Jul 26, 2023


Los Angeles, CA


Located in the heart of downtown Los Angeles, the Colburn School is an internationally recognized leader in performing arts education and is part of the fabric of the Los Angeles cultural community. With a world-renowned faculty, Colburn trains students from beginning to pre-professional in five divisions: the Colburn Conservatory of Music, the Colburn Community School of Performing Arts, the Colburn Music Academy, the Trudl Zipper Dance Institute and, Colburn’s Center for Innovation and Community Impact.
The Colburn School is expanding with the transformational Frank Gehry-designed Colburn Center, which includes a 1000 seat concert hall and dance education center. Scheduled to open in 2026, the expansion will dramatically increase the School’s profile and role in the community.

The Colburn School’s mission is to provide the highest quality performing arts education at all levels of development in an optimal learning environment.


DIRECT REPORTS: HR Manager/Generalist; Payroll Manager, Payroll Analyst


The Assistant Vice President, Human Resources (AVP-HR) serves as a member of the Leadership Team and will plan, lead, direct, develop, and coordinate the policies, activities, and staff of the Human Resource (HR) and Payroll departments, ensuring legal compliance and implementation of the organization’s mission and talent strategy. This position will oversee and manage all HR functions, including compensation and benefits, recruiting and retention, payroll for 400+ employees, performance management, legal and compliance, safety, employee relations, employee engagement, communications, development and implementation of policies and procedures, training, diversity and inclusion, and more.

As the Colburn School grows and ramps up for the opening of its historic expansion, this is an exciting opportunity for AVP-HR to work closely with the EVP, COO, and Colburn leadership on the organizational design and staffing plan for the new Center. Given the importance human resources plays in creating a positive and collaborative culture in our vibrant education and performing arts community, and important interaction with faculty and staff, this is an in-office position.


  • Thorough knowledge of federal and California employment law, wage and hour law and human resources practices, procedures and programs, with a strong preference for experience in an educational or performing arts institution in California.
  • 10+ years management-level HR experience in a generalist position
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills.
  • Excellent interpersonal and customer service skills.
  • Critical thinking, problem solving, and analytical skills.
  • Ability to prioritize and manage multiple tasks.
  • Ability to act with integrity, professionalism, and a high level of confidentiality.
  • Excellent organizational skills and attention to detail.
  • Proficiency with Microsoft Office Suite or related software.
  • Proficiency with cloud-based HCM/payroll systems (UKG experience is a plus)


  • Responsible for the strategy and leadership in all aspects of the human resources function. Serves as primary HR contact for management, faculty and staff and provides guidance, counsel, and recommendations regarding HR matters and initiatives.
  • Directs and administers HR programs including but not limited to: recruiting and hiring; employee benefits; terminations; compensation; leaves of absence; disciplinary matters; investigations; performance management; employee engagement and morale; safety and wellness; training and development; and diversity and inclusion.
  • Monitors and ensures that the organization is in compliance with federal, state, and local employment laws and regulations and recommended best practices. Reviews and modifies policies and practices to maintain compliance and trains and advises management and staff accordingly.
  • Manages, directs and oversees processing of complex payroll for 400+ employees, including PT and FT staff, PT and FT faculty, and student workers.
  • Maintains and expands knowledge and understanding of trends, best practices, legal/regulatory changes, and new technologies in human resources, talent management, and employment law and implements as appropriate to enhance and/or improve the organization.
  • Identifies staffing and recruiting needs. Develops and executes best practices for talent acquisition process, collaborating with departmental managers to understand requirements for open positions.
  • Manages and oversees all onboarding, offboarding, and leaves of absence processes, ensuring compliance with various regulatory mandates.
  • Updates existing job descriptions and pay grades, and develops new ones as needed.
  • Advises employees, supervisors and senior management when individual problem situations or broader workplace communications issues arise. Investigates and recommends appropriate alternatives for resolution.
  • Acts as a cultural steward and maintains a positive employee relations environment through proactive employee engagement and communication on behalf of institutional leadership.
  • Maintains appropriate and accurate employee/employment records, including personnel files, background checks, I-9 forms, workers compensation claims, medical files, and more.
  • Manages, maintains, updates and administers a comprehensive suite of employee benefit programs including group insurance and retirement plans.
  • Builds strong working relationships with faculty and staff at all levels of the organization.
  • Develops and implements departmental budget.
  • Other duties as assigned.


  • Bachelor’s degree in Human Resources, Business Administration, or related field. Master’s degree preferred.
  • SHRM-CP/SCP or PHR/SPHR certification highly preferred.
  • 10 years of management-level HR experience in an educational or performing arts environment preferred.
  • An equivalent combination of education and experience is acceptable.


  • The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations will be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions of the position.
  • Work is performed primarily in a professional office setting utilizing telephone, computer, and office equipment.


HR Leader: 10+ years of senior-level human resources experience with proven success crafting and driving effective initiatives.
Strong Partner: Demonstrable track record of successfully partnering with a range of senior stakeholders and external constituents on a variety of strategic initiatives. Capable of challenging the status quo and integrating new ideas seamlessly.
Inspirational Leader, Trust & Inclusion: Hands-on, engaged, dynamic leader; demonstrated ability to forge strong, trusting relationships with management, faculty and staff and direct reports and ability to collaboratively foster teamwork and open communication with a consistent, approachable demeanor. Executive Presence: Maturity and presence, demonstrable credibility, consistency, visibility, access, and depth and breadth of knowledge. Possesses excellent communication skills (both written and verbal).
Self- Starter and Accountable: Takes responsibility and ownership. Drives projects from start to finish.
Process Improvement and Change Management: Demonstrates experience in driving efficiency, improving processes, and implementing policies and procedures. Demonstrated strategic leadership and ability to understand the strategic context of change management practices, principles, and techniques to translate organizational change implications, and generate a change approach and solutions to drive desired results.
Organizational Development: Experience with organizational design and structure.
CULTURE IMPACT: “Must-have” Characteristics
Collaborative – Builds strong working relationships with faculty and staff at all levels. An enthusiastic, hard-working and flexible team player with ability to interact with people openly and directly, listen and facilitate discussions to ensure that other’s viewpoints are heard.
Transparent – Operates in a way that is easy for others to see why decisions are made and what actions are performed.
Brand Aligned – Committed to the School’s mission, values and brand and a desire to be integrally involved in its success.
Conflict Resolution – Strong ability to triage difficult situations and reach objective resolutions.
Leadership Presence –Exhibits a consistent, even-keeled presence across a variety of situations; ability to stay positive in difficult conditions. A “can-do” attitude and ability to effectively lead and motivate stakeholders across the institution.

Apply here by September 30, 2023

Salary: $165,000 to $200,000 on an annual basis

The Colburn School offers excellent benefits including: medical, dental and vision insurance plans; Long Term Disability, Short Term Disability and Life Insurance plans; paid sick leave and vacation; a 403(b) retirement plan with a generous employer matching contribution; and free parking at our beautiful downtown Los Angeles campus.