UofL hires new Human Resources Vice President


    LOUISIVLLE, Ky. – A nationally recognized leader in human resources management has been selected as UofL’s new vice president for human resources.

    Sam Connally will join UofL effective Feb. 8. He is currently chief executive officer of HigherEdDecisions, LLC, a company that uses a proprietary software program to help colleges and universities conduct searches for administrative positions.

    “Sam brings with him an impressive record of administrative experience in human resources,” said Provost Shirley Willihnganz. “We look forward to having him on our team.”

    Connally has been employed in higher education HR administration since 1980, including progressive leadership roles as business systems analyst at North Carolina State University, chief HR officer for the University of North Carolina at Wilmington and chief HR officer for the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.

    An active member of the College & University Professional Association for Human Resources for 20 years, Connally has been recognized with two regional and two national awards in the past five years, including the National Sungard (SCT) Award for Innovation in HR Technology in 2004 and the National Award for Best Practices in HR Administration in 2006. He holds a master of business administration from Duke University.

    Connally said he was attracted to UofL because of its commitment to excellence, as outlined in the 2020 Plan; the leadership of President James Ramsey and Willihnganz; and the strength of its current HR department.

    “What is particularly attractive about the VPHR role is Provost Willihnganz’s vision to foster an HR department that is more closely aligned with the academic and research mission of the institution,” he said. “This is an area in which I believe I have particular abilities, and I am looking forward to building collaborative relationships focused on the needs of campus constituents, together with HR colleagues.”

    John Drees is a 35-year veteran in the Office of Communications and Marketing. As vice president, communications and marketing, he works closely with the president, provost and other senior administrators, oversees the Office of Communications and Marketing, including media relations, marketing and brand, broadcast, social media, internal communication, crisis communication, visitor services and special events and activities. A former sports editor for the Voice Newspapers, he was a regular contributor to a variety of publications, including the Kentucky Sports Report and the Courier-Journal. A poor but enthusiastic golfer, he is an avid Cardinal sports fan. He also loves the Detroit Lions, so pity him.