Dear Members of the Yale Community,
I write to share news that Janet Lindner, vice president for human resources and administration, has decided to retire at the end of this calendar year. After serving our university with distinction for over two decades, she will be greatly missed.
Janet’s exemplary service to our community began in 1997. She came to Yale after working for the City of New Haven, where she served as the chief administrative officer. Since then, her responsibilities to our university have grown extensively. She has contributed to many milestones in the university’s history, such as Yale’s tercentennial celebrations, and has helped our campus overcome numerous emergencies, including the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Over the last two decades, she has made a tremendous impact on this university. She has served as a director of major projects, associate vice president for administration, and deputy vice president for human resources and administration. In 2017, I asked Janet to assume the role of the vice president for human resources and administration, in which she serves as a crucial strategic partner to university leaders, managers, and staff. In the past three years, she and her team have worked together with colleagues across campus to elevate the strategic role of the Office of Human Resources and Administration, developing a unified vision and plan for talent management and improving processes for hiring, career development, and retention.
Notably, Janet has been instrumental in increasing diversity among managers, more than doubling the proportion from historically underrepresented groups in the course of a decade. She has worked tirelessly to foster an inclusive and respectful culture at Yale. She often notes that how we approach our work every day can make a lasting difference and transform our community.
Early in her career, Janet was a union organizer and business agent in New York City. Her keen understanding of labor relations has benefited the Yale community. For example, she helped to usher in a more collaborative approach as a founding member of the union-management partnership that addresses problems in a culture of shared respect. Working closely with union leaders and community partners, she developed the university’s New Haven Hiring Initiative to create pipelines to careers at Yale.
Taking responsibility for public safety during a time of transition in 2010, Janet led a successful search for our police chief. Since, she has partnered with Yale police officers and staff within Yale Public Safety to serve our community. Most recently, she welcomed nationally recognized experts to assess all aspects of our policing, and the university is taking action based on that review.
Janet also has led the growth of many environmental initiatives at Yale. For example, she created Yale’s ridesharing initiative and the “Y-Bike” program, and she helped to transition Yale’s car and truck fleet toward using alternative fuel. I will long remember both her serious commitment to sustainability as well as her more lighthearted effort to include the beloved image of Handsome Dan on each shuttle.
Active in volunteer roles in our community, Janet has received numerous awards and recognition for public service and leadership. She is the executive sponsor of the Future Leaders of Yale affinity group and has mentored and coached many early, mid-, and late-career staff members throughout her time at Yale. She serves on the United Way of Greater New Haven’s board of directors, including as board chair from 2017 to 2019. She is a fellow of Saybrook College.
I am grateful to Janet for all that she has accomplished for Yale. Her knowledge of the university, appreciation for the people within our community, skill at consensus building, and ability to focus on the importance of our work—even in the most challenging of times—make her a remarkable colleague. I will soon launch a search, in collaboration with Senior Vice President for Operations Jack Callahan, for a new leader for human resources at Yale. In the meantime, please join me in thanking Janet, congratulating her on her accomplishments, and wishing her success in her next life chapter. Knowing Janet, her wisdom and indefatigable good spirit will continue to benefit all whose paths she crosses.
Chris Argyris Professor of Psychology