Eastern Michigan University appoints Brett Last as Chief Human Resources Officer

Brett Last
Brett Last

YPSILANTI – Brett Last, who has extensive experience at colleges and in the corporate and legal sectors, has been named Associate Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer (CHRO) at Eastern Michigan University.

Last most recently served as CHRO at Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs, N.Y. Before that, he served as Executive Director, Human Resources and Interim Title IX Coordinator at Northampton Community College in Bethlehem, Pa.

"I am beyond excited to be joining Eastern Michigan University,” Last said. “As a premier public university that values a supportive, diverse community while providing students with a high quality, public education, the values that EMU fosters speak directly to me as a human resources leader.

“I look forward to working with the leadership team, employees at all levels and institutional partners to continue the tradition of providing a collaborative and rewarding employee experience."

Last will begin work on Monday, Sept. 14, 2020. University Associate General Counsel Jeff Ammons, who has been serving as interim CHRO, will help transition Last into his new role. Last will report to Eastern Michigan University Chief Financial Officer Mike Valdes.

“I’m excited to welcome Brett to Eastern Michigan,” Valdes said. “Brett is experienced in a wide variety of human resources contexts, and he will bring that deep perspective to EMU in helping our employees flourish during this challenging time and beyond.”

In his time as a practicing lawyer, Last specialized in labor, employment, and employee benefits law, representing both labor unions and individual employees. 

Through this experience and his interest in human resources and talent development, he transitioned into a human resources leadership role at Olympus Corporation. In that role, he supported thousands of employees throughout the U.S., Canada, and Latin America on the full range of human resources issues such as employee relations, labor relations, total rewards, talent management, and recruitment. 

He earned his J.D. from Rutgers Law School in 2003, and a bachelor’s degree in political science from The College of New Jersey in 1997.

Last’s appointment is pending approval from the EMU Board of Regents. His annual salary will be $173,000.

About Eastern Michigan University

Founded in 1849, Eastern is the second oldest public university in Michigan. It currently serves nearly 18,000 students pursuing undergraduate, graduate, specialist, doctoral and certificate degrees in the arts, sciences and professions. In all, more than 300 majors, minors and concentrations are delivered through the University's Colleges of Arts and Sciences; Business; Education; Engineering and Technology; Health and Human Services; and, its graduate school. EMU is regularly recognized by national publications for its excellence, diversity, and commitment to applied education. For more information about Eastern Michigan University, visit the University's website.

September 08, 2020

Written by:
Geoff Larcom

Geoff Larcom