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Jeremy Haefner

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Dear DU Community,

It is with bittersweet feelings that I share Laura Maresca’s decision to resign as vice chancellor for Human Resources and Inclusive Community in order to return to her consulting practice with a new focus on serving mission-based organizations. Prior to joining DU, Laura enjoyed a successful career as an employment attorney and HR consultant. She looks forward to resuming that work and her new focus area, especially in light of the international crisis we are living through.

Although Laura shared her decision to leave some time ago, I am grateful that she agreed to stay through April 20th to see the University through the first stage of this challenging time of working, teaching and learning remotely due to the coronavirus pandemic. I speak for everyone on our leadership team when I say that we are sad to see Laura leave after five wonderful years at DU. We will miss her many contributions to the University and most notably her dedication and commitment to DU’s most important resource—our people.  

Laura joined the University of Denver in 2015 as the director of equal opportunity. Not long after, and following a national search, Laura was promoted to become the University’s chief human resources officer. Laura is a recognized leader in human resources regionally and serves as president of the Rocky Mountain Chapter of the College and University Professional Association (CUPA). She is responsible for several significant ‘firsts’ at DU. Laura launched the first university-wide faculty/staff employee engagement survey at DU. She is responsible for initiating and managing our first pay equity study, which is taking place now. And, Laura transformed the human resources service model at DU through the creation of HR Partners, bringing a strategic client-based focus to the work. 

Consistent with Laura’s passion for equity and inclusion, the division was renamed to Human Resources and Inclusive Community. Laura created and introduced the very popular Diversity Heritage Month Lunch & Learn Series. She also created Equity into Action, a transformative program focused on gender equity that includes a new parent experience and support for nursing mothers at work. For the past two years, Laura has been instrumental in the success of DU’s Diversity Summit. 

According to Laura, “It has truly been an honor for me to be a part of this great university and leadership team. As an alum of the Sturm College of Law, I will always have a deep connection to DU.” Given our current restrictions on gatherings, we cannot celebrate Laura’s departure the way we would like. I hope you will take the opportunity to thank Laura and wish her well before her last day.

While we conduct a national search for Laura’s replacement, Jerron Lowe, director of HR partners, will assume the position of interim vice chancellor for Human Resources. Jerron has over 14 years of human resources experience in the areas of employee and labor relations, strategic HR Partnering, implementation and organizational effectiveness. Prior to joining DU in 2018, Jerron worked in the health care industry and he is also an alumnus of the Sturm College of Law, class of 2006. I appreciate his willingness to step into this role and look forward to working with him in the weeks and months ahead.


Jeremy Haefner