Richard S. Holcomb has been appointed associate vice president for human resources and will serve as the university’s chief human resources officer.

His appointment, approved July 18 by the Board of Regents, is effective Aug. 1. He will succeed Laurita Thomas, who is retiring after serving the university for 46 years, including 15 as associate vice president for human resources.

Photo of Richard Holcomb
Richard Holcomb

“I’m pleased that Richard has been selected as our new associate vice president for human resources,” said Kevin Hegarty, executive vice president and chief financial officer. “I am confident he will continue to build on Laurita’s leadership and commitment to creating an environment where people can thrive and excel.”

Holcomb brings more than 20 years of experience in human resources to the position, most recently serving as senior director for benefits and health and well-being services at U-M. He has held leadership positions in University Human Resources and Michigan Medicine, including recently serving as interim chief human resources officer for Michigan Medicine. He earlier worked at Foote Hospital in Jackson as compensation and benefits manager.

“I’m truly humbled to have this privilege of leading our human resources function. I believe strongly in investing in our faculty and staff because it is core to creating a positive organizational environment,” said Holcomb. “I look forward to continued partnership with colleagues across the university to continue advancing toward unparalleled academic excellence, leadership and service.”

In his new position, Holcomb will provide overall leadership to the human resources community, including the Ann Arbor, Flint and Dearborn campuses and Michigan Medicine.

He will oversee the university’s central human resources functions that include: Academic Human Resources, benefits administration, U-M Children’s Centers, Compensation and Classification, HR Communications, HR Strategy and Planning, Human Resource Records and Information Services, MHealthy, Mental Health Counseling and Consultation Services, Occupational Health Services, Organizational Learning, Recruiting and Employment, Staff HR Services, Temporary Staffing Services and the Work-Life Resource Center.

Holcomb earned a bachelor’s degree in employment relations and a master’s degree in labor relations and human resources, both from Michigan State University.

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