Meet Peter Carlson, Fairfield University’s new Human Resource Administrator
in charge of Risk & Compliance
Although Peter Carlson just recently started his Human Resource Administrator position in June, he’s not new to the University. Peter worked for Fairfield University as an officer in the Department of Public Safety beginning in May 2010, after completing nine years of active duty with the United States Coast Guard. Peter holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Workforce Education and Development from Southern Illinois University, and he’s currently finalizing his Master of Science Degree in Human Resource Development from Villanova University.
His duties as Human Resource Administrator in Risk & Compliance consist of being the liaison for University property and building insurance claims, processing and providing information for workers compensation claims, and serving as information coordinator for immigration matters and the review/implementation of University safety policies and procedures. In this brief “5 Q/A” introduction, Peter Carlson notes that his experience in Public Safety helps him in his Human Resources job.
What challenges do you see for yourself in your new position? I see the rapidly changing field of Human Resources as a challenge. It is imperative that I stay current with changing policies and regulations as it relates to my position.
Has your experience in Public Safety helped you prepare for some of those challenges? My experience in Public Safety has benefited me in many ways. Most significantly, it allowed me to foster professional relationships with a large portion of the University staff. The position of Public Safety Officer is very dynamic and requires adaptation to many different situations. This is something that has helped me in my current position.
Is there a favorite time of year for you to be on campus? While the campus environment always seems to have vibrancy, my favorite time of year is the fall. It is the start to a new academic year and allows the University community to put in place all they have prepared for during the summer months.
What hobbies do you have? When I am not spending time with my wife and our son, I can be found on a local golf course or fishing spot. My Master’s program certainly takes up a good amount of time, but I maintain perspective by volunteering for various local non-profit organizations in the community.
Any books of music you can recommend? The only books I generally have time for are related to my Master’s program, but one of my favorites is “A Good Walk Spoiled,” written by John Feinstein. It is a book that chronicles the life of an average PGA Tour professional.
Billy Weitzer has completed a year of research on the benefits of blending the liberal arts with pre-professional and professional training. He has decided to resign from his position as Executive Vice President in order to continue this line of research as a Senior Fellow at The Spencer Foundation in the fall. He is preparing a blog on this topic that has been accepted for sponsorship on a higher education web site. In addition, he has been named to the Fulbright Specialist Program and will be assigned to a short-term consulting project in another country during the fall or spring. Billy spent his sabbatical year in Brooklyn and plans to stay there while he pursues these and other opportunities.
University President Fr. Jeffrey von Arx expressed his gratitude for Billy’s six years of service at Fairfield: “Billy Weitzer made a significant contribution to advancing the strategic plan of the University, translating its goals into implementation strategies that have effectively realized significant aspects of the plan. He worked closely with the faculty on this and other projects, earning their trust and respect. On a personal note, he was of great assistance to me in my role, and I will miss both his counsel and his friendship. The University owes him a great deal, and, on the part of the whole community, I wish him well in the new endeavors he has planned.”
At an election held in early August, employees in the Fairfield University Department of Facilities Management voted for union representation by Local 30 of the International Union of Operating Engineers. Approximately 33 maintenance employees (grounds crew, carpenters, painters, electricians, HVAC technicians and mechanics) are involved; supervisors and managers are not part of this bargaining unit. The University and union will seek to reach a collective bargaining agreement over the course of the coming months. There is no set timetable for this process to be completed, and first contracts such as these can take several months or longer to finalize. However, the University is working towards concluding these negotiations as expeditiously as possible.
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