Serving the people who serve
While he’s still a relative newcomer to campus—arriving just last March as director of human resources—Scott Sharik has quickly come to appreciate the university’s four enduring values.
In his brief experience so far, Scott says he has seen openness to discovery and examples of community, respect and service, making those values “pretty accurate characteristics of Bluffton” in his mind.
That also makes them a good fit with where Scott says he’s coming from in his still-new role. “I see myself as serving the people who serve the people. I think that’s what HR is about.”
“I am a person who is driven by the values and the mission of the organization,” he adds. Bluffton’s mission—and the chance to remain in a Council for Christian Colleges and Universities institution—were among the reasons for his interest in coming to Ohio, he notes, after serving as HR director at Geneva College in Beaver Falls, Pa., since 2010.
“My goal in HR will be to try to improve systems that best serve the organization in trying to accomplish its mission, and to support faculty and staff in doing their work.”
The systems that Scott is addressing in recentralizing HR include new employee orientation, which he foresees with a mentoring component; the hiring process for staff, which is entailing such work as interview training with supervisors; and a job description update project that will include all positions on campus, he says.
Roughly 160 job descriptions were rewritten when he was at Geneva, he points out, as were 167 at Grace College and Theological Seminary when he was HR director there from 1999-2007.
Saying he’s “thrilled” about the Creating Together initiative, Scott adds that he’s also interested in more strategic efforts. He would like those to include working with faculty and staff on professional development “in such a way that one would build a training resource center,” based on “a community of people who contribute to each other’s growth.”
Teamwork is of particular interest to Scott, whose master’s thesis looked at the roles of the aspects of the Trinity and how they work together. He’s trying to find ways to improve processes to help facilitate more effective collaboration on campus, he explains, saying he hopes to create a dialogue with faculty and staff about how to work better together.
“This work is not a destination; it’s a path” that will involve not only walking, but also falling off and getting back on, he notes. And he’s trusting in God “to help me be influential in a dynamic way to bring about change that matches our values,” he says.
The Westmont, Ill., native found his faith while serving in the Army in Hawaii in the late ‘70s. He became involved with interdenominational ministry to military personnel, and later attended seminary at Grace for a year and a half, but ultimately entered human resources inspired through a job with Cardinal Services of Indiana, which serves adults with disabilities.
He became an HR director for the first time at Grace Village Retirement Community in 1996. But more than 12 of his 16-plus years as a director have now been spent in Christian higher education, which he says he values “because of the immeasurable implications of influences that one life can make” on students.
Scott, who holds a bachelor’s degree in English from San Diego State University, earned his master’s degree in intercultural ministries while working at Grace in 2000. Sara, the oldest of his five children and a May 2015 graduate of Trinity Christian College in Illinois, is now an admissions counselor at Grace. Lima residents since June, he and his wife, Sally, are also the parents of Stephen, who just graduated from high school; Staci, 16; Samuel, 15; and Simeon, 10.
“I am a person who is driven by the values and the mission of the organization.” Bluffton’s mission—and the chance to remain in a Council for Christian Colleges and Universities institution—were among the reasons for his interest in coming to Ohio.”