NEW YORK CITY: NOV 5 - 7, 2018


Human Resources Sr. VP of Human Resources Susan Basso Bricker Hall - Room #105 Aug-28-2017 Photo by Jay LaPrete ©2017 Jay LaPrete

Susan Basso
Senior Vice President for Talent, Culture and Human Resources, The Ohio State University

Susan Basso joined the Ohio State University in 2017 as the senior vice president for talent, culture and human resources reporting directly to the president. In her role, Basso is responsible for providing executive leadership across all human resource organizations at the university and the Wexner Medical Center.

Before joining Ohio State, Susan served as the vice president and chief human resources officer at the Pennsylvania State University since 2010.

Prior to that, Susan served as the associate vice president and chief human resources officer at Seton Hall University for five years and for 18 years in the Pennsylvania State System at East Stroudsburg University of Pennsylvania, where she served in increasingly responsible roles including executive assistant to the president and chief human resources officer.

Susan has held leadership roles in a number of professional organizations and at the chapter and regional levels of CUPA-HR. She was the recipient of the Emerging Leader Award in 2007. She is the immediate past president of the ARU-HR Institute and a current board member. Basso served for three years on TIAA’s National Advisory Council. She is currently a member of the ADVANCE Advisory Board, focused on the recruitment and retention of diverse women, especially in the STEMM disciplines and is a member of the OSU Health Plan Board.

Basso has authored several articles and has spoken at numerous regional and national conferences on HR transformation and particularly, the role of technology. She has also served in various volunteer roles for a number of not-for-profits, including Women’s Resources, Head Start and the Salvation Army.

She has her bachelor’s degree in psychology, with a minor concentration in business administration and finance from Ursinus College, and her master’s degree in human resources administration from the University of Scranton.


Andy Brantley
President and CEO, College and University Professional Association for Human Resources (CUPA-HR)

Andy Brantley has served as CUPA-HR’s president and chief executive officer since July 2005. With the leadership and guidance of high functioning boards and great national office colleagues, Andy has led the transformation of CUPA-HR. The association has grown from 1,500 member institutions to 2,000, and from 6,600 institutional representatives to over 25,000. The number of chapters has also grown from 23 to 42. Attendance at the annual conference has more than doubled, as has CUPA-HR’s annual revenue. CUPA-HR has also significantly strengthened its position as the voice of higher education human resource professionals on Capitol Hill. A learning framework and a commitment to diversity and inclusion have also become cornerstones of the association’s work. Before coming to CUPA-HR, Andy worked for 17 years in higher education, serving as associate vice president and chief human resources officer at the University of Georgia, director of human resources at Davidson College, and director of human resources at the University of North Carolina at Asheville. He began his career as a labor relations representative for the Chrysler Corporation.

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Kathryn F. Brown

Vice President of Human Resources, University of Minnesota

Kathryn F. Brown was appointed Vice President for Human Resources in July 2011.  She is responsible for the leadership of human resources, including Total Compensation, Employee and Labor Relations, Leadership & Talent Development, Talent Acquisition and Human Resources Operations. She was the vice president and chief of staff in December 2002, serving as chief advisor to the president and playing an integral role in establishing and implementing policy at the University of Minnesota.

Brown has also served as associate vice provost of student affairs, interim associate and assistant vice president in the office of multicultural and academic affairs, and associate general counsel.  Previously Brown was in private practice with the law firm of Squire, Sanders & Dempsey in Columbus, Ohio. She holds a bachelor’s degree in education from The Ohio State University, a master’s degree from Miami University and a J.D. from the University of Toledo College of Law.

8/24/16 - Boston, Massachusetts Portrait of Boston University President Robert A. Brown. Photo by Scott Nobles for Boston University Photography

Dr. Robert A. Brown
President, Boston University

Dr. Robert Brown has been president of Boston University since 2005. Under his leadership, Boston University was invited to join the Association of American Universities in 2012 and was ranked 32nd in U.S. News & World Report’s Best Global Universities in 2017. Dr. Brown is a member of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering and the National Academy of Sciences. He is chairman of the Academic Research Council of the Ministry of Education of the Republic of Singapore and also serves on the Research, Innovation and Enterprise Council, chaired by the prime minister of Singapore. The National Academy of Engineering awarded Dr. Brown the Simon Ramo Founders Award in 2014. In that same year, he was elected as a fellow of the National Academy of Inventors. Previously, Dr. Brown was provost at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He earned a bachelor’s and master’s of science in chemical engineering at the University of Texas at Austin, and a doctorate from the University of Minnesota.


Kyle Cavanaugh
Past Chair of the Board and Vice President of Administration, Duke University and Duke University Health System

As vice president for administration, Kyle Cavanaugh leads a portfolio which includes human resources, global support, emergency management, police and security, disability management, employee health and occupational wellness, parking and transportation Services and visa services. The portfolio provides services to Duke’s 37,000 employees and 15,000 students across the university and health system.

In addition, Cavanaugh holds a faculty position within Duke’s School of Medicine and teaches within the Master’s in Clinical Leadership Program.

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Linda Croll Howell
Director of HR Analytics, Cornell University 

Linda Croll Howell is the director of human resources analytics for Cornell University’s division of human resources. Prior to this, she held director roles including diversity & inclusion metrics, work life services, as well as director of human resources and organizational development for Cornell Information Technologies. Linda actively engages with faculty in applied research projects on campus, most recently including a two-year study on remote workers in the workplace.

Prior to joining Cornell 14 years ago, she held human resources roles for companies in New York City including JP Morgan Chase, MTV Networks, Young & Rubicam and was most recenlty the SVP of Human Resources for Grey Global Group. She holds a doctorate in applied research and evaluation in psychology from Hofstra University.


Dr. Vincent Del Casino

Vice President, Academic Initiatives and Student Success, Geography and Development, University of Arizona (UA)

Dr. Vincent Del Casino oversees programmatic and curricular development for UA Online and plays a leadership role in the delivery of digital learning on campus. He also oversees the university’s engagement initiative as well as the university’s efforts in improving student success and retention innovation. He reports directly to the senior vice president for student affairs, enrollment management and strategic initiatives.  

Prior to his position as vice president, Dr. Del Casino served as vice provost for digital learning and student engagement and associate vice president for student affairs and enrollment management. He has also held the position of associate dean in the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences at the University of Arizona. He remains a professor in the School of Geography and Development at the university as well, where he supervises doctoral students and teaches graduate and undergraduate courses. Before coming to the University of Arizona, Dr. Del Casino served as chair of the department of geography at California State University, Long Beach.  

He has collectively published five single-authored, co-authored, and edited books as well as nearly 50 articles, book chapters and invited encyclopedia entries. He has given conference presentations and invited lectures at a number of national and international venues and worked on grant-funded projects in Southeast Asia and Southern California. His commentaries on higher education can be found in Inside Higher Education, the Los Angeles Times, the Arizona Republic and The Evolllution. 


Kelly Jones
Senior Vice President, Sibson Consulting Cleveland Office

Kelly Jones joined the Cleveland office of The Segal Company, the parent company of Sibson Consulting, in April 2001. In 2002 he was named Sibson’s Higher Education Practice Leader. He is primarily involved with the development and maintenance of key client relationships within the higher education arena. Jones has been actively involved in helping HR leaders in higher education transform themselves and their departments into strategic partners on campus. He is a lead member of Segal/Sibson’s Total Rewards Strategy team and has a background in managed healthcare and pharmacy benefit management.

Jones’ recent clients include Pennsylvania State University, University of Michigan, Indiana University, Rice University, Arizona State University, Cuyahoga Community College, University of Utah, Bucknell, University of Denver, Colorado School of Mines, DePaul University, NC State University, Texas Christian University, Cal State University System and Skidmore College. Some of his roles include serving as lead consultant for overall compensation, retirement and healthcare issues for Sibson. He has helped clients establish long-term strategic initiatives campus-wide, facilitated change through effective communication strategies and deal with the myriad of ongoing governmental legislation.

Jones has over 30 years of experience in all phases of employee benefits, managed health care and pharmacy management. He has advised clients in plan design, funding, administration, disease management and employee communications. He is a mentor to college and university leaders and helps institutions with their strategic initiatives. His current experience also includes serving as Sibson’s National Liaison for the College and University Professional Association for Human Resources (CUPA-HR). Jones is also a past chair of the CUPA-HR Corporate Advisory Council.

Jones earned his bachelor’s in English and political science from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio.


Mary George Opperman
Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer, Cornell University

Mary Opperman serves as the vice president and chief human resources officer for Cornell University, which employs approximately 18,000 staff and faculty on campuses in Ithaca, Geneva, New York City and Qatar, as well as dozens of research facilities across the country and beyond. Mary is a steward of the university workforce culture, an advocate for employees, and an ambassador with the local and regional communities. Her portfolio at Cornell includes oversight of the division of human resources, the office of inclusion and workforce diversity, Title IX compliance, and the center for regional economic advancement. Mary is passionate about creating a culture of belonging at Cornell that values and supports employees as whole persons, and in turn, is mindful of the connection between the workplace, the individual, and the community in which we live. Prior to joining Cornell in 1996, Mary spent 13 years in the human resource function at Harvard University. She is a fellow of the National Academy of Human Resources and is certified by the Society for Human Resource Management as a senior professional in human resources. She has a master’s degree in organizational behavior from Cornell University and a bachelor’s degree from the State University of New York at Oneonta in political science.

Office of the General Counsel

Doug Peterson
General Counsel, University of Minnesota

As general counsel to the University of Minnesota, Doug Peterson serves as its chief legal officer for litigation and transactional matters.  Doug came to the University of Minnesota from Stinson Leonard Street LLP and previously served as a federal prosecutor for the District of Minnesota. Doug is a graduate of Yale College and Harvard Law School. He also currently serves as president of the Minnesota Board of Law Examiners.


Laurita Thomas
Associate Vice President for Human Resources, University of Michigan

Laurita Thomas is the associate vice president for human resources at the University of Michigan (UM). She is responsible for human resource policy for all UM campuses and a full range of comprehensive integrated human resource services, products and operations. She is responsible for 330 staff, a budget of $36 million, and a benefit plan of approximately $1 billion.

Her professional human resources career spans roles in the financial industry, higher education and healthcare. She is a graduate of the University of Michigan in political science and economics.  Her graduate work is in guidance and counseling and business administration. She has published many articles and book chapters, including Inside the Minds, The Role of Human Resources, Aspatore Books.

She has served as a leader in professional organizations including the ARU-HR Institute, charter member and treasurer; Higher Education Advisory Council (HEAC); TIAA Advisory Council; Fellow, TIAA Research Institute; CUPA-HR national board member; the Big Ten Academic Alliance Human Resources Officers; University Health System Consortium (UHC) Human Resources Officers Council chair; and Medical Center Employee Relations Association president (MCERA). In the community, she has contributed through service organizations. She has served on the Mayor’s Commission on Increasing Safety for Women; the Executive Committee of the Washtenaw County Workforce Development Board; SOS Community Services Board director emeritus; Dance for PD Board, New York, NY; Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.; Dispute Resolution Center, board vice president; Girls Group Advisory Board; SafeHouse Center Board president; Ann Arbor Branch NAACP; and the Ann Arbor Chapter of The Links, Inc., president. She has two adult sons and four grandchildren.


Wendy White
Senior Vice President and General Counsel, University of Pennsylvania and Penn Medicine

Wendy White held the positions of vice president and general counsel in 2001-03 and deputy general counsel at the University of Pennsylvania in 1999-2001. She was formerly a partner in the law firm of Shea & Gardner in Washington, D.C. in 1981-99 where she specialized in issues relating to non-profit institutions, labor and employment, products liability and commercial litigation. In addition, White served as associate counsel to the president of the United States in 1996-97. White attended Goucher College (A.B., magna cum laude, 1972) where she was elected to Phi Beta Kappa. She received her law degree from the University of Pennsylvania (J.D., magna cum laude), was an editor of the Law Review and a member of Order of the Coif. White is a member of the American Law Institute, the Board of Governors of the Nasdaq, Nasdaq PHLX, Nasdaq BX, Nasdaq ISE, Nasdaq MRX, and Nasdaq GEMX, Chairs the Board of InterAct Theatre Company in Philadelphia and is a Trustee for Goucher College. She is a member of the Pennsylvania Bar and the District of Columbia Bar. White is a frequent speaker on labor and employment, higher education and ethics issues. She has two children, Miriam (son-in-law Nicholas Kuperman) and Andrew (daughter-in-law Amy Ludwig) and resides in Pennsylvania with her husband Lawrence.