Christine Flebbe, Merrimack College’s new vice president of human resources, joined the College community in October 2022, and oversees the department’s efforts and programs to recruit, retain and support employees.
Learn more about Flebbe, what attracted her to Merrimack and her plans for the human resources department.
What interested you most about Merrimack College?
I was really struck by Merrimack’s mission, the Augustinian values and the idea that this is a community where by helping one another you are helping the whole. To be part of an institution built around such inspiring core values was very appealing to me.
What are your goals for human resources at Merrimack College?
In my experience human resources is a function that continually needs to evolve and expand in order to help an organization move forward. I’m excited to have the opportunity to put into place new programs and initiatives at Merrimack that will aid in achieving our future goals. We have a great HR staff and I have found that employees here are very collaborative and want to help. There is a grassroots mentality here that I really appreciate.
What have been your first orders of business since you started in this role?
My initial main goal is to assess and understand. I’m doing a listening tour and talking with other vice presidents and deans to get an understanding of what they and their staff value in human resources. The core foundation of human resources is built on service and support so we want to ensure that new HR strategies and initiatives are designed in a way that will address the most important needs of our staff and continue to be a place individuals want to work.
How has the human resources field changed, particularly during the pandemic?
The impact of the pandemic to previously established ways of working has been a massive change to human resources across all industries and to society as a whole. The “new normal” is significantly different from where we were pre-pandemic. Human resources is at the forefront of helping institutions navigate these new environments. Finding a balance between new ways of work while still cultivating and maintaining the strong culture of Merrimack College based on interpersonal relationships will be a dynamic challenge.
Additionally, diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives that organizations are taking on is also a huge focus; bringing more voices to the table to ensure different perspectives and lived experiences are heard will help in developing employment experiences that are more attractive and comfortable for everyone to thrive in.
What do you like to do outside of work?
I love to spend time with my family and to be outside, ideally doing both at the same time! I also enjoy running, skiing and recently have fallen into a love/hate relationship with disc golf- love to play but hate that I’m not good at it…yet.