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Restoring Hope

by Stephany Schings, Communications Specialist

A transplant helped one SIOP member continue his research—now he helps others continue


Seventeen years ago, Dr. Herbert G. Heneman III, a now-retired Fellow at SIOP, received a liver transplant he credits with allowing him to continue his research.


Heneman’s chance to give back came on June 24 when the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) presented him with the $50,000 Michael R. Losey Human Resource Research Award.


The Losey award acknowledges major research accomplishments and recognizes human resource researchers or professionals whose contributions significantly advance the field of human resource management.


As soon as he found out about receiving the award, Heneman said he decided to donate the $50,000 to the Restoring Hope Transplant House in Middleton, WI, a suburb of Madison, which is currently working to raise money to renovate a building that will house people awaiting a transplant, post-transplant recipients in recovery, and their caregivers.


“I just felt a very compelling need to try to give back for being alive these 17 years and to be able to continue my research because of it,” Heneman said.


Heneman’s gift is greatly appreciated and needed.


“Right now we’re turning away 10 families a day, so there’s a lot of need there,” said Cindy Herbst, executive director of Restoring Hope Transplant House. She said the gift, given in both Heneman and his wife Susan's names, will have a large impact on the construction of the house.


The total construction and mortgage of the house will cost nearly $2 million, Herbst said, though much of those costs will be covered by in-kind contributions such as donated computers, lighting, and a foundation.


They need to raise $300,000 of the house’s $550,000 mortgage to start construction on the home, she explained, so the $50,000 donation accounts for a large portion of that.


“This is a legacy gift,” Herbst explained. “Their legacy will live on long after they're gone; this is the story of pay it forward.”


Heneman’s gift has paid for the naming rights to a room in the house called the visitation room, Herbst said. Transplant recipients will be able to receive visitors there as well as comfort one another and talk about their conditions.


“They wanted a room where life was changed and where life was made better,” Herbst said of Heneman and his wife. “So their giving is significant in not only the dollars but in how their lives are played out in that room.” 


Heneman, the Dickson-Bascom Professor Emeritus of Management and Human Resources at the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Business, was chosen for the Losey Award by a panel of seven experts, including representatives from the three funding organizations. The panel was chaired by Debra Cohen, PhD, SPHR, SHRM’s chief knowledge officer. 


Heneman was honored for his extensive body of human resource research, which has focused on staffing, performance management, union membership growth, work motivation, and compensation systems, and he has been cited for seeking to bridge the gap between academics and practitioners.


“It’s a wonderful award; It’s a real career capper, if you will,” Heneman said. “It’s a great award from a practitioner organization that recognizes the importance of research. I don’t think there are too many of those out there.”


SIOP members have seen great success in regards to this award. In recent years, SIOP Fellows Dr. Edward E. Lawler III (2002), Dr. Frank L. Schmidt (2005) and Dr. Gary P. Latham (2006) have all received the award.


Latham and Lawler, along with Lee Dyer, nominated Heneman for the award this year, which was presented at SHRM’s 60th Annual Conference & Exposition in Chicago.


A member of the UW-M faculty for more than 30 years, Heneman considers himself “semi-retired,” though he continues to teach, speak, and publish. He is also the senior author of four textbooks, the latest being Staffing Organizations, published in 2006.


Most recently Heneman has been conducting research on human resources systems in public schools, teacher quality issues, performance pay systems for teachers, and strategic alignment of human resources systems around teacher performance competencies.


Heneman received his AB in economics from Wabash College, and his MS and PhD degrees from the University of Wisconsin-Madison Industrial Relations Research Institute. He serves as a senior research associate in the Wisconsin Center for Education Research. He has also served as a visiting faculty member at the University of Washington and University of Florida, and was University Distinguished Visiting Professor at The Ohio State University. Heneman also was director of research for the SHRM Foundation Board.