Press Release


May 14, 2015
Contact Information:
Missy Kline
Content Manager – Communications and Marketing

Dr. Nathan O. Hatch, President of Wake Forest University, Receives CUPA-HR’s Chief Executive HR Champion Award

Dr. Nathan O. Hatch, president of Wake Forest University, has received the College and University Professional Association for Human Resources (CUPA-HR) 2015 Chief Executive HR Champion Award. Recognizing that what makes an institution great are its people, this award honors a president or chancellor of a higher education institution or system who has demonstrated significant support for the institution’s human resources function. Thanks to the generous support of Sibson Consulting, CUPA-HR is pleased to offer an $8,000 contribution to Wake Forest University’s endowment or a scholarship fund of Hatch’s choice.

In his 10 years at the helm of Wake Forest, Hatch has made several strategic investments in employee wellness, leadership development, diversity and inclusion, employee engagement and more, and has provided the resources and support necessary for the institution’s human resources organization to put plans into action.

Employee Wellness

Introduced in 2014, Wake Forest’s Thrive program encompass emotional, environmental, financial, intellectual, occupational, social and spiritual wellbeing. Hatch has been a champion and staunch supporter of the program since its inception. Additionally, the university recently broke ground on a new facility designed to be a “dynamic hub of wellbeing on campus.” Through these efforts, Hatch hopes to position Wake Forest as a national model of holistic wellbeing.


Hatch has provided supported for the design and implementation of a comprehensive employee engagement survey, which human resources will distribute in 2015. The survey will provide baseline metrics about faculty and staff opinions on areas including campus environment and facilities; communication and collaboration; community and pride; compensation, benefits and work-life balance; diversity and inclusion; job satisfaction; leadership, mission and values; policies; professional development; and support and interaction.

Teamwork, Creativity and Innovation

Hatch has shaped a culture that celebrates innovation and talent and eradicates barriers to engagement and collaboration. He has supported HR’s efforts to implement a strengths-based approach to building highly functioning teams and has championed a number of opportunities for the campus community to gather in the spirit of innovation.

Leadership Development

With the introduction of the Leadership Project, which brings world-class leaders to the university as guest speakers, Hatch has enabled Wake Forest students, staff and faculty to engage in a personal and reflective conversation with leaders who span diverse career paths, generations and worldviews. He also actively supports the university’s other staff and faculty leadership development programs.

Diversity and Inclusion

Hatch’s commitment to diversity and inclusion is evident on several fronts. He supported the 2014 implementation of the Bias Incident Reporting System, which enables faculty, staff and students to report bias-related incidents they have witnessed or experienced on campus and provides a mechanism for the university to investigate such incidents. Also during Hatch’s tenure, the university founded the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer and Questioning (LGBTQ) Center. This Center offers ongoing opportunities for cross-campus engagement; a bimonthly faculty-staff group for community-building, information-sharing and mutual support; mentorship opportunities for faculty and staff to interface with LGBTQ students; Safe Zone training for faculty, staff and student LGBTQ allies; and more.

In 2014, Hatch launched the President’s Commission on LGBTQ Affairs — a cross-functional task force charged with evaluating the status of campus life, climate and equity for LGBTQ members of the Wake Forest community. Dr. Hatch also oversaw the 2013 founding of the Women’s Center, which examines gender as an integral part of personal, academic and professional development and connects women to each other, services and advocacy. As a result of diversity initiatives implemented during Hatch’s leadership, the Wake Forest earned the 2012 Higher Education Excellence in Diversity (HEED) award from INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine.

“President Hatch has demonstrated time and again in countless ways his commitment to Wake Forest’s greatest asset – its people,” says Wake Forest’s chief human resources officer Carmen Canales, who nominated Hatch for the Chief Executive HR Champion Award. “We are so grateful for his thoughtful leadership, his support for human resources and his commitment to making Wake Forest a world-class institution. He is incredibly deserving of this award.”


CUPA-HR is higher ed HR. We serve higher education by providing the knowledge, resources, advocacy and connections to achieve organizational and workforce excellence. Headquartered in Knoxville, Tennessee, and serving more than 18,000 HR professionals and other campus leaders at more than 1,900 member organizations around the country and abroad, the association offers learning and professional development programs, higher education salary and benefits data, extensive online resources and just-in-time regulatory and legislative information.

CUPA-HR’s annual Higher Education Human Resource Awards honor excellence in higher education human resources and recognize service and commitment to CUPA-HR and innovation in the profession.


The CUPA-HR office will be closed Fridays through August 19.