Vice President of Inclusive Excellence

Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine and Health Sciences
Arizona, United States
Salary Commensurate with experience
Jul 07, 2021
Employment Level
Employment Type
Full Time

Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine and Health Sciences seeks a Vice President of Inclusive Excellence
Click here to view position profile:
Location: Tempe, AZ 

The Position:
The creation of the Office of Inclusive Excellence and Belonging and position of Vice President of Inclusive Excellence (VPIE) marks a pivotal point in the College’s history. Reporting to the President, the VPIE will be a member of the Executive Council, the institution’s senior leadership and decision-making body, and serve the full spectrum of community members, including faculty and staff, students, clinicians, alumni, and patients. Executive Council is committed to collaborating with the VPIE to infuse Inclusive Excellence throughout the SCNM experience. 

In 2007, Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine initiated efforts to increase representation in its board, faculty, and student populations. Over a period of several years, hiring and recruiting practices were enhanced and positive results followed in terms of representation. In 2011, the college crafted its first formal diversity policy. In 2020, SCNM’s President Dr. Paul Mittman describes a wake-up call when he attended a national naturopathic conference panel presentation on DEI that featured several SCNM graduates. While acknowledging the college’s gains, these individuals recounted painful personal experiences of exclusion, microaggressions, inequity, and insensitivity. After thinking deeply about what he heard, Dr. Mittman explains, “I realized that our diversity goals lacked dimensionality. I saw that we had to face uncomfortable truths. I knew that a holistic approach was necessary, not only in how we practice medicine but in how we approach diversity and belonging. So, we began a period of exploration, introspection, and data collection. That work has informed the creation of this position as well as a more rich and holistic approach to transforming our institution.” Later that summer, SCNM students, staff, faculty, and alumni engaged in two campus climate studies – a validated and benchmarked online survey administered by HEDS (Higher Education Data Sharing Consortium), and fourteen focus groups led by faculty and graduate students at Arizona State University’s Center for the Study of Race and Democracy. 

Earlier this year, President Mittman convened a DEI Task Force to evaluate and synthesize the studies’ findings (in preparation, the College contracted with an independent data analyst to analyze the raw data) and make recommendations for how inclusive excellence will be woven through the 2021-2026 strategic plan. The Board is scheduled to review and adopt the strategic plan at its September 2021 meeting. President Mittman is committed to the creation of this executive position dedicated to implementing the college’s inclusive excellence goals. The goals will touch on areas including education, communication, conflict resolution, curriculum, training, community building, supporting students, hiring practices, admissions/recruitment strategies, clinical protocols, and more. 

Duties and Responsibilities:
The VPIE will bridge vision and strategy and develop, implement, and lead critical institutional DEI initiatives, policies and projects while using a deep understanding of DEI challenges to lead systemic change. The primary responsibilities include:

  • Serve as a thought leader, advisor, and designer of leading practices for DEI&B.
  • Lead the development, implementation, and analysis of initiatives to continuously improve the SCNM experience in which all are respected, included, supported, and valued.
  • Utilize the report of recommendations from the 2021 DEI Task Force (grounded in HEDS Campus Climate survey data (2020), and ASU Center for the Study of Race and Democracy’s focus group data to strengthen a culture of inclusive excellence and belonging.
  • Serve on the Executive Council (with the President, VP of Academic Affairs, VP of Student Affairs, and VP of Finance and Administration).
  • Collaborate with and build strong relationships with constituents across the institution including faculty, staff, students, alumni, board of trustees, and patients.
  • Develop and lead a team of ambassadors of change drawn from the faculty, staff, and student government.
  • Partner with Academics, Student Affairs, Human Resources, Patient Services, and other departments as needed to accomplish institutional initiatives.
  • Provide strategic direction for training initiatives on cultural competency, gender differences, disability, sexual harassment, building a climate of equity and inclusion, and other topics designed to increase awareness and support of equity and inclusion values, and maintaining compliance with applicable laws in collaboration with college stakeholders.
  • Drive curriculum changes that support the incorporation of historical information that illuminates and honors diverse contributions to the fields of naturopathic medicine and nutrition.
  • Develop and track metrics that monitor and evaluate the success of initiatives. 

Skills, Knowledge, and Abilities:

  • An inspirational, visionary, and trustworthy leader who has operationalized a DEI vision and strategic goals.
  • Commitment to contemporary issues of inclusion, social justice, diversity, access, and equity, including the current scholarship and pedagogical approaches that inform and address these issues.
  • Capacity to communicate a compelling and inspired vision or sense of core purpose, set clear milestones, and motivate large teams or groups of people.
  • Demonstrated ability to advise senior officials and executives from within and outside the institution, think strategically, and serve as a sounding board for the executive team.
  • Ability to perform work of a highly sensitive and confidential nature using sound judgment and strict discretion.
  • Capable of conceptualizing, analyzing, and interpreting educational issues, policies, and regulations.
  • Ability to develop and implement strategies for preventing/resolving problems.
  • Excellent organizational skills with the ability to set own priorities to coordinate multiple assignments with fluctuating and time-sensitive deadlines.
  • Outstanding leadership skills and substantial administrative and program-building experience.
  • Demonstrated leadership as an innovator, ambassador, collaborator, partner, and catalyst, mobilizing institutional and community leaders to advance diversity, equity, and inclusion.
  • Strong analytical and research skills; ability to gather, evaluate, and develop well-reasoned conclusions and recommendations.
  • Experience developing, organizing, and administering budgets.
  • Excellent collaborative and team-building skills.
  • Excellent oral/written communication skills.

Education and Qualifications:

  • Master’s degree or higher preferred.
  • Significant experience with creating and operationalizing plans for diversity, equity, and inclusion, preferably in the education and/or healthcare sector.
  • A minimum of 10 years of relevant, successful, and progressive experience in a leadership position, a portion of which includes responsibility for advancing DEI programs and initiatives. 

Why Consider this Opportunity?

  • Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine is a values-based organization experiencing exciting growth including an upcoming transition from a college to a university.
  • College leadership is committed to infusing inclusive excellence holistically – into the curriculum, patient care, community engagement/community clinics, and staffing to advance the climate and culture.
  • This is a great opportunity for someone looking to make a difference in people’s lives, with the chance to create and manifest the Office of Inclusive Excellence & Belonging.
  • Additional initiatives that will enhance momentum:
    • Strategic planning process is underway.
    • DEI Task Force is preparing recommendations that will be woven into each pillar of the strategic plan.
    • University identity branding campaign is underway.
    • A comprehensive campaign is ready to launch – a positive feasibility report has been completed and planning is now underway. 

About the Institution:
Welcome to Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine & Health Sciences (SCNM) located in Tempe, Arizona. SCNM has a rich history of sending naturopathic physicians into the world by training and preparing graduates for the future of integrative medicine and healthcare. In the spring of 2020, SCNM launched an online food-science driven Master of Science in Clinical Nutrition that has surpassed enrollment expectations. Additionally, a Master of Science in Nutrition Business Leadership will launch in the fall of 2021. Through these offerings, students can learn in classrooms, clinic environments, as well as online. At SCNM, students are united in a calling to embrace nature-based therapies, and the supportive community fuels their success. 

Founded in 1993 with a current student body of 538 on-ground and online students, 165 staff, faculty, and adjunct faculty, along with clinics seeing 26,000 patient visits per year, SCNM is a school where passionate, like-minded students, faculty, and staff come together to make a difference in people’s lives, keeping alive the founders’ vision of making Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine a force for change to help transform healthcare.

Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine (SCNM) is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. SCNM's Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine program is accredited by the Council on Naturopathic Medical Education. Both accrediting bodies are recognized by the U.S. Department of Education. 

SCNM’S Core Values and Behavior Statements:
We Shape the Future

  • With Purpose: Educating the next generation of evidence-based healers and leaders
  • Through Collaboration: Embracing interprofessional relationships
  • By Expanding Knowledge: Conducting research that improves health and well-being
  • Through Evidence-Based Principles: While honoring the past 

We Achieve Excellence

  • By Pursuing Greatness: Setting the bar high – and exceeding it
  • Through Continuous Improvement: Enhancing the SCNM experience through innovation and persistence
  • By Celebrating Accomplishments: Appreciating achievements with humility and gratitude 

We Love

  • By Practicing Inclusivity: Embracing diversity with kindness, respect, and understanding
  • Through Self-Awareness: Recognizing our inherent biases to expand our capacity to serve
  • By Projecting Positivity: Providing hope and encouragement
  • Through Dedication: Serving individuals, communities, and humanity 

We Do the Right Thing

  • By Being Principle-Driven: Guiding our actions through honesty and integrity
  • Through Honoring Commitments: Saying what we do and doing what we say
  • By Accepting Responsibility: Holding ourselves and others accountable
  • By Following the Golden Rule: Treating others as we want to be treated 

We are Resilient

  • By Never Giving Up: Finding solutions through tenacity and teamwork
  • Through Appreciative Inquiry: Identifying our best practices to overcome challenges
  • Through Wellness: Promoting physical, mental, and emotional health
  • With Mindfulness: Finding calm in the face of adversity 

Community Outreach
SCNM Empowers Communities to Achieve Optimal Health:
In keeping with its mission and dedication to the ideal that everyone deserves high-quality healthcare, SCNM empowers individuals and communities to achieve optimal health. SCNM demonstrates this commitment to community engagement and support through its various community clinics, providing healthcare in underserved communities by physicians and medical students. 

In addition, students are required to perform at least 45 hours of community service prior to graduation, although many significantly exceed this number. Students travel to various domestic or international sites and can spend their quarterly breaks in service to others, providing health services, volunteering, speaking, and learning about the complex health challenges facing our world. 

Community Clinics Serve Diverse Regional Populations:
Service to others, especially those in need, is one of the most fulfilling aspects of life. This is strongly reflected in SCNM's efforts to provide the underserved people of Arizona with quality natural and conventional healthcare. Patients seen at the community clinics often include those dealing with HIV/AIDS, survivors of domestic violence, children and families living in poverty, and those afflicted with substance abuse disorders. The patients of today help students gain valuable experience that will be used to assist the patients of tomorrow. 

The commitment to providing free naturopathic healthcare to the medically underserved started in 1996, early in the College’s history. Since then, more clinics have been opened around the valley and are currently providing thousands of free patient visits annually to those who would not have access to healthcare otherwise. On student rotations at the clinics, patients are seen under the supervision of a physician to gain skills and experience in the community healthcare environment. SCNM can provide acupuncture, lab testing, nutritional products, prescription medicines, and much more, free of charge to patients thanks to generous donations. 

To Apply:
Confidential review of applications will begin immediately and continue until the position is filled; parties who apply by August 10, 2021 will be given first consideration. Please submit a PDF version of your CV/resume and a letter of interest upon application. All applications and nominations will be held in confidence. 

To apply online, go to: 

For more information or to offer recommendations or nominations:
Tammarah Townes, MA
Senior Consultant
Summit Search Solutions, Inc.
Direct: (302) 388-9480 

SCNM is an Equal Opportunity Employer committed to a diverse and inclusive workforce. We consider applicants for all positions without regard to race, color, religion, gender, national origin, age, disability, or any other legally protected status.