UAT profiles: meet Annette MacPherson

Meet Annette MacPherson, Senior HR Service Partner with Human Resources, Health, Safety and Environment (HRHSE).

27 January 2022

In this new series, get to know some of the people who have taken on new roles as part of the university's operating model.

Annette MacPherson

  • Current position: Senior HR Service Partner, Human Resources, Health, Safety and Environment (HRHSE)
  • Time with the university: 18 years. ("I actually started as a co-op student with the School of Business while obtaining my degree.")
  • Former position(s): Human Resources, Communications and Administration Manager, Information Services and Technology (IST)

What do you like most about your current position?

Engaging with new areas of the university, working through their restructuring, and learning their needs as well as building relationships with my new colleagues and team.

How was the transition into your new position?

I think we are all still transitioning to some degree: operationalizing the model, learning how our roles fit with all the others, and how they are expected to fit, as well as driving towards that end-state design. There have been many learnings along the way while transitioning into my new role, with opportunities to engage with new areas, and I’m sure there will be many more learnings to come.

Has your unit experienced any successes or progress as part of the UAT initiative?

Yes, I would say many successes. We have been supporting the development of the college structures, the restructuring of administrative units as well as supporting position creation and recruitment of many of the new roles associated with the operating model. It was also exciting to develop our own HR Service Partner teams as well as the Senior Partnership network. With all of that activity, we have been building relationships with new clients while understanding and supporting their strategic objectives and the integration of those to the broader university strategies. We have strengthened many new processes in coordination with other areas that are standing up, like Shared Services, and continue to work through other initiatives rolling out from Human Resources, Health, Safety and Environment (HRHSE), like the Work From Home Program.

What aspect of UAT has been more challenging than you expected?

There has been a lot of activity looking at how we work and mapping new processes; that, coupled with the speed of implementation and impacts of COVID, have posed challenges.

When you think of the U of A of Tomorrow, what are you most looking forward to?

One of the same things that has always excited me about my work at the U of A: the people I get to work with. I am proud of my colleagues and how they have risen to the challenges we have faced and I truly enjoy working with my client groups and supporting their unique needs. I’m also looking forward to seeing the outcomes from all the work we’ve put into UAT and having clear, consistent, and documented processes across the institution which will be critical in supporting the future growth planned at the university.

Senior HR Service Partners are a brand new role to the university and work directly with the College General Managers (CGMs) and Chiefs of Staff in administrative units. They act as strategic advisors to the College Deans and Vice-Presidents, as well as provide leadership to a team of HR Service Partners (HRSPs) who support the faculties and administrative units in each portfolio.

If you'd like to be featured in the UAT profile series, or would like to nominate someone, please contact