Chief Diversity Officer
Slippery Rock University, a comprehensive university and member of the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education, seeks a passionate and student-centric leader to serve as its first Chief Diversity Officer (CDO). As the University’s thought leader on equity and social justice, the CDO will work collaboratively with the campus and external communities to advance the institution’s commitment to all aspects of global diversity and inclusion.
The Position: The CDO serves as the University’s diversity strategist responsible for building consensus and effectuating cultural change to institutionalize the University’s strategic goals, mission initiatives, and best practices related to diversity, inclusion, and campus climate. Reporting directly to the President, the CDO serves as a member of the President’s Cabinet and provides a University-wide perspective that contributes to the overall decision-making process at the highest leadership level. The CDO casts a clear vision to develop and lead the implementation of the University’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Strategic Plan and uses institutional data to assess, both qualitatively and quantitatively, productivity and success of programs, policies, and services. The CDO collaborates and provides guidance to the divisional leaders on matters of student diversity and inclusion in such areas as Presidential Commissions, faculty and staff development programs, faculty, staff, and management search and appointment processes, on-boarding considerations, and other campus support. The CDO develops diversity and inclusion related programs, education plans, and communications by leading these efforts directly as well as engaging outside expertise. The CDO supports forums that provide avenues for the voices of all stakeholders to be heard and fosters an environment where engagement through dialogue and working collaboratively is encouraged. They work with a diverse array of campus constituencies in a complex, higher education environment to achieve diversity, inclusion, and community engagement goals.
Qualifications: The successful candidate will possess a demonstrated commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion across a broad spectrum. This individual must be strategic, visionary, transformative, and tactical while delivering tangible results in the areas of diversity, inclusion, social justice, and civic engagement. The CDO will also possess knowledge and understanding of diversity best practices and federal and state affirmative action, equal opportunity, and ADA legislation. The CDO must be well-informed of emerging practices and current trends in diversity and inclusion and bring that knowledge to inform program and policy development work. Additionally, the CDO will have experience developing metrics for assessment as well as assessing and evaluating institutional initiatives and programs using data across the organization. The successful candidate will have excellent oral, written, and interpersonal communication skills, the capacity to understand the feelings and experiences of all communities, the ability to build trust, and the leadership to educate and inspire others on matters of diversity, equity, and inclusion. The CDO will also possess outstanding organizational and budgetary management skills. A minimum of five years of progressively responsible experience at the senior level in a leadership role related to diversity and inclusion efforts is required. A Master’s degree is required, with an advanced degree (earned doctorate or equivalent terminal degree) preferred.
The Institution: An institution committed to the success of students, Slippery Rock University opened in 1889 as Slippery Rock State Normal School with the original purpose of training teachers. Since that time, the institution has dramatically expanded and now serves as one of the 14 fine institutions in Pennsylvania’s State System of Higher Education and has 70,000 current alumni. Today, SRU serves to transform the intellectual, social, physical, and leadership capacities of students to prepare them for life and career success. Nearly 8,500 Slippery Rock students have an opportunity to pursue more than 150 undergraduate programs and 40 graduate programs in four colleges: the College of Business, the College of Education, the College of Liberal Arts, and the College of Health, Engineering and Science. The University employs 950 faculty and staff, and 92% of SRU professors hold a Ph.D. or terminal degree and enjoy a 24:1 student-to-faculty ratio. Slippery Rock University holds full institutional accreditation with the Middle States Commission on Higher Education and 19 other accrediting bodies for their programs.
With strategic data-driven planning, the University has streamlined existing academic programs and added new programs that are in alignment with job-market trends and societal needs. The University values and invests in the professional development of its faculty and staff. SRU consistently places in the top two on the System’s financial dashboard, which assesses a variety of metrics across the areas of market demand, operating efficiency, and financial performance. The University has received high ratings for stewardship of its physical assets. To learn more about the University, please visit www.sru.edu.
Location: Slippery Rock University’s campus comprises more than 660 rolling acres in one of western Pennsylvania’s most beautiful areas. Slippery Rock offers historic charm in a small town setting. The borough is home to approximately 3,500 residents. The University offers an abundance of cultural enrichment opportunities throughout the school year, and the region provides numerous year-round outdoor activities. Slippery Rock is also a convenient drive to major metropolitan centers such as Pittsburgh, Cleveland, and Erie.
Application: Interested candidates should submit only a cover letter and resume to RPA Inc. at SlipperyRockCDO@rpainc.org. For a confidential discussion about this opportunity or to make a nomination, please contact Kendra Mozug, Search Consultant, or Dana John Cohick, President, at the email address above. The review of candidates will begin on July 16, 2021, and first-round interviews will commence thereafter.
Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, national origin, religion, age, disability, age/or veteran status in its programs or activities in accordance with Title IX of the Educational Amendments of 1972, the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and other applicable statutes and University policies.
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