Vice President, Chief Inclusion & Diversity Officer

California, United States
Salary Not specified
Nov 04, 2020
Employment Level
Employment Type
Full Time

University of Southern California

Vice President, Chief Inclusion & Diversity Officer 

The University of Southern California (“USC” or the “University”) seeks a Vice President, Chief Inclusion & Diversity Officer to be located at our University Park Los Angeles campus. USC is an equal opportunity employer.

Vice President, Chief Inclusion & Diversity Officer

The Vice President, Chief Inclusion & Diversity Officer (CIDO) provides strategic leadership to cultivate a University climate that prioritizes and champions diversity, equity, inclusion, belonging, and anti-racism. The CIDO will be a leader, advisor, advocate, catalyst for change, and institutional resource focused on infusing these objectives into programs and activities across the University, tracking our progress, and communicating that progress to an engaged community. The CIDO will direct assessments to evaluate and advance the effectiveness of institutional diversity goals and outreach efforts and will lead the University toward sustained measurable improvements in the educational and organizational environment, in addition to the recruitment and retention of a diverse faculty, staff, and student body. The CIDO will foster bold change by developing and implementing the University’s inclusion and diversity vision and strategy and engaging the entire USC community, including students, faculty, staff, alumni, and neighbors. The CIDO reports directly to the President with a dotted line reporting relationship to the Provost, serving on the President’s Senior Leadership Team and leading the Diversity Council, comprising Diversity Liaisons from across USC’s schools and units. 

Compensation: Competitive salary and benefits.

Location: Los Angeles, CA


  • Lead, develop, advance, and evaluate a holistic and integrated vision and plan for inclusion and diversity strategies and initiatives that support USC’s mission, core themes and strategic plan.
  • Develop and recommend criteria to guide the University’s allocation of resources to support institutional inclusion and diversity plans and initiatives, including plans to improve faculty composition, faculty teaching and research, senior administrator and staff composition, and student and staff inclusion programming.
  • Approve faculty and senior administrator search committees and diversity of pools. Conduct exit interviews with faculty and senior administrators who depart for other academic institutions.
  • Provide or ensure the provision of expert and strategic guidance on training programs or initiatives for faculty, staff, and students related to diversity, inclusion, and bias mitigation.
  • Recommend and develop policy improvements that remove barriers to student success for marginalized and underserved populations at the institutional, divisional, and departmental levels.
  • Create a process for ongoing evaluation of institutional structures, programs, policies and procedures, and for the communication of results.
  • Collaborate with campus leaders and stakeholders to evaluate, revise, and/or remove institutional policies, procedures, and norms that erect differential structural barriers to the access and success of students, faculty, and staff who belong to marginalized and underserved populations.
  • Work closely with relevant University offices to periodically conduct a rigorous assessment of the impact of campus diversity and inclusion efforts, including by implementing campus climate surveys for faculty, staff, and students.
  • Ensure that diversity and inclusion programs and services comply with relevant state and federal laws, regulations, and college policies. Actively engage in relevant University-wide initiatives and meetings to promote diversity and inclusion and champion access, equity, and social justice.
  • Report directly to the President and with a dotted line to the Provost to ensure elements of equity, diversity, and inclusion are imperative to the University’s mission, vision, and strategic plan.
  • Ensure an organizational strategy and narrative that articulates the institutional centrality of diversity, equity, inclusion, belonging and anti-racism efforts to the overall mission, vision, and purpose of the University.

Candidate Characteristics

The ideal Vice President, Chief Inclusion & Diversity Officer demonstrates: 

  • Passion for the development and implementation of proactive and robust inclusion and diversity initiatives in support of the University’s academic mission;
  • Appreciation for the University’s important role in the local community and region, especially as a role model;
  • Creativity, including the ability to generate new ideas, approach situations analytically and factually, and to exercise good judgment about which creative solutions work;
  • Flexibility and comfort in dealing with nuanced situations involving a variety of stakeholders;
  • The ability to engage internal and external stakeholders in a manner that fosters respect, builds productive relationships, and creates alignment behind the inclusion and diversity goals of the University;
  • Openness to collaborating with student, academic, and administrative leaders and the ability to build consensus to address challenges and opportunities; and
  • The ability to build trust and credibility with marginalized communities among USC students, faculty, staff, as well as communities throughout Los Angeles.


The successful candidate must have the following minimum credentials: 

  • Master’s degree in Social Sciences, Communications, Organizational Design and Development, Human Resources, Business Administration, Ethnic Studies, Cultural Studies, Gender, Race, and Sexuality Studies, or another related field.
  • Fifteen years of experience in the inclusion and diversity field, with strong scholarly visibility.
  • Demonstrated knowledge of federal, state, and local laws, regulations, and guidelines related to affirmative action and civil rights enforcement.
  • Successful record of influence, community building, networking, and deploying effective programs for the advancement of diversity and inclusion practices.
  • Ability to approach Diversity and Inclusion through an intersectional lens, understanding how multiple statuses (e.g., race, gender, class, sexuality, nationality, religion, abilities, etc.) intersect to affect the experiences of students, faculty, and staff.
  • Ability to communicate effectively, through written as well as interpersonal and group communication skills, at all levels of the university, with administration, faculty, staff, students, and external constituents including alumni and potential donors.
  • Demonstrated knowledge, skills, awareness, and commitment to championing actionable solutions to contemporary issues of inclusion, social justice, diversity, access, and equity, including the current scholarship and pedagogical approaches that inform and address these issues.
  • Demonstrated ability to work collaboratively across divisions, bridge silos, and cross boundaries to achieve diversity and inclusion goals that support and strengthen the university’s commitment to affect positive and visible changes.
  • Experience in employing effective problem solving, critical thinking, and leadership skills to achieve transformational and lasting change.
  • Exceptional client-relationship management skills, along with demonstrated experience in building trust and credibility with top stakeholders and business leaders.
  • Excellent leadership skills, including emotional intelligence capacity.
  • Proficiency with customary office technology (e.g. Word, Excel, Outlook, PowerPoint).

The following are preferred candidate credentials:

  • Advanced degree such as Doctorate in Education (EdD), a Doctor of Law (JD), a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) or another similar degree.
  • Extensive experience in higher education, preferably at a research university.
  • Seventeen or more years of experience leading diversity, equity, and inclusion work with evidence of increasing responsibility.
  • Ten or more years of experience in management positions.
  • Five or more years of experience in a senior administrative or executive role for an organization; proven experience in a management role.
  • Experience serving as a faculty member or researcher at a higher education institution.
  • Significant history of scholarship in fields including, but not limited to, diversity, equity, race, implicit bias, and affirmative action.
  • Experience with budget development processes, budget management, and securing funding for diversity initiatives through creative resource acquisition.
  • Experience serving on a search committee ideally for faculty and senior administrative roles.
  • Multi-industry experience at a large and reputable matrixed organization known for operational excellence.
  • Demonstrated ability to independently develop, drive, and contribute to comprehensive strategies and business plans in a rapidly changing environment.
  • Excellent judgment and demonstrated courage to take calculated risks that improve business performance.
  • Additional diversity and inclusion certification(s).

Procedure for Candidacy

Korn Ferry is assisting The University of Southern California in this search. This position will remain open until filled. For fullest consideration, the candidate materials should be received by November 30, 2020.

Applications should include (as separate documents) a CV or resume as well as a letter of interest addressing the themes in this profile. Application materials should be submitted to  Nominations and inquiries can be directed to: Camille Jackson, Sharyn Selby and Nick Forde.

USC is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to their race, color, national origin, religion, age, sex, gender, disabilities, veteran’s status, or sexual orientation.





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