input when requested.” “The thing I like best is that now almost everyone seeks her out for advice because of her open style,” Machen continues. “I would not want to do my job without Loretta on my team!” Harper is a frequent attendee and presenter at CUPA-HR conferences, including the Executive HR Leadership Program. She currently represents the Northwest Region on the CUPA-HR Foundation board.

CUPA-HR serves more than 6,500 human resource administrators at nearly 1,700 colleges and universities as well as others interested in the advancement of human resources in higher education, including students and HR service providers. To learn more about CUPA-HR or any of its publications, please call 202-429-0311, or visit