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Associate Dean for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion - College of Fine Arts

Carnegie Mellon University
Pennsylvania, United States
Salary Not Specified
Posted Date
Mar 23, 2023
The College of Fine Arts (CFA) at Carnegie Mellon University invites inquiries, nominations, and applications for the position of associate dean for diversity, equity, and inclusion (associate dean). This is an outstanding opportunity for a talented and experienced individual whose professional, educational, and lived experiences will provide a foundation for effective and collaborative leadership of the CFA’s efforts to translate the ideals and goals of diversity, equity, inclusion, belonging, and anti-racism into substantive and transformative practices across the college community. This is an in-person position, and the next associate dean is expected to start in summer 2023.

A private, global research university, Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) stands among the world’s most renowned educational institutions. Nearly 16,800 undergraduate and graduate students in the university’s seven schools and colleges benefit from a small student-to-faculty ratio and an education characterized by its focus on solving real-world problems, interdisciplinary collaboration, and innovation. Founded in 1905, the College of Fine Arts was one of the first comprehensive arts teaching institutions in the United States. The CFA has since soared to national and international leadership in architecture, art, design, drama, and music. The college currently enrolls 1,400 students in its five schools and the BXA intercollege degree programs.

The associate dean for diversity, equity, and inclusion will report directly to the CFA dean and will serve as a crucial voice on the executive team (comprising the school heads and unit directors, as well as assistant and associate deans). As the college’s senior diversity officer, the associate dean will collaborate with members of the college community to envision and pave the way toward a future for the CFA that is more diverse and inclusive, actively working to eradicate racism and exploring intersections with gender, class, and other aspects of identity and positionality. The associate dean will provide intellectual and strategic leadership and serve as an advocate, catalyst, and resource for conceptualizing, implementing, and evaluating diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) initiatives throughout the college.

The associate dean will lead the development and implementation of a college-wide diversity, equity, and inclusion strategic plan; develop evaluation tools and establish metrics to measure progress and promote continuous assessment and improvement; convene and lead the college’s DEI council; serve as the main point of contact and central resource for students, faculty, and staff on DEI matters; and partner with student leaders to support student-led equity initiatives to enhance the climate and experience for students of the global majority. The associate dean will work closely with other leaders across campus, notably Carnegie Mellon’s vice provost for DEI and her team, to share best practices, manage bias response, coordinate efforts, and guide the college and university toward a more inclusive future. The position will supervise a full-time program coordinator and a graduate assistant.

Qualifications and Characteristics:

The College of Fine Arts seeks candidates whose professional, educational, and lived experiences have prepared them to advance the college’s vision of a vibrant community characterized in all it does by a central commitment to inclusive excellence. Minimum qualifications include a bachelor’s degree (advanced degree preferred) and five years of relevant experience. Demonstrable engagement with arts communities and an understanding of their place within a university is a plus. While this is a full-time administrative position, qualified candidates may be eligible for a non-tenure-track faculty appointment.

Well-qualified candidates will demonstrate the ability to communicate and work effectively with internal and external constituencies; expertise in the areas of strategic planning, assessment, and evidence-based decision making; knowledge of best practices in diversity education and training; a deep understanding of the dynamics of difference, privilege, and power; and the vision, emotional intelligence, fortitude, and gravitas necessary to effect substantial and sustainable change.

While no single candidate will have all the ideal qualifications, the successful candidate will bring many of the following experiences, skills, and attributes:
  • A deep personal and professional commitment to DEI, anti-racism, and social justice
  • A firm grasp of the theory, practices, and resources available to address structural and cultural barriers to access and belonging in higher education
  • Ability to build strong relationships of trust and shared purpose with students, faculty, and staff on campus as well as with alumni
  • Experience leading change and achieving results through influence
  • Ability to guide the development and implementation of a college-wide strategic plan for inclusive excellence, establishing metrics, measuring progress, promoting accountability, ensuring continuous improvement, and adapting the plan as necessary
  • Strong problem-solving, analytical, and communication skills
  • Personal and professional ethics and integrity to the highest degree
  • Approachable, optimistic, and intellectually curious with personal warmth, generosity of spirit, a can-do attitude, courage, and strong resilience in the face of disagreement or criticism
  • Genuine enthusiasm for joining the CFA community and championing policies and practices that promote an inclusive and equitable environment where students, faculty, and staff of all backgrounds can work together and thrive
Opportunities and Challenges

Vision and Strategy

The associate dean for diversity, equity, and inclusion will:
  • Serve as a key partner with leaders across the various schools and units within the College of Fine Arts as well as the office of the vice provost for diversity, equity, and inclusion and DEI leads in other colleges.
  • Provide strategic collaboration and guidance in shaping and defining the college’s DEI values and in creating initiatives that advance those values for all members of the college community including students, staff, faculty, and administrators.
  • Serve as a leader, knowledgeable consultant, trustworthy and thoughtful advisor, advocate, catalyst for change, and institutional resource as the college seeks to instill its values of DEI in the community.
  • Track, analyze, and report progress toward the college’s DEI goals.
  • Foster cooperation, consensus-building, and collaborative decision-making in developing inclusive learning environments and cultivating a culture of belonging.
Resources and Development

The associate dean for diversity, equity, and inclusion will:
  • Play a pivotal role in creating fluid streams of communication among student groups, faculty, staff, and senior leadership to ensure that all the CFA stakeholders are aware of, informed about, and benefit from DEI programs.
  • Collaborate in the development, implementation, and monitoring of strategy and policy in all units of the college, supporting their efforts to recruit and retain diverse faculty, staff, and students.
  • Work with faculty leadership to create educational opportunities exploring ways to foster diverse voices and inclusive strategies in the classroom and the co-curriculum; help faculty develop a praxis that confronts the intersectionality of race, class, sexuality, nationality, ethnicity, ableism, and/or gender inequalities constructively and objectively in course offerings; and develop resources and support so that students, faculty, and staff might effectively work in, manage, and cultivate inclusive and diverse teams.
  • Implement and oversee the development of programs and activities to support the culture of open inquiry, pluralism, and mutual respect throughout the CFA and Carnegie Mellon University.
  • Promote engagement with organizations and entities in the city of Pittsburgh.
Climate and Connections

The associate dean for diversity, equity, and inclusion will:
  • Help create and enhance a supportive college climate and experience for students of the global majority.
  • Collaborate with leaders of student organizations, students from global majority groups, students with a variety of backgrounds and affiliations, and those who are especially committed to diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging.
  • Manage the CFA bias response process as a part of the university’s comprehensive system, in collaboration with college leadership and other relevant offices across campus.
  • Convene and lead the CFA DEI council.
Application Instructions

The college has retained Spelman Johnson to assist in recruiting a new senior diversity officer, who will hold the title of associate dean for diversity, equity, and inclusion. The successful candidate will be expected to take office in the summer of 2023, as negotiated with Mary Ellen Poole, dean of the College of Fine Arts.

Review of applications will begin April 3, 2023, and continue until the position is filled. To apply for this position, please visit the Spelman Johnson website: and click on the Apply button.

Confidential inquiries and nominations should be directed to Jim Norfleet at . Applicants needing reasonable accommodation to participate in the application process should contact Spelman Johnson at 413-529-2895 or email .

Carnegie Mellon University is an Equal Opportunity Employer/Disability/Veteran and offers a diverse environment with a flexible benefits package, including a generous retirement plan, tuition remission, and paid time off policy, as well as many professional development, health, and wellness opportunities. A background check is required.

CMU’s COVID-19 Vaccination Requirements: As a condition of employment, Carnegie Mellon University requires all staff and faculty working in the United States to be fully vaccinated, including a booster when eligible, against COVID-19. Prior to commencement of employment, new hires in the United States must provide proof of vaccination or obtain an approved exemption. (Exemptions may be requested for medical reasons or for religious or strong moral or ethical conviction.) Staff and faculty must comply with all applicable COVID-19 mitigation requirements. Please see Minimum Requirements to Return to Campus for details regarding the university’s current COVID-19 mitigation requirements.


Pittsburgh, PA

Job Function

Faculty Administration

Position Type

Staff – Regular

Full Time/Part time

Full time

Pay Basis


More Information:
  • Please visit Why Carnegie Mellon to learn more about becoming part of an institution inspiring innovations that change the world.

  • Click here to view a listing of employee benefits

  • Carnegie Mellon University is an Equal Opportunity Employer/Disability/Veteran .

  • Statement of Assurance

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