HR Staff

The UA Little Rock HR Team is prepared to assist you in the areas of employee benefits, recruiting, policies and procedures, performance management, and much more.

Main Phone Number: 501-916-3180
Main Fax Number: 501-916-3181

Hours of Operation: Monday-Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Campus Location
The Department of Human Resources Office is located in University Services Building (US-B) 100, across from the tennis courts.

U.S. Mailing Address: 2801 South University Avenue
Little Rock, AR 72204

Contact an HR Team Member


LaTonda Williams
Associate Vice Chancellor of Human Resources
Email LaTonda at

LaTonda is the Associate Vice Chancellor of Human Resources.  LaTonda is responsible for overseeing a broad range of activities including employee benefits, recruitment, employee relations, policy interpretation, training and development, and the overall operations of the department. LaTonda provides guidance regarding disciplinary procedures, oversees the departmental budget, and ensures compliance with state and federal employment laws.


Debra Simpson-Webster
Associate Director of Benefits/Leave Administration
Email Debra at

Debra is responsible for the day-to-day administration of employee benefits, FMLA, Catastrophic Leave, Medical Leave Without Pay, and Workers Compensation. Debra administers employee benefits programs, such as medical, dental, and vision plans; life insurance plans, 403(b) and 457(b) retirement plans,  and defined benefit retirement plans; long-term disability, flexible spending programs, and voluntary products.  Debra also handles retiree benefits and processes death insurance claims.  Debra responds to benefit inquiries and complaints to ensure quick and courteous resolutions.

Cynthia Evans
Human Resources Specialist – Benefits/Leave Administration
Email Cynthia at

Cynthia is responsible for the accounting duties of benefits. This includes payments for retirement plans, flexible spending, voluntary products, and UA System benefit payments. Cynthia processes COBRA for new and terminating employees, reconciles monthly enrollment for health, dental, and vision insurance, and assists the Associate Director as needed with the completion of required reports. Cynthia is responsible for processing requests for FMLA, Catastrophic Leave, Medical Leave Without Pay, and Workers Compensation.

Employee Relations

Karen Baker
Employee Relations Manager/EEO Officer/ADA Coordinator
Email Karen at

Karen supports UA Little Rock employees by providing guidance on the grievance and complaint process, facilitating and mediating conflict resolutions. Karen is responsible for requests for accommodations under ADA, and ensures business practices comply with state and federal employment laws.

HR Business Partners (HRBP)

Valarie Abrams
HRBP for College of Business, Health, and Human Services


Candi Barnum
HRBP for:

  • Vice Chancellor, Advancement
  • Vice Chancellor, Athletics
  • Vice Chancellor, Finance and Administration
  • Vice Chancellor, Student Affairs
  • Vice Chancellor, University Affairs


Lewis Howell
HRBP for:

  • College of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics
  • Graduate School
  • Provost Office
  • School of Law


Connie Thorbs
HRBP for College of Humanities, Arts, Social Science, and Education


IT Services (HR)

Sylvester Cartwright
Programmer Analyst
Email Sylvester at

Sylvester supports the efforts of the Department of Human Resources by facilitating the collection, analysis, and interpretation of institutional data. Sylvester is responsible for troubleshooting and problem solving to resolve hardware and software problems and maintaining the HR website.


Michele Curd
Associate Director of Personnel/HRIS
Email Michele at rmcurd@ualr@edu

Michele is the Associate Director of Personnel and HRIS.  Michele oversees personnel matters, such as onboarding, ensures classification and compensation comply with state guidelines, submits legislative reports, monitors employment authorizations, supervises the record retention program, and directs the daily activities of the Personnel area.

Stephanie Haygood
Human Resources Specialist – HCM Support
Email Stephanie at sahaygood@edu

Stephanie is responsible for a variety of employment-related services such as all Banner access forms, proof of prior service, and concurrent employment.


Ophelia Dedner
Associate Director of Recruitment
Email Ophelia at

Ophelia is the Associate Director of Recruitment. Ophelia oversees the recruitment area by performing a wide variety of employment functions in support of the day-to-day operations of the university’s hiring processes. Ophelia directs the daily activities of recruiting, and provides guidance to managers on the recruitment process, search waivers, job advertisements, and related areas.

Dara Goad
HR Specialist – Recruitment
Email Dara at

Dara is responsible for performing a wide variety of budget-related and record maintenance tasks for the department. Dara is responsible for processing transactions related to budget expenditures and assists in the area of Recruitment by providing assistance in job creation, job postings, and filling vacant positions. Dara is responsible for processing proof of prior service, unemployment claims, and employment verifications. She is responsible for the front office support to visitors, students, and employees.

Title IX

Emily Bell
Director of Title IX
Email Emily at

Emily is the designated university official with primary responsibility for coordinating the university’s compliance with Title IX. This includes providing leadership for Title IX activities; providing consultation, education, and training; and helping to ensure the university responds appropriately, effectively, and equitably to Title IX issues.

Training & Development

Katisha King
Training and Development Manager/Senior Deputy Title IX Coordinator
Email Katisha at

Katisha is responsible for university-wide employee training, including supervisory and management training, leadership coaching, and development. She is also responsible for providing employee and student training on sexual violence and other Title IX-related topics. She serves as Title IX Coordinator in the absence of the Title IX Director.


Contact the Payroll Department  at 501-916-3136 for any questions regarding payroll processing (direct deposit, leave balances, payroll taxes, etc.) and TimeClock Plus.