Gatepost Interview: David Baldwin, Director of Human Resources
By Leighah Beausoleil
What is your professional and educational background?
I have both my master’s and my bachelor’s in accounting from the College of Saint Rose in Albany, New York. And there, I started as a graduate residence director (RD), and then I was coordinator of campus events. I think that’s what it was called. Then I got my degree and I went to Bridgewater as a full-time residence director, and got promoted after my first year to assistant director of residence life. And then I came here after a few years, to Framingham, as the associate director of residence life, and I was here for four years. ... I left and went to Worcester State as a director of residence life for a year. And then I came back here and was the director of multicultural affairs. Then I became the assistant dean and director of multicultural affairs, then the associate dean and director of multicultural affairs. And then we got the Multicultural Center and the chief diversity officer and I just became the associate dean of students, and now the director of human resources.
What does your job entail?
Well, it oversees the recruitment, onboarding, benefits of the full- and part-time employees here on campus, and works closely with payroll, obviously, of course, and the like to make the humans around here operate.
Why did you choose to get involved in higher education?
Well, that’s a very interesting story. When I was a grad RD, when I was getting my graduate degree in accounting, my bosses were always like, “You’re so good at this. You’re so good with the students. We don’t understand why you’re going to be in accounting.” And I literally said – and I remember it very clearly – I said, “I see what you drive and I know what I want to drive and they do not match.” But they persisted and kept going and I guess it kind of wore me down and so when I was graduating, I applied to a few higher-ed jobs, and lo and behold, Bridgewater, they sucked me in. And that’s the story right there, and I never looked back. But I was going to accounting. That was my focus – what I was going to do. Being the grad RD was just to pay for my master’s degree.
Do you have any personal hobbies?
Outside of work, I like to read. Anything that has someone dying in it, I’m in – murder, psychological thriller – I’m there. I will read it front to back. I like TV, of course. I’m a TV junkie. Since I was a child, that was my babysitter. My mother would say, “Go watch TV.” So TV, I love TV. Again, if someone dies, I’m in. Other than that, hanging out with my friends. I have four Godchildren that I adore and do anything for. So they take up a lot of time and money. And so that’s really how I spend most of my time – lounging around, reading about murder, watching murder.
What is something students may be surprised to know about you?
I was Jimmy Fallon’s RA when he was a student at St. Rose. And he was just as funny then as he is now and did impressions of everyone he could find. He did an impression of me. There was an impression of the dean, the president – no one was spared from his impressions.
What advice do you have for FSU students?
My advice is to take advantage of what’s here. So many students pay the tuition and fees and don’t take advantage of everything that the University has to oNer. And I’m not just talking about CASA and things of that nature and SILD and stuN like that. But there are so many other things to be a part of and be involved in – other clubs, organizations, getting a job just in an office on campus somewhere, and getting to know those folks and making those connections. It’s really about making the connection to the University because when you’re connected to the University in some way, whether it be through a job or a club or just getting help in CASA or something like that, you are more connected. You are more apt to stay and succeed and do well at the University. If you’re just using the University as you did in like middle school or high school, where you just got up in the morning, came to school and then went home – and that means whether you’re a commuter or resident ... if you’re just doing that, you’re not getting the full experience and you’re not really connecting to the University that way. ... [When] you become connected to the University, your grades will improve and your joy at being at the University will improve. I am proof positive of that as I didn’t really engage my first year in college. When I was a freshman, I didn’t know what to do as a first generation. I didn’t know who to ask or to turn to. ... If I hadn’t chosen the College of Saint Rose and done all the things that I’ve done there, well, I don’t know what I’d be doing right now. Whether it be in accounting or whatever it be, I don’t know what I would be. It changed my life – for the better that is.