Since January 2022, Lauren Turner has served as senior vice president of talent and inclusion and chief diversity officer at WPI. Reporting directly to the President, she oversees all aspects of WPI’s human resources and diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) functions, including compensation, benefits, talent acquisition, performance management, learning and development, organizational development, employee engagement, labor relations, and employee relations, HR information systems, data and analytics, DEI, and the Office of Diversity, Inclusion, and Multicultural Education (ODIME). WPI employs about 1,200 faculty and staff and serves about 7,000 undergraduate and graduate students.
Before being appointed to her current position following a national search, Lauren was senior associate vice chancellor for human resources and organizational strategy & effectiveness at the University of Massachusetts Lowell from 2011 to 2022. Lauren began her career at Mount Holyoke College, starting as a receptionist in the Office of Personnel Services and working her way to become the director of human resources/affirmative action officer. During her 30 years at Mount Holyoke, she completed her Bachelor of General Studies in human resources at the University of Massachusetts Amherst and then her Master of Arts in psychology at Mount Holyoke College. There she began the teaching aspect of her career, which continued when she joined UMass Lowell, where she developed and taught undergraduate- and graduate-level courses in human resources, leadership, workforce diversity and inclusion, fostering a learning organization, as well as leadership, law, and policy.
Lauren earned her PhD in leadership and organizational studies at the Robert J. Manning School of Business at UMass Lowell in 2018. Her dissertation, Leader Cultural Intelligence and Transformational Leadership as Antecedents to Organizational Diversity Management Practice, aligns with her teaching and continued research focus. Her most recent publications have delved into why there aren’t more human resources leaders who are champions of diversity, how cultural intelligence influences diversity management practices, and restoring trust in a #MeToo workplace.
Lauren has been an active member and contributor to the College and University Professional Association for Human Resources (CUPA-HR) for over 35 years. She has served in multiple volunteer roles across CUPA-HR, serving on its board of directors and as Chair of its board in 2011, during which time she provided leadership in the development of CUPA-HR’s DEI framework which continues to inform the work of the association and higher education human resources practitioners. Recognizing the extent and depth of her service to CUPA-HR and to the human resources professional, she received the Donald E. Dickason Award from CUPA-HR in 2014. Lauren is also an active member of the Eastern Academy of Management (EAM) and the national Academy of Management (AOM), communities of college and university educators and scholars dedicated to helping the world work better. She is a three-time recipient of the EAM’s Outstanding Reviewer Award and was nominated for best paper in 2015. She is a prolific reviewer of peer publications, including Human Resource Management, IGI Global, and Organizational Management Journal. Lauren is a frequent presenter on topics related to human resource and organizational effectiveness at regional and national conferences including CUPA-HR, EAM, AOM, the National Association of College & University Business Officers, and is a member of the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) and the Academy of Management (AOM).