Fordham has named Kay Turner, Esq., a human resources professional with more than 15 years of executive HR leadership, to serve as vice president for human resources at the University, effective September 18, 2017.
This is a newly created position, designed to reflect the renewed importance of human services to the University, and Fordham’s commitment to continuous improvement. In this role, Turner, a certified senior professional in human resources and an attorney, will spearhead state-of-the-art strategies and programs to recruit, hire, develop, and retain diverse and talented Fordham faculty, administrators, and staff.
“I am delighted that we were able to attract someone of Kay Turner’s broad experience and deep talent to oversee Fordham’s human resources area,” said Joseph M. McShane, S.J., president of the University. “We believe she will be a terrific asset not just to HR but to the entire University community. Her appointment underscores what we all know: that attracting and retaining top-tier faculty, administrators and staff are among Fordham’s most important functions.”
Turner will enhance delivery of HR services, including benefits design and administration, performance evaluation, professional development initiatives, labor and employee relations, and HR information systems, and ensure compliance. Reporting to Martha Hirst, senior vice president, chief financial officer, and treasurer, Turner will provide strategic and organizational guidance, advice and support to senior University leaders and to the entire community on human resource issues and administration.
Since diversity is a University-wide priority, Turner, as vice president for human resources, will work with the chief diversity officer and the assistant vice president for student affairs for diversity and inclusion, as a diversity leadership team with which Father McShane and the cabinet will regularly consult.
Turner has an extensive background in human resources and employment law at higher education, nonprofit, and government institutions including multi-location, multistate operations in the tri-state area. She joins Fordham after serving for four years as vice president of human resources at the New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT), where she acted as an adviser to the board of trustees and university president on executive compensation considerations, secured three years of funding to advance technology within HR, and also launched a successful internal HR marketing campaign that led to a widely published cadre of HR services and solutions.
Prior to her role at NJIT, Turner was vice president of human resources at JCCA, formerly known as the Jewish Child Care Association—a nonprofit providing child welfare and mental health services to the city’s most underprivileged families and children. In her role, she supported and trained more than 800 full-time employees and 300 per-diem employees in its multiple New York locations. She also led a program restructuring which resulted in $1.2 million in annual savings.
As director of employee relations at the nationally recognized Hackensack University Medical Center, a 900-bed nonprofit, research, and teaching hospital in Hackensack, New Jersey, Turner helped the organization secure $8 million in annual savings and ensured federal and state legislation compliance. From 2001 to 2008, Turner served as director of employee relations and diversity at the MTA Metro-North Railroad, the second largest commuter railroad in the country with 6,000 employees on three shifts and 18 collective bargaining agreements.
She held a number of positions in law during the 1990s, including attorney and assessment liaison for the New York City Board of Education; assistant district attorney at the Kings County District Attorney’s Office in Brooklyn, New York; and attorney and mediator for the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
She holds a bachelor’s degree in economics from the City University of New York and a juris doctor degree from St. John’s University School of Law. Turner and her family reside in the Bronx.
“The University will greatly benefit from Kay Turner’s expertise,” Hirst said. “I am grateful to my colleagues on the search committee: Robert Grimes, S.J., dean of Fordham College at Lincoln Center; Michael McCarthy, S.J., vice president for mission integration and planning; Elaine Crosson, general counsel; Marco Valera, vice president for facilities management; Ellen Fahey-Smith, associate vice president for academic affairs; Keith Eldridge, dean of students at Lincoln Center; and Jacqueline Reich, Ph.D., professor and chair, communications and media studies. We were assisted in the national search by Neumann Executive Search (now Koya) principals Liz Neumann and Amy Sugin.”