WMU News

Minnesota State administrator named WMU human resources chief

Dec. 15, 1999

KALAMAZOO -- An employment and employee relations administrator with more than 13 years of management experience in higher education has been named the new assistant vice president for human resources at Western Michigan University.

The appointment of Barbara B. Updike to the post was approved Dec. 10 by the WMU Board of Trustees. Her appointment is effective Jan. 10.

Updike has been director of human resources at Minnesota State University, Mankato, since 1997. Previously, she was director of human resources at St. Norbert College in DePere, Wis., and manager of employment and staff development at Northern Michigan University.

"Barbara brings extensive knowledge in the employment and labor relations areas and a history of strong and innovative leadership to the position," said Robert Beam, WMU vice president for business and finance, who brought the hiring recommendation to the board. "We are absolutely delighted that she will be taking charge of this critical area and I am positive she will be a good addition to the University."

At Mankato, Updike was responsible for a comprehensive human resources unit that served some 1,500 campus employees. Her accomplishments have included development of a new employee compensation and classification system. She also was instrumental in the redesign of a health benefits package as well as development of an Electronic Processing System for integrating employment, personnel, payroll and budget functions.

Updike earned a bachelor's degree in business administration in 1985 and a master's degree in administrative science in 1994, both from Northern Michigan University. She also has completed several executive training institutes through the College University Personnel Association, the Society for Human Resource Management and the Higher Education Resource Center.

Active in professional and community organizations, Updike is a member of the College University Personnel Association Midwest Regional Board as well as the Minnesota CUPA Board. She has received several awards from CUPA's regional organization, including Outstanding Service Awards in the areas of managment and affirmative action, and a 1996 Midwest Distinguished Chapter Member Award.

Media contact: Cheryl Roland, 616 387-8400, cheryl.roland@wmich.edu

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