University names first chief organizational learning officer


Sonya Jacobs has been appointed U-M’s chief organizational learning officer, starting Sept. 15. In this new role, Jacobs will create curricula and strategies aimed at building the capabilities of staff, managers and leaders across the university.

“The need for this role and an overarching professional development strategy was identified some time ago,” said Laurita Thomas, associate vice president for human resources. “Establishing it now will be especially important in the development of new diversity-related training and programs to further the university’s diversity, equity and inclusion efforts in a comprehensive and measurable way.”

Jacobs will build on the existing programs and educational design capabilities of University Human Resources’ Learning & Professional Development unit, becoming senior director of LPD and joining the senior leadership team of UHR.

Most recently, Jacobs directed faculty and leadership development for the Medical School and U-M Health System. She was the first director of the Office of Faculty Development in the Medical School serving its faculty across all tracks and ranks, and has developed organizationwide career and leadership development programs, including coaching and mentoring.

Jacobs holds a bachelor’s degree in social science from Michigan State University and a master’s degree in human resources and organizational development from Eastern Michigan University.


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