Laurie Textor

Laurie Textor is returning to her midwestern roots with her appointment as assistant vice chancellor for Human Resources at the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh in March.

Most of her career has been spent in higher education, a place she is very comfortable. Her father was a school superintendent in a town in central Iowa north of Ames, and while she was growing up the family lived in district-provided housing.

“We lived very frugally,” she recalls. “It was through watching my parents that I learned what it meant to be a good public servant.”

Textor worked at Iowa State University in various human resources roles for more than 15 years before accepting a human resources position with North Carolina State. She also served as assistant vice chancellor for human resources at East Carolina University and as assistant dean for the college of Arts and Sciences at UNC-Chapel Hill when she left North Carolina in November 2013.

It was a beautiful part of the country, but family ties were tugging and she started to search for a position closer to home. After a short stint as deputy chief human resources officer with the City of Ames she looked to the University of Wisconsin System.

Oshkosh and the UW System are a good fit, Textor said, because of the shared governance structure. The collaborative approach to leadership and the resource sharing fit with her personal style and values.

She has a bachelor’s degree in business administration and a Master’s of Public Administration.

She gravitated to human resources from a desire to guide an organization’s employees and leaders in realizing their goals.

“I’m not a black and white person,” Textor said. “I like the grey area, being creative. I’m a problem solver.”

Human Resources plays two distinct roles, she said. It must focus on compliance but also consulting. While compliance is a necessary part of every HR department, the consultative portion can sometimes get lost or ignored.

“We shouldn’t say ‘no we can’t do that,’” she said. “We need to see what solutions are available to us and explore options.”

Textor would like UWO’s Human Resources Department to be an integral part of the campus.

“It should be a place where people can come… to look at us as a resource to help them navigate their problems.”

“If when I leave here people think of HR as the first place they can go for consultative advice with their organizational challenges, strategic ideas and issues, then I will have been successful,” she said. “It’s not that we aren’t there, I just want to raise the bar.”

Textor has two grown children and is expecting her first grandchild in October 2015. Her children, along with her parents, live in Iowa.

When she isn’t working, she spends her time golfing and running. She is looking forward to “volunteering” in August 2015 at the PGA Championship at Whistling Straits.

“I know this is said often, but I truly have an open door,” Textor said. “If someone has issues or wants to provide feedback, I welcome that. I definitely want to be engaged with the University community.”