Two employees with PeopleFirst logo

People Are at the Center of KU

The People First initiative seeks to align KU's human resource organization and services to best support all faculty, staff and student employees.

KU People First logo

Why "KU People First"?

We named this HR Transformation project "KU People First" to reinforce our belief that KU employees are the most important factor in the success of our university.

The KU People First project is a collaborative university initiative aimed at transforming human resources, enhancing the experience of our people, and positioning KU for future success through improved HR systems and practices. Our steering committee and working group of faculty and staff, along with KU leaders, will engage campus stakeholders and work with our consulting partner to meet the our objectives.

Initiative Objectives

  1. Reimagine the current HR structure and delivery model.
  2. Improve HR processes, policies, and technology.
  3. Enhance HR competencies, skills, and capabilities.
  4. Launch a formal culture and climate initiative within the HR organization.

News & Updates

People First Update: How to Contact the first two Centers of Excellence

First two Centers of Excellence role assignments, relocation and contact information.

KU Begins Implementing People First Transformation

The People First HR Transformation initiative has progressed from the strategic planning stage to the implementation stage, including the launch of two Centers of Excellence and a name change from “Human Resource Management” to, simply, “Human Resources.”

People First Update to Faculty and Staff

An update on the progress of the People First Initiative sent to faculty and staff from Provost Barbara Bichelmeyer on October 11, 2023.

KU Launches “People First” Initiative to Transform Human Resources

"KU People First" initiative will create a best-in-class HR organization that serves and supports all KU employees.
Provost Barbara Bichelmeyer

"The KU People First initiative will advance the important work that’s been done by our staff in the Shared Service Centers and Human Resource Management to create a best-in-class organization that serves and supports all KU employees."


Barbara A. Bichelmeyer
Provost & Executive Vice Chancellor

Activities and Timeline

Activities are to be completed in three phases of about six months each over an 18-month period.  

Phase 1: March through August 2023

  • Benchmark best practice and define an HR strategy with new or expanded strategic HR service offerings
  • Develop a new or reimagined HR organizational and operational model that aligns to best practices and that supports the HR transformation goals
  • Identify and develop strategies for elevating HR competencies
  • Blend and realign operations of both campus HRM organization and HR personnel in shared service centers
  • Develop and implement a communication strategy and implementation plan for HR transformation

Phase 2: September 2023 through January 2024

  • Launch a formal culture and climate initiative within HR
  • Map and reengineer core HR processes
  • Review opportunities for automation
  • Create learning plans for HR staff and provide the associated learning opportunities
  • Develop a library of core skills and competencies for all HR staff, aligned to the new HR strategy and service delivery models

Phase 3: February to June 2024

  • Implement rebranding strategy for HRM
  • Build incentives for the development of competencies, skills, and capabilities
  • Adopt / implement a new HR service model, practices and structure across the campus as appropriate

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