Jerry Henry receives the Cotterill Leadership Enhancement Award Charles A. Hughes, professor of special education.

HR Strategic Partner Jerry Henry receives College of Education leadership award

Jerry Henry, the Human Resources strategic partner for the College of Education and the College of Arts and Architecture, is the recipient of the 2017 Cotterill Leadership Enhancement Award. The award recognizes a faculty or staff member in the College of Education for exemplary performance and leadership efforts. Made possible by Joan and David Cotterill, the award includes resources for professionally related activities, including participating in conferences, seminars and sabbaticals.

"Jerry Henry cares deeply about people and works hard to do everything possible within existing policies to support faculty, staff and students within the College," said Dean David H. Monk. "I have learned to count on Jerry for insightful advice. He is the first person I turn to when I'm faced with a complex human resource issue. He is knowledgeable and fair and works tirelessly behind the scenes to make the College a better place for everyone."

In addition to his work within the two colleges, Henry has been a leader at the University level to streamline and harmonize the numerous HR and administrative policies that exist at Penn State. He has also been in leadership roles as the University works to implement new HR and finance systems.

"Jerry has been an exceptional contributor to the transformation of HR at Penn State," said Susan Basso, vice president for Human Resources. "As one of the University's first strategic partners, Jerry has provided outstanding HR leadership both in the College of Education and the College of Arts and Architecture. His competence within the discipline of HR, his care and compassion for the employees he serves, combined with his spirit of collaboration, makes him an exemplar for the future of HR at Penn State."

Henry has been with Penn State and the College of Education since August 1998. "I actually started as a financial analyst in the private sector," he said. "I made a career switch to HR almost 30 years ago and have never regretted the move."

In his role as a Human Resources strategic partner, Henry juggles many competing priorities to get the job done efficiently, keep costs low and maintain the highest standards of quality. "I like to confront problems and deal with issues, rather than ignore them - being willing to endure difficulty, taking risks and putting myself in uncomfortable situations in standing up for our employees," he said.

Significant accomplishments include providing College leadership advice on complex employee relations and legal issues, digitizing College personnel files, undertaking the Human Resources Service Delivery Model Pilot between two Colleges and leading the University HR policy harmonization efforts.

Photo: From left, Charles A. Hughes, professor of special education, presents HR Strategic Partner Jerry Henry with the Cotterill Leadership Enhancement Award.