Kurt Rose was chosen as the Interim HR Director for the School of Education this month. We’ve worked with Kurt in different capacities over the years and invited him to reflect on his career as he steps into this new chapter.
How did you come to work at UW?
I have been an employee of multiple UW System institutions over the last 16 years, beginning with my student worker experiences at the University of Wisconsin–Whitewater. About a month prior to graduation from my undergraduate studies, I sat for the state exam for the Human Resources Assistant, and was placed on a registry as I continued my job search. It was a difficult search, since I graduated during the great recession and entry level jobs were being flooded with more experienced professionals across the country who had lost jobs.
After about a year, I began my first job as an HR Assistant with UW–Extension, Cooperative Extension. At the time, UW–Extension was a standalone entity within UW System but was geographically located on the UW campus. I began that role in 2010 and have held progressive Human Resources roles throughout UW System since.
What excites you most about working on the UW–Madison campus?
I am most excited about the ability to engage in lifelong learning and development. Being surrounded by professionals with a passion for education not only aligns with my own personal goals but assists in supporting continuous curiosity. Additionally, the complexity of the different disciplines and backgrounds that gel to create and sustain the full university community keeps work exciting and new. My higher education experience was one that is truly dear to my heart, so having the ability to support that for our student population brings me joy and peace in the work that I do.
What are some of your experiences that have prepared you to work as Interim Human Resources Director?
This is really a full circle moment for me. Educationally, I have obtained degrees in Organizational Communications and Occupational and Environmental Safety and Health as well as graduate certificates in Human Resources Management and Professional Ergonomics. Professionally, I have served as an HR Assistant, HR Assistant-Advanced, Recruitment Manager, HR Manager and Associate HR Director over the last 11 years. Additionally, I have secured five professional HR certifications ranging from general HR to equity, diversity, and inclusion as well as internal investigations.
Personally, I volunteer as the President of the Urban League of Greater Madison Young Professionals where I lead a team of 14 community leaders who are engaging in programming and connectivity to the community and expanding knowledge to local young professionals. I have served in leadership capacity for multiple organizations in my free time and am excited about applying those skills developed to this role.
Any prior exposure to HR work prior to joining UW–Madison ?
Yes, during my undergraduate work at UW–Whitewater I worked in the Office of Career and Leadership Development. I served as a peer Career Counselor assisting students in finding a path to their career passions. Additionally, I served as the Multicultural Education Center intern where I developed and provided programming around equity, diversity, and inclusion.
What have you loved most about your work at School of Education (SoE)? What motivates you?
My favorite thing about working at SoE is the team of colleagues I engage with. It has been a pleasure to strategize and work with so many talented and intellectual individuals across all disciplines. Since SoE’s portfolio spans from traditional education to kinesiology to the fine arts, I am consistently challenged in how to support our stakeholders from an HR standpoint. As we say all the time in HR, there is no cookie cutter way of supporting this group! This keeps work interesting. I also love that all my colleagues keep the student experience central to their initiatives and goals. It’s just an overall great place to work and share ideas.
What do you do for fun?
For fun, I bowl (I’m not terrible, but I’m not amazing, just enjoy the time with family and friends), dance, attend live fine arts performances, play board games, card games, and explore new cities.