Chief Human Resources Officer

Brian Dickens is the chief human resources officer for the University of Tennessee System. In this role, Dickens is responsible for planning, developing and implementing statewide initiatives that support employee engagement. Areas of administration include system recruitment, employee and organizational development, compensation, inclusion, diversity and engagement, data analytics, reporting, payroll, benefits and retirement services. The office also works to ensure compliance with federal, state and University labor standards and policies. He collaborates with UT system, campus and institute leadership, human resources officers and diversity officers. Dickens joined the UT System on Dec. 1, 2019, following a national search.

Since 2002, Dickens, through his company BD Consulting, provided management and staff development services to a variety of companies as well as executive-level coaching to Fortune 100 leaders. He previously served at Ithaca College, where he implemented a staff compensation study that resulted in an updated salary structure, new job leveling instructions and improved market-based compensation decisions. He also oversaw upgrading of human resource systems to a cloud-based management system.

As associate vice president for human resources and payroll services at Texas Southern University, Dickens developed long-term programs to support the university’s mission such as the Mid-Managers Leadership Institute to develop future university leaders and the University Staff Council to engage staff members. He also advised university leadership responding to a university-wide reorganization and restructuring.

Other positions he has held include director of human resources at the University of Houston and director of student activities and leadership at Prairie View A&M University. In those roles, he provided strategic leadership, negotiated contracts with service providers, verified compliance with laws and regulations and oversaw university employee relations programs.

Dickens earned a Bachelor of Science in Biology from Prairie View A&M University in 1994, a Master of Arts in Counseling from Prairie View A&M University in 1995 and a Ph.D. in Educational Administration and Human Resource Development from Texas A&M University in 2015.