Virginia, United States
Salary Commensurate with experience
Sep 21, 2020
Employment Level
Employment Type
Full Time

We seek an exceptional candidate to serve in the inaugural position of EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR of DIVERSITY, EQUITY & INCLUSION at Eastern Mennonite University (EMU). The selected candidate will excel at leading transformational change and shaping strategic vision to advance diversity, equity and inclusion inside and outside the classroom. 


Position Summary

The Executive Director (ED) of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) is entrusted with guiding the campus community to live more fully into its identity as a faith-informed peace and justice university and its commitments to cultivate a more robust diverse and inclusive community of learners. Reporting to the president, the ED of DEI is the point person for supporting students, faculty and staff in diversity, equity and inclusion efforts. The ideal candidate will bring considerable experience as a proven ambassador, collaborator and catalyst in mobilizing people and departments around DEI goals.


The successful candidate will: 


  • Work collaboratively with the President’s Office and the Executive Leadership Team as a strategic thought partner in living into the university’s new vision statement featuring inclusivity, equity, and access aspirations.
  • Provide leadership for the diversity goal of the university’s strategic plan, including advocacy for student affinity groups, including but not limited to Black Student Alliance, Latino Student Alliance, International Student Organization, Asian Pacific Islander Student Association, SafeSpace, Student Government Association.
  • Give counsel for university approaches to dismantle systemic racism and discrimination.
  • Conceptualize a centralized place/new organizational structure for DEI to be studied, valued, and supported, including the solicitation of grants and other cultivations of outside funding.
  • Serve as an advisor and resource on DEI needs and initiatives across campus towards a collective culture of belonging.
  • Oversee all university trainings, forums, audits, and plans around fostering DEI.
  • Interface with university committees, especially the Committee on Diversity & Inclusion (CODI) on DEI initiatives.
  • Guide the formation of policies and guidelines around the recruitment and retention of students, faculty, and staff from diverse and underrepresented populations.
  • Assess, report and make recommendations on campus climate and diversity metrics.


Position Reports to: The President

Collaborations: The Executive Director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion will chair the Committee on Diversity and Inclusion. The ED of DEI will interface with the Division of Student Life, Office of Human Resources, Provost’s Office, and Office of Institutional Research on moving specific diversity initiatives forward. As a member of President’s Cabinet, the ED of DEI will direct our efforts to build a more intentional culture of belonging at EMU. As a member of provost’s council, the ED of DEI will engage with other members around educational policy considerations that advance DEI in the academy.




Education: Master’s degree. Terminal degree (Ph.D. Ed.D, JD, DMin, MFA, etc.) preferred.


Experience: Significant proven experience in growing a successful culture around diversity, equity and inclusion competencies in the workplace, working collaboratively in teams, including supervisory responsibilities, and communicating with various publics. Experience working in an academic environment preferred.


Preferred skill sets:  


Demonstrable success in implementing DEI initiatives in the workplace and fostering a campus climate of belonging.


Recent professional development and awareness of trends in best practices in diversity education.


Experience with an anti-racism, anti-oppression framework and approach to learning and organizational change.


Strong written and verbal communication; listens well and can easily facilitate group discussions/teaching/training modules.


Proven track record in facilitating partnerships, including between a workplace and its surrounding community.


Excels at building supportive relationships and networks within the university and the wider community.


Takes initiative in establishing new procedures and solutions to problems.


Eagerness to lead with passion, adopt a tenacious work ethic, and exhibit a bias toward action.


Research competencies in measuring, designing and evaluating studies and metrics around multicultural competencies and campus climate; Grant-writing experience a plus.


Personal Qualities: Exhibits impeccable integrity, maturity and maintains a good sense of humor, demonstrates emotional stability and flexibility, comfortable in public settings, exercises discretion and good judgment in handling confidential information.


Supportive of the mission, vision and values of EMU and Anabaptist/Christian higher education


POSITION DETAILS: Twelve-month, full time position. Generous benefits package including 30 days of PTO and 14 paid holidays. Competitive salary commensurate with the candidate’s credentials and experience. Additional academic or administrative appointment a possibility for the right candidate and EMU’s educational needs.

Beginning Date: On or around Jan 4, 2021. Application review will begin immediately. EMU reserves the right to fill this position immediately or to extend the search as individual circumstances may warrant. For full consideration, applications must be received by Friday, Oct. 16, 2020.


INQUIRIES: Send inquiries, nominations and applications (resume/CV, cover letter, and list of 3 professional references) to: Human Resources Eastern Mennonite University 1200 Park Road Harrisonburg, Virginia 22802 jobs@emu.edu fax: 540-432-4744.  Attention: Amy Springer Hartsell, Executive Advisor to the President


Eastern Mennonite University (EMU) offers rigorous academic study at the undergraduate, graduate and seminary levels. More than 2200 students study at our main campus in Harrisonburg, Virginia, our Lancaster, Pennsylvania site, the Washington D.C. Scholars Center, and online. EMU is grounded in values including service to others, Christian discipleship, peacemaking, and community building, all of which “prepare students to serve and lead in a global context” (mission statement).

EMU is known internationally for its pioneering work in conflict transformation and restorative justice; nationally for its signature travel program of cross-cultural engagement; and regionally for its superb academic preparation and placement of students in STEM disciplines and the helping professions and its competitiveness in one of the nation’s top Division III conferences: the Old Dominion Athletic Conference. The college employs approximately 100 full-time faculty members. The student to faculty ratio is 12:1.

EMU has been recognized repeatedly by U.S. News and World Report as a best value school—being among the “Top Performers on Social Mobility” and ranking as a “Low Debt university.” The Wall Street Journal named EMU in the top quarter in the South and the top third in the country of schools for superb community engagement, campus environment, outcomes, and resource management. The Sierra Club rated EMU as a “Cool School” recognizing the university’s strong commitment to environmentalism and sustainability. EMU won a 2019 CASE Educational Fundraising Award, an honor given each year to exceptional fundraising programs at educational institutions in the United States.

EMU is a predominantly white institution. The university’s Committee on Diversity and Inclusion serves as a significant resource for diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives. A pillar of the university’s strategic plan is to diversify.

EMU is an equal opportunity employer, committed to enhancing diversity across the institution. Eastern Mennonite University does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national or ethnic origin, sex, disability, age, sexual orientation, or gender identity. EMU conducts criminal background investigations as part of the hiring process.