On Aug. 24, University of North Texas System Chancellor Lesa Roe named Dr. Barbara A. Abercrombie as the UNT System’s new Chief Human Capital Officer, effective Sept. 24. Abercrombie has spent the last two years at Texas A&M University in College Station, most recently serving as Vice President of Human Resources and Organizational Effectiveness and Chief Human Resources Officer.
Abercrombie was offered the position following a national search to fill a role that Roe and the UNTS Board of Regents identified as a key leadership position. She will replace Interim Chief Human Capital Officer Brandi Renton, who will return to her full-time role as Associate Vice President for Administrative Services at the University of North Texas after capably navigating UNT System HR through a time of transition.
Roe, who joined the UNT System in October 2017, said Abercrombie’s pending arrival is significant for a UNT System organization that is constantly working to improve efficiency, customer service and workplace engagement.
“Barbara Abercrombie simply hit all the marks for us during an exhaustive search process,” Roe said of the organization’s new HR leader, who has also served in leadership roles at the University of Arkansas and the University of Oklahoma at Tulsa. “Obviously, she has great experience at large universities both inside and outside of Texas. What stood out to me and our search committee during the interview process was Barbara’s skill as a communicator, her positive attitude and approach to leadership, her focus on customer service and problem solving, her passion for developing staff and building a team, as well as her strength in building coalitions. The combination of these unique attributes and abilities make her an ideal fit for a multi-institution System like ours.”
Roe also thanked Renton for her efforts in managing the UNT System Human Resources Department since April 2017, first as Acting Chief Human Capital Officer and then as Interim Chief Human Capital Officer.
“Brandi Renton is a talented executive and a true team player – on behalf of our Board of Regents and our University Presidents I say ‘thank you,’” Roe said. “Brandi stepped into the interim role during a challenging time of change for our HR organization and has helped build momentum while starting several key projects that will help modernize our efforts in managing the organization’s most critical assets – its people.”
In her role at the UNT System, Abercrombie will oversee the human resources efforts for more than 10,000 faculty and staff at UNT System’s three campuses, as well as with UNT System Administration. She brings more than 14 years of experience in human resources and organizational effectiveness to the UNT System. While at Texas A&M, Abercrombie strived to promote programs that connected the roles of faculty and staff to the university’s strategic plan, while emphasizing career growth and employee development.
Prior to working at Texas A&M, Abercrombie served as Associate Vice Chancellor for Administration and Chief Human Resources Officer at the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville, as well as Director of Human Resources at the University of Oklahoma at Tulsa.
Abercrombie holds a bachelor’s degree from Northeastern State University, a master’s in human relations from University of Oklahoma and a doctorate in workforce education and human resource development from Oklahoma State University. She is a certified Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR), a member of the National Board for the College and University Professional Association for Human Resources (CUPA-HR), and is an expert in the collaborative leadership model.
“I’m excited and honored to join Chancellor Roe’s leadership team at the University of North Texas System,” Abercrombie said. “In my discussions with Chancellor Roe and Presidents Mong, Smatresk and Williams, it became clear that there is a unified and collaborative vision for how to care for and develop the people of this growing UNT System and I can’t wait to help make that vision a reality.”