Kathy Gilroy

Kathy Gilroy

I'm Kathy Gilroy. I live in Hanover, Massachusetts, a small town halfway between Boston and Plymouth.  I've been an online instructor for UCLA Extension since 1995.

I have both an undergraduate and graduate education in social work and a graduate degree in management. After a brief stint working in a military education office, I went to work in human resources in a large regional bank. Beginning as a job analyst, I worked my way through developing and presenting training, and managing instructional design and deliver, finally becoming the bank's compensation director. After some time out of the workforce when I got heavily into volunteer work, serving among other things as the vice chair of my town's finance committee, the chair of the town's personnel board, and a member of the union contract negotiating team, I went to work for a consulting company with not-for-profit and government clients where I did human resource consulting, strategic planning, and fund development. I recently retired as the HR director of a property/casualty insurance company. My job involved recruiting, developing compensation and benefits strategies, employee relations, training, communications, administration, and other nuts and bolts of corporate life. There were three of us in the department that supports 550+ employees.  I've worked in most of the aspects of HR in a variety of places and I've developed a point of view: The only HR policies and programs that qualify as "best practices" are the ones that work where you are. Through our class discussion you're likely to hear about highly publicized HR practices that are very effective in some organizations and others that, despite their good press, fall flat. That's often because those practices don't support the organization's mission and/or culture. HR life in the real organizational world sometimes doesn't look very much like HR as its described in the business press.

I have a personal bias toward being able to do something rather than just talk about it.  The classes for which I'm an instructor are designed to help participants develop useful HR skills and successfully apply them. where you are.

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