Vice President for Equity, Inclusion and Diversity
University of Central Florida (UCF) invites inquiries, nominations, and applications for the inaugural position of vice president for equity, inclusion and diversity (VPEID).
Founded in 1963 to provide talent for Central Florida and the growing U.S. space program, UCF has been making an impact on the state, the nation — and outer space — ever since. UCF is ranked by U.S. News & World Report as Florida’s most innovative university and one of the nation’s top 20 most innovative. Located in Orlando and securing $204.5 million in research funding in fiscal year 2020, UCF is a dynamic metropolitan public research university in one of the country’s fastest-growing regions and holds the Carnegie Foundation’s highest designation in two categories: community engagement and very high research activity. Furthermore, as a testament to its commitment to diversity and serving diverse populations, UCF is also one of 16 universities nationwide designated as both a Hispanic-Serving Institution and Research 1 University.
In April 2020, UCF welcomed the university’s sixth president, Dr. Alexander N. Cartwright, who is committed to leading UCF on a pursuit of excellence to become a new kind of research university that is tightly coupled with its community, is known as a model for inclusive excellence, and focused on becoming a top 50 public research university.
The VPEID will report directly to President Cartwright and serve as a member of his executive leadership team. As such, the VPEID will lead the development of a comprehensive vision and strategy that champions evidence-based practices and the importance of diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) in the context of a dynamic, multi-campus university with strong local, regional, and national impact. The successful candidate will work with the president and university leaders in realizing UCF’s bold ambition to become the national model for inclusive excellence.
This senior leader will find a substantial history of DEI efforts across the university and will collaborate with the university community to organize institutional accountability in addition to communicating and reporting the impact and outcomes of DEI initiatives, policies, and programs. The VPEID will serve as both an executive resource and a partner in collaborating with UCF colleagues, as well as local and regional leaders, to build an inclusive and engaged culture at UCF by assessing systemic barriers and finding opportunities to share best practices across units and facilitate connections across the university.
The VPEID’s portfolio will include collaborating with the executive leadership team, faculty and staff leaders, and student and alumni representatives on recruiting and retaining a diverse faculty, staff, and student body; developing meaningful relationships with external DEI and community-engagement partners; integrating diversity, equity, and inclusion into UCF’s culture, curriculum, and co-curriculum; and building capacity across the university. Using a data-driven approach, the VPEID will be responsible for evaluating the institution’s infrastructure, capacity, and operational activities for equity, inclusion, and diversity to work toward the optimal balance of centralized and decentralized efforts. The VPEID currently provides leadership to the five staff members in the Office of Diversity and Inclusion.
Additionally, in January of 2019, UCF was designated as a Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI). As part of their portfolio, the VPEID will supervise the director of HSI culture and partnerships and be responsible for articulating a shared vision for initiatives that will strengthen institutional capacity and provide educational opportunities for Latino and low-income students.
UCF seeks an inaugural vice president for equity, inclusion, and diversity who is a nationally-visible and recognized DEI leader, with substantial experience in administration, strategic planning, and organizational change. The VPEID will have a documented history of professional and transformative success as a catalyst, convener, and innovator in leading institutional and community stakeholders toward an ambitious and comprehensive DEI vision and strategy. The ideal candidate will have experience with community relations, strategic communications, and fundraising in the context of DEI. The university seeks candidates who have an unwavering commitment to high standards of ethical conduct, transparency, and accountability.
Qualifications include an advanced degree (master’s or above) and significant senior leadership experience in higher education or a similar dynamic environment. Exceptional candidates with a bachelor’s degree and a minimum of ten years of leadership experience in advancing DEI initiatives in a complex environment with multiple stakeholders will be considered.
UCF has retained Spelman Johnson to assist with this search. Review of applications will continue until the position is filled; complete applications received by Monday, April 12, 2021, will be assured full consideration. A resume or CV with an accompanying cover letter that addresses the responsibilities and requirements described in the position specification may be submitted via the Spelman Johnson website at www.spelmanjohnson.com/open-positions.
Nominations for this position may be forwarded to Michel Frendian at firstname.lastname@example.org or Jim Norfleet at email@example.com. Applicants needing reasonable accommodation to participate in the application process should contact Spelman Johnson at 413-529-2895.
As an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer, UCF encourages all qualified applicants to apply, including women, veterans, individuals with disabilities, and members of traditionally underrepresented populations. UCF's Equal Opportunity Statement can be viewed at: http://www.oie.ucf.edu/documents/PresidentsStatement.pdf. As a Florida public university, UCF makes all application materials and selection procedures available to the public upon request.
We are sensitive to how the COVID-19 pandemic is impacting work and personal lives, and will offer the utmost flexibility throughout the interview process. The search advisory committee expects to conduct initial interviews via Zoom for the safety and well-being of all involved.