YEREVAN, Armenia – On October 27, the American University of Armenia (AUA) hosted a one-day international dissemination conference and workshop entitled “Strategic Management of Human Resources (HR): Experiences and Trends” within the framework of the TEMPUS PEOPLE (Promoting Educational Organization Through People) project.
The aim of the conference was to address the strategic planning processes in Human Resources management, share experience on staff training and professional development, HR software development, as well as quality management processes in higher educational institutions (HEI) of Georgia, Armenia, Spain, Portugal, and Sweden. Among the participants were HR managers and specialists from 25 HEIs of Armenia both from Yerevan and the regions, representatives from National Erasmus+ Office in Armenia, as well as heads and managers of HR departments from Georgia, Spain, Portugal, and Sweden.
In his opening remarks, Dr. Rhodes, AUA Provost, emphasized the linkage between the University’s strategic plan and employee performance objectives stating, “It is important that all members of a campus community not only participate in the writing of the institutional strategic plan but appreciate how their respective roles contribute to the accomplishment of the University’s mission.”
At the plenary session Alicia Berlanga, Project Coordinator, UNESCO Chair of HE Management of the Universitat Politecnica de Catalunya, Spain (UPC), presented the PEOPLE project, elaborating on its main objective, “To reinforce top and middle managers’ competencies of higher education institutions by developing a human resource management and staff development strategy”. During her presentation, Ms. Berlanga remarked that “it is important to gradually shift from a staff administration in higher education institutions to a more “human” dimension of employee management.” Then, Marta Pile, head of the Institutional Studies and Planning Office of Instituto Superior Tecnico, Portugal (IST) presented her perspective on “Strategic Planning and Quality at IST.” Lotta Gustavsson, head of HR Royal Institute of Technology, Sweden (KTH), spoke about “Collaboration for Development at KTH.” Anahit Ordyan, Assistant Vice President, AUA, devoted her presentation to staff training and development issues sharing AUA experience. Gayane Merdinyan, the Strategic Planning Group member of the Armenian State University of Economics (ASUE) and Liana Aghajanyan, HR Manager at Russian-Armenian University of Armenia (RAU) shared their experiences correspondingly in strategic planning and progress of online database introduction. Elguja Deisadze, HR Manager from Kutaisi University (Georgia), presented HR strategic planning issues in HEIs in Georgia.
Ms. Lana Karlova, Coordinator of National Erasmus+ Office in Armenia, in her closing remarks, stressed the importance of the projects in Human Resource management area, noting, “EU study on Human Resource management in public higher education conducted in the Tempus Partner Countries in 2012 has revealed a great need for such projects. That’s why PEOPLE project was highly expected and has great value for all partners. I am pleased to say that PEOPLE is one of our most successful projects: it has effective consortium members, and we are hopeful that it will continue, to further enhance HRM processes in Armenia’s HEIs”.
During the second half of the day, a workshop was conducted for representatives of HR department heads and managers of different HEIs in Armenia. The main objective of the workshop was to demonstrate the steps and principles of strategic planning in HR management. AUA HR team, Anahit Ordyan, Arina Bekchyan, Director of HR, Sona Baghdasaryan, Staff Training and Performance Evaluation Coordinator, Anna Katvalyan, Recruitment and Contract Coordinator, shared experience of AUA in developing a strategic plan for HR department. The discussions at the workshop included practical exercises addressing defining the strategic lines, goals, and objectives for each strategic line, actions, KPIs as well as monitoring and evaluation tools. In total, 14 HR specialists from various HEIs participated in the workshop. As discussed during the session, the cooperation between AUA and other local HEIs will be continuous, and periodic meetings will be organized.
On the evening of the conference, Alicia Berlanga, Marta Pile, Alexandra Pontes and Lotta Gustavsson were welcomed by AUA Provost Randall Rhodes and AUA Vice President of Finance Gevorg Goyunyan. They also had a chance to take a tour of the University campus. Afterward, they conducted a comprehensive audit of HR Department of AUA in a newly designed HRM Resource Center. The visit of international partners allowed them also to get acquainted with Armenian culture, visit Matenadaran, and monasteries in Etchmiadzin.
AUA is an implementing partner of the three-year TEMPUS PEOPLE project, which was made possible thanks to a 2013 grant agreement with the European Union’s Education, Audiovisual, and Cultural Agency (EACEA). This was the third dissemination international conference. The final conference of the project will also take place in Armenia, in May 2017 at AUA.
Founded in 1991, the American University of Armenia (AUA) is a private, independent university located in Yerevan, Armenia and affiliated with the University of California. AUA provides a global education in Armenia and the region, offering high-quality, graduate and undergraduate studies, encouraging civic engagement, and promoting public service and democratic values.