"Carmen Canales" Archive

Chief Human Resources Officer to leave for new position

Carmen Canales, Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer, has accepted a position as Senior Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer for the Novant Health system. She will join Novant Health next month. A search for her replacement will begin after the COVID-19 crisis passes. In the interim, Dedee DeLongpre-Johnston, Chief Sustainability Officer, will assist Hof Milam, Executive Vice President in providing leadership and oversight of Human Resources. 

Canales, who came to Wake Forest in 2011, has led the University’s talent functions, including recruitment, campus engagement, compensation and benefits, professional development, HR operations, and HR information systems. Across each of these areas, she has helped further the University’s commitment to diversity, inclusion, and belonging. 

“Carmen has had a tremendous impact by positioning Human Resources as a strategic partner for the University,” said Executive Vice President Hof Milam. “Her transformative leadership has made it possible to advance our important talent management work in collaboration with our schools and departments.” 

During her time here, Carmen has led the expansion of a comprehensive benefits package, adding inclusive offerings such as gender reassignment coverage and student debt counseling, while increasing retirement plan participation by 55 percent. She also enhanced the faculty, staff, and retiree recognition events with an emphasis on authentic appreciation.

Early in her time at Wake Forest, Canales formed the Leadership Summit, which brings together academic and administrative leaders for professional development and collaboration. This program has featured internal and external experts on topics including innovation, tradition, change management, and friendship. Her vision for developing colleagues across the University also resulted in “Leading at Wake,” a series that focuses on creating a culture of engagement and belonging. 

“It has been a privilege to serve the diverse Wake Forest community,” Canales said. “The Human Resources team is talented, thoughtful, and dedicated, and will continue to collaborate with and support staff and faculty colleagues.”

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A message from Human Resources regarding COVID-19

Carmen Canales, vice president and chief human resources officer, emailed this message to faculty and staff on March 23:

Dear Faculty and Staff Colleagues,

As new developments about the COVID-19 pandemic emerge, questions continue to arise about a variety of benefits and other considerations. Below, please find several pertinent updates:

COVID-19 Tests: 

The Medical Plan covers the cost of COVID-19 tests in full, and the latest BlueCross BlueShield of North Carolina (BCBSNC) Coronavirus information is available on the BCBSNC website. Medical Plan coverage will continue for enrolled and actively employed individuals, even if they are not working any hours, until further notice.

If you are experiencing symptoms associated with COVID-19, have undergone testing for the virus, or have tested positive, inform Human Resources as soon as possible by contacting Melissa Clodfelter at clodfem@nullwfu.edu or (336) 758-3079. We will work with the Department of Public Health and the Wake Forest Student Health Service to determine the best course of action. You must work remotely or stay at home until you have been contacted by HR or your supervisor.

Essential Employees:

Human Resources and Environmental Health and Safety are maintaining a complete list of all essential employees that are required to be on campus due to the critical nature of the services they provide. All supervisors with essential employees who have not already communicated this information to HR or EHS should complete the Essential Employees form immediately. Updates to the list should also be provided through the form, as essential employee designations may change as the situation evolves. Essential employees and their supervisors should follow industry-specific COVID-19 guidelines, including resources published by the Department of Labor and the Department of Health & Human Services, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Food & Drug Administration. WFU general safety precautions and employee exposure classifications are available on the EHS website. Employees who are deemed essential should send questions about health and safety guidelines to wfuehs@nullwfu.edu, and a colleague in EHS will respond.

Employees who are not designated to provide essential services should remain at home, even if their work cannot be performed remotely. If a colleague must come to campus, they should discuss the need with their unit head or supervisor, who should then inform Melissa Clodfelter. It is imperative for the University to record all instances of faculty and staff on campus in the event contact tracing is needed due to cases of COVID-19. Faculty and staff should not bring their children or other visitors to campus until normal operations resume.


Remote access to board-certified doctors is available around the clock by registering online, texting “bcbsnc” to MDLive (635483), or calling (888) 657-9982. Additionally, telephonic behavioral health consultations are available by calling (800) 475-7900 or visiting the Carolina Behavioral Health Alliance (CBHA) website.

Employee Assistance Program (EAP): 

The EAP now offers telephonic counseling on topics such as anxiety and depression by calling (336) 716-5493.

Prescription Drug Plan: 

WFU Medical Plan members can now refill their maintenance medications before the refill date, and new policies are being implemented for prior authorization and specialty medication extensions. Contact OptumRx (plan number 009335) for more information:
-General Inquiries: (844) 265-1875
-Specialty Pharmacy: (855) 427-4682
-Mail Order Program: (888) 869-4600

Potential Reassignments: 

Human Resources will be collaborating with departments to reassign individuals with lessened workloads, where possible, to help complete the work that is most pressing during this pandemic. Leaders can use forms to request staff in high-volume areas or identify potential reassignments, and Human Resources will contact employees to communicate any reassignments that are offered.

Please know that we are continuously working to provide as much information as quickly as possible during these unprecedented times. The University will continue to communicate the latest determinations and will update the Faculty & Staff Information page of the COVID-19 website as new details are available.

Thank you for your collaboration, patience, and thoughtful questions, as we explore solutions to best serve our University community.


Carmen Canales
Vice President & Chief Human Resources Officer

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SAC meeting to feature three speakers

Three speakers will be featured at the March 11 meeting of the Staff Advisory Council.  Open to staff and others, the meeting will be held from 9 to 11:30 a.m. in Benson University Center, Room 401 B/D.

Speakers will include Erica Still, associate dean for faculty recruitment and associate professor of English; José Villalba, vice president for diversity and inclusion, chief diversity officer and professor of counseling; and Carmen Canales, vice president and chief human resources officer.

Still and Villalba will provide updates on the work of the President’s Commission on Race, Equity and Community.  Canales will provide talent updates.

The meeting and event schedule for the SAC is available online.

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Categories: Staff News

Update on Title IX Office

The following announcement was e-mailed to faculty and staff from the Office of the Provost on Jan. 22 on behalf of Kami Chavis, associate provost for academic initiatives, associate vice president and professor of law:

Good morning, Wake Forest faculty and staff,

Late in 2019, Wake Forest announced that Tanya Jachimiak, Director of the Title IX Office/Title IX Coordinator and Section 504 Coordinator, had agreed to become Associate Vice President for Civil Rights and Title IX Education and Compliance at Michigan State University. Tanya has been a respected and cherished member of our campus community for over six years; her professionalism, integrity, and commitment to fairness are the hallmarks of her legacy.  She has played a central role in the university’s efforts to prevent and respond to sexual assault, and it is vital that we hire a knowledgeable and equity-minded leader to assume these responsibilities. The university has engaged Isaacson, Miller to assist with this important search.

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July 2016 staff milestones

See a list of staff milestones for July 2016: Read more

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