Vice Provost for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

University of the South
Tennessee, United States
Salary Commensurate with experience
Nov 25, 2020
Position Type
Executive, Other Executive
Employment Level
Employment Type
Full Time

The University of the South, commonly known as Sewanee, invites applications and nominations for Vice Provost for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. The University comprises a nationally ranked residential College of Arts and Sciences and a School of Theology. The University is strongly committed to the values of intellectual inquiry, diversity, equity, and inclusion, and living and serving in community. Situated on 13,000 acres atop Tennessee’s Cumberland Plateau, Sewanee is known for its stunning natural beauty while providing easy access to Chattanooga, Nashville, and Huntsville. The University is affiliated with the Episcopal Church and seeks to help employees of all backgrounds and identities flourish.

The Vice Provost for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion reports to the Provost and, as a member of the Vice-Chancellor’s (President’s) Cabinet, is an active participant in the administrative decision-making processes that impact the entire institution. The successful candidate will demonstrate outstanding leadership and organizational management skills, and a genuine desire, willingness, and ability to work collaboratively.

As the University’s chief diversity officer, the Vice Provost for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion provides coordinating leadership for diversity issues institution-wide and is the institutional and educational resource for leading the University’s ongoing efforts to design, foster and cultivate a culture of equity and inclusion on the basis of race, ethnicity, gender identity, religion, sexual orientation, ability, socioeconomic status, citizenship or other identities. They will assess the University’s programs, policies, procedures, and practices to identify gaps and barriers that limit progress in the areas of diversity, equity, and inclusion, and recommend changes; create a strong partnership with the Human Resources office and the Deans to advance the recruitment, and support for and retention of employees from diverse backgrounds; partner with other offices and students to support a welcoming and inclusive campus climate; and ensure that diversity and inclusion initiatives are integrated throughout the University. Much work is already underway and the chief diversity officer will collaborate with and lead with those who are already engaged in these issues to coordinate and leverage the University’s various efforts for greater overall effectiveness. Positions that will report to the Vice Provost include the University’s Title IX Coordinator and the Director of Multicultural Affairs.

Support within the institution for the success of the Vice Provost emanates from the highest levels of the University. On September 8, 2020, the University’s Board of Regents released a statement recognizing the University’s long entanglement with, and role in, slavery, racial segregation, and white supremacy, and commiting the University to an urgent process of institutional reckoning. The Vice-Chancellor has further outlined several steps to move the university toward this goal. 


Other responsibilities of the Vice Provost for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion include:

● Lead development of the diversity pillar in the upcoming strategic planning process

● Develop and implement strategies and tactics that foster a positive and inclusive work environment.

● Establish a partnership with Student Success, campus departments, and students that facilitates community-building and identify allies to support a safe, vibrant, welcoming, and inclusive campus climate for all students, faculty and staff both on campus and off campus

● Regular assessment of diversity and inclusion initiatives

● Research and recommend improvements to the bias response and intervention structure based on best practices and work with campus leaders to develop and facilitate efforts related to education, prevention, and intervention

● Partner with other University leaders, students, employees and committees to ensure programming and initiatives support the University’s diversity values and goals

● Lead and support highly visible educational and awareness events and activities throughout the year to develop and strengthen cultural competency

● Partner with state and national organizations related to DEI efforts

● Ensure University compliance with applicable University, federal, state, local and associational laws, rules and regulations

● Chair the Committee on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, or other committees as applicable


● J.D., or Master’s or Ph.D. in counseling, organizational development, education, psychology, social work, human resources management or related field.

● At least 5 years of experience as a diversity officer inside or outside of higher education

● Demonstrated track record in organizational change leadership and change management

● Demonstrated track record in promoting and advancing organizational and community diversity goals

● Knowledge of current diversity issues with a clear understanding of the importance of an inclusive and diverse environment in a small liberal arts college higher education or similar setting


● Strong administrative ability to articulate and realize concrete measures for implementing the work of a strategic vision

● Possess a high degree of emotional intelligence and excellent interpersonal communication skills

● Well-developed conflict resolution skills and the ability to handle sensitive and confidential information

● Ability to respond with equanimity to crisis and highly sensitive situations

● Genuine desire, willingness and ability to work collaboratively, see assets and existing work and empower leaders to work together for a collective vision

The University is actively seeking applicants from groups that might be under-represented on the basis of gender, race, color, religion, disability, national origin, or LBGTQ+ status.

 Review of applicants will begin January 18, 2021 and continue until the position is filled.