Beahm to retire as interim vice president for human resources
Mary Beahm, interim vice president for human resources at Penn State, has announced that she will retire from the University on Jan. 15, 2019. Beahm has led Penn State Human Resources since Aug. 1, 2017, following the departure of Susan Basso for a senior leadership role at Ohio State. A national search is in progress to identify a new permanent vice president.
“Mary has given more than a decade of great and dedicated service to the University, in addition to her years as an alumni-elected trustee,” said David Gray, senior vice president for finance and business at Penn State. “Her leadership of the HR transformation initiative and the WorkLion project will be an enduring legacy, of which she can be justifiably proud.”
As the University’s chief human resources officer, Beahm oversees all facets of Penn State’s human resources operations, including talent acquisition, employee relations, labor relations, compensation and benefits, talent development, and organizational alignment. She successfully led the implementation of the multiyear Human Resources Business Process Transformation, including the adoption of Workday as the University’s human capital management and payroll system. She also was instrumental in establishing the University’s first shared services center, which provides human resources customer service to 23 campus locations and 38,000 employees.
Under her leadership, Penn State Human Resources earned two awards in 2018 from the College and University Professional Association for Human Resources for its multifaceted transformation efforts: the national HR Innovation Award and CUPA-HR’s eastern region HR Excellence Award.
“I’m honored to have been a part of Penn State Human Resources and to work with so many dedicated individuals to implement important initiatives in support of the University’s strategic plans,” said Beahm. “Penn State has been an integral part of my life in so many ways; I take great pride in having served as its chief human resources officer during a period of such significant transformation and increasing global prominence.”
During her Penn State career, which has included roles as associate vice president for human resources and senior director of talent acquisition and compensation, Beahm has provided leadership for various University-wide human resources initiatives, including a complete rewrite of Penn State’s background check program, the University’s execution of the Affordable Care Act, and the creation of the University’s current talent acquisition process.
In 2008, Beahm was hired as a senior project manager to oversee the University’s conversion to a new staff position evaluation system, in which she helped streamline job profiles and descriptions across 23 Penn State campuses.
Before joining the University, Beahm served as corporate vice president for human resources at C-COR Inc., a telecommunications company, and as manager of human resources operations at Westinghouse Electric Corp.
Beahm was elected to the Penn State Board of Trustees by University alumni in 1990, and she served on the board for 15 years, earning the rank of trustee emerita in 2005 in recognition of her meritorious service. In addition, while a graduate student at Penn State, Beahm was chosen as the gubernatorial appointee to the Board of Trustees to represent the University-wide student population.
For her contributions to the Commonwealth and its citizens, Beahm was recognized with a Pennsylvania’s Best 50 Women in Business Award by the governor of Pennsylvania. In 2014, she was named Penn State’s Staff Excellence Award winner for her team spirit and managerial excellence in service to the University. She also is the recipient of a College of Health and Human Development Alumni Award.
Beahm has volunteered as a mentor for the College of Health and Human Development and has been involved with the State College Food Bank, Centre County YMCA, United Way, and Leadership Centre County. She is a member of the College and University Professionals Association and the Society for Human Resources Management.
Beahm earned a master’s degree in business administration and a bachelor’s degree in human development, individual and family studies, both from Penn State.