Vice President for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
The Vice President for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (VP DEI) will provide strategic leadership to Niagara University’s efforts to realize a diverse, equitable, and inclusive (DEI) environment for all students, faculty, administration, and staff. The VP for DEI will work collaboratively with diverse campus stakeholders to create and advance the University’s strategic goals.
The Vice President is a member of the President’s Cabinet and reports directly to the President. The Vice President will work to promote a culture of inclusion where individuals from all racial and ethnic identities, ages, religions, nationalities, social and economic status, sexual orientation, gender identity/expression, and physical and mental abilities are able to thrive and be engaged, with deep congruence with the University’s Catholic and Vincentian identity and mission.
The Vice President will also have an opportunity to further establish a university sector focused on diversity, equity, and inclusion, and build a team to support this work. This sector will develop collaborative relations with offices, sectors, centers, and institutes of the university to advance the university’s mission and goals related to education, accessibility, and outcomes in higher education. The VP for DEI will provide leadership on issues related to Title VI, Title VII, Title IX education and training, diversity curricula, and community outreach. The Vice President will also play a critical role in ensuring compliance with all university policies related to discrimination, harassment, and equal opportunity in education.
The Vice President will build on past efforts, including the recommendations from the Identifying and Dismantling Racial Injustice Task Force (2020), the University’s diversity committee, the University’s accessibility committee, and the University’s strategic plan (2018) in order to drive meaningful change. In doing so, the Vice President will listen with empathy and concern; nurture positive, transparent, and cooperative relationships; navigate difficult conversations and tough situations with compassion and astuteness; demonstrate skill in motivating and unifying people across campus around a strategic vision, and utilize data and research to inform analysis leading to the development of measurable goals and systems of accountability.
Provide vision, leadership management, direction, and strategic planning for equity, diversity, and inclusion initiatives that are data-driven and support Niagara University’s mission and long-term strategic goals.
- Ensure that the Catholic and Vincentian philosophy of the dignity of the human person informs the direction and initiatives of the sector and interdependencies established.
- Guide and coordinate interdependencies across divisions, university governance bodies, and a broad range of stakeholder groups that include the Board of Trustees, faculty, staff, administrators, alumni, and community partners to deepen the University’s commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion as an institution of higher education.
- Coordinate planning and provide guidance and advice to the President and the executive leadership team on diversity, equity, and inclusion matters. Responsible for developing and presenting to the executive leadership team innovative approaches for achieving greater institutional diversity, equity, and inclusion.
- Lead changes in policies, processes, practices, and resource allocations to promote diversity, equity, and inclusion that will lead to systemic changes.
- Create a culture of continuous improvement and accountability through planning and assessment for diversity, equity, and inclusion. This includes working closely with Institutional Research to develop metrics and dashboards to ensure accountability, tracking, and monitoring of equity, diversity, and inclusion efforts. Work closely with relevant University offices in the use of data tools (i.e. campus climate survey, demographic data, student completion and employment data, etc.) to compile reports that create benchmarks and assess institutional progress in diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts.
- Establish a system to sustain relevant diversity-related training for faculty, staff, and students. Lead and support training, education and awareness initiatives focused on eradicating discrimination, harassment and sexual misconduct, and oppression in collaboration with a range of University partners including Academic Affairs, Athletics, Disability Awareness, General Counsel, Human Resources, Marketing, and Student Affairs.
- Monitor and co-evaluate University efforts to provide educational opportunities at Niagara University to underrepresented groups
- Establish community partnerships that leverage the University’s resources to promote diversity, equity, inclusion in our surrounding communities.
% of Time
25% Title IX, VII, and VI leadership
15% Policy and procedure review, development, implementation, and compliance
15% Training and development review, implementation, and reporting
15% Sustained critical interdependencies across offices, sectors
10% Mission integration
10% Curricula review and development of pedagogical initiatives
10% Office/Sector management
REQUIRED KNOWLEDGE SKILLS AND ABILITIES
- Experience in a higher education setting including shared governance;
- Demonstrated and successful experience working collaboratively across multiple units with diverse interests;
- An open and transparent leadership style, including an ability to establish strong relationships and to build trust and consensus within a university setting;
- Ability to encourage and inspire students, faculty, and staff;
- Excellent written and verbal communication skills and the ability to develop and lead productive discussions and training related to diversity, equity, and inclusion;
- Demonstrated ability to collect and analyze data resulting in data-driven decision-making;
- Demonstrated understanding of university culture including a respect for and an understanding of shared governance;
- Demonstrated ability to successfully manage multiple ongoing tasks;
- Demonstrated strong theoretical and working knowledge of issues of access, inclusion, diversity, equity, and multiculturalism in a university setting;
- Effectively manage and advocate for resources to advance new and ongoing diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts in an efficient, cost-effective, and high-impact manner. Work with Institutional Advancement and the Chief Financial and Innovation Officer to secure funding for ongoing initiatives;
- Absolute discretion in handling and managing confidential information is required.
- Successful experience with budgets and financial analysis related to diversity and equity programs;
- Extensive knowledge and expertise in federal/state civil rights law and regulations;
- 5 - 7 years of experience teaching in higher education settings;
- 5 - 7 years of diversity, equity, and inclusion experience in higher education is preferred.
Earned terminal degree with 5-7 years of experience in the development, implementation, and assessment of equity, diversity, and inclusion initiatives.
This position has been identified as requiring a cell phone to fulfill job responsibilities and for other business purposes. Compliance with the University’s Employee Cell Phone for Business Use Policy is required.
The University reserves the right to modify, reassign or combine positions at any time with or without prior notice.
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