Gordon Barger takes over as CEO of Benefit Services

Patrick Shanahan / University photography

Gordon Barger, Cornell’s new Senior Director of Benefits Services and Administration.

Gordon Barger, deputy director of human resources at the Metropolitan Museum of Art (MMA), was appointed senior director of benefits services and administration at Cornell in mid-December.

Barger succeeded Paul Bursic, who retired from Cornell after leading Benefit Services for around 20 years.

“Gordon brings an impressive track record in developing and implementing benefit plans that will help strengthen our already strong benefit offerings,” said Mary G. Opperman, vice president and chief human resources officer of Cornell. “He’s an effective communicator who enjoys working with faculty and staff to help them better navigate through their benefit options and the challenges that life presents. I look forward to working with Gordon as we look ahead, listen to our faculty and staff, and work to make our benefits and programs even more effective for them.

During Barger’s 10 years at MMA, he created a five-year healthcare strategic plan, designed and implemented a retirement program improvement project, implemented Workday HR / Finance and led several initiatives. focused on improving the delivery of HR services, as well as in compensation and other areas of HR. Previously, Barger led benefits and compensation operations at Columbia University, was an adjunct faculty member for City University’s European programs, and served as deputy director of benefits systems at New York University and New York University Medical Center.

Barger intends to build on the strong benefits package and team of service-oriented benefits professionals that Bursic has created.

“It’s a very solid program with a strong team,” said Barger. “Part of my job will be to think about new perspectives, new ways of communicating, so that faculty and staff are more involved in their choice of benefits throughout the year. “

Barger plans to spend some time meeting with Cornell faculty and staff.

“I want to see staff and faculty in their work environment, see what their days are like,” he said. “It will help me better understand how the various benefits we offer fit together and can improve their lives. “

He says his work at the museum has helped him hone his communication and overall strategy skills and better understand how to bring together people with diverse perspectives and needs. He said he was happy to return to the collaborative and problem-solving world of higher education he experienced at Columbia and New York University, and during his undergraduate and graduate studies. in psychology at Central Michigan University and the New School for Social Research.

“I am very excited to join the amazing community that is Cornell, to be a part of academia again and the special people who have shaped my life and career,” he said. “It will also be exciting to further explore the campus, Ithaca and the surrounding areas. I really feel like “coming home”.

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