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Vice President of Equity, Engagement, and Belonging

Pierce College (WA)
Lakewood, Washington State
$147,296.00 - $182,240.00 Annually
Date posted
Oct 27, 2023

The mission of Pierce College is to create quality educational opportunities for a diverse community of learners to thrive in an evolving world.


Recognized by the Aspen Institute as one of the Top 10 community colleges in the nation (2021), Pierce College is an innovative, mission-driven, data-informed, and equity-minded community college dedicated to helping all students achieve their academic and professional goals, with a focus on racial and social equity and justice. 


Reporting to the Chancellor of Pierce College District, the Vice President of Equity, Engagement, and Belonging provides strategic leadership in driving development, achievement, and assessment of the District’s equity, belonging, and community engagement goals and strategies to build an antiracist institution, with a specific focus on advancing the District’s commitment to Black and Brown excellence.  The Vice President is effective in engaging internal District communities and external communities, demonstrating intersectional leadership to advance equitable policies and practices and ultimately to impact overall community vibrancy.


The Vice President is a member of the Executive Team and works collaboratively with its members in assuring the institutional effectiveness of strategies to advance equity, engagement, and belonging, in alignment with the District’s comprehensive strategic plan and EDI strategic plan. The Vice President serves as the District’s Diversity and Equity Officer and participates in related statewide meetings. This position requires regular and consistent attendance. 


About the District

The college enjoys a strong presence in the community and participates in numerous partnerships with business, community, government, and educational organizations.


Pierce College at Fort Steilacoom

Located on a beautiful 140-acre site adjacent to a 340-acre community, recreational park, and Waughop Lake. Want a feel for our District, take a peek with aerial campus views


Pierce College at Puyallup

Located on an expansive site with 125-acres of wooded land including modern facilities and beautiful hideaways.


Pierce College at JBLM

Located at the Joint Base Lewis-McChord military sites, serving many of our military and active duty families serving our country.  


Essential Functions

Leadership of antiracism strategies and EDI goals for the District

  • Lead, implement, evaluate, and assume executive responsibility for a comprehensive vision and plan for all equity, engagement, and belonging strategies, programming, and initiatives that support the College’s mission and commitment to building an antiracist institution across all Pierce College sites. 
  • Lead and facilitate conversations, programming, and initiatives to assess and improve the climate and culture with the aim of creating a culture of belonging and success for all students, employees, and community members with intentionality and purpose to encourage and engage historically minoritized, marginalized, and underserved populations. 
  • Foster and support an internal culture of accountability for equity, engagement, and belonging efforts, and develop and monitor accountability measures throughout the College that are consistent with assessment, data, and evidence-based frameworks for advancing equitable outcomes.
  • Advise and consult with College constituencies on legislation, policies, procedures, and issues related to equity, engagement, and belonging, and analyze and recommend culturally sustaining actions to remove barriers to student and employee success, foreground the impact on marginalized and underserved populations, and prioritize high impact strategies and evidence-based practices. 
  • Ensure and coordinate all equity, engagement, and belonging requirements are met as required by accreditation bodies, the State Board of Community & Technical Colleges (SBCTC), and all external local, state, and federal agencies and prepare plans and reports as required.
  • Collaborate with Institutional Research to develop metrics and benchmarks of institutional progress to ensure monitoring and accountability for college equity, engagement, and belonging efforts, prioritizing those data related to student success of marginalized and underserved populations. 
  • Develop and recommend criteria to guide the College’s allocation of resources to advance EDI racial and social justice. 
  • Oversee the responsible planning, stewardship, management, and accountability for the financial resources and personnel of the Office of Equity, engagement, and belonging, including developing budget proposals, securing internal and external funding for programming, supervising direct reports by providing feedback, recognition, coaching, and prioritizing and delegating work effectively. 
  • Serve as a member of the Executive Team, advising on and responding to emerging issues, opportunities, and challenges impacting the College’s ability to effectively move forward with equity, engagement, and belonging efforts, including climate and community relations. 
  • Represent the College with internal bodies, including participatory governance councils, committees, advisory bodies, and student government, and external bodies at the local, state, regional, and national levels.
  • Develop timely internal and external communications to ensure the College and the broader community are informed of institutional equity, engagement, and belonging activities and information.
  • Collaborate with Student Services and other functional areas to develop and expand outreach programs with community organizations designed to increase the enrollment and success of traditionally underserved and historically minoritized, marginalized student populations, including students with disabilities, students of color, low-income, and justice-impacted populations. 
  • Partner with Human Resources and Employee Learning and Development to support employees across all classifications, including administrators, classified staff, faculty and adjunct faculty, student employees, and part-time employees, by implementing strategies to attract and retain a diverse employee workforce. Identify professional development opportunities that promote cultural competencies and a climate of belonging, maintaining equity and improving climate, fostering a sense of belonging, and preparing employees to serve an increasingly diverse student population.  

Leadership of community impact strategies

  • Lead, implement, and assume executive responsibility for an integrated vision and plan for community impact strategies that support the College’s mission throughout the service district, which requires inclusive collaboration with other District departments involved in outreach, recruitment, and community engagement.
  • Develop trusted, sustainable, and constructive community relationships across the service district, with a focus on including communities of color and Indigenous and Tribal communities, acknowledging the critical importance of collaborating with local schools, industries, and communities, and connecting those partners and stakeholders with campus constituents. 
  • Demonstrate a credible, visible presence as an active member of the community, serving as a bridge between resources and needs.  
  • Develop and manage a systematic approach to inclusive employee engagement with the external communities we serve, in order to strengthen relationships across the service district.
  • Collaborate with Institutional Research to develop metrics and benchmarks of institutional progress to ensure equitable accountability measures for community impact that are consistent with assessment, data, and evidence-based frameworks.


  • Perform other duties as assigned by the Chancellor.



Required Qualifications: 

  • Master's degree in equity, diversity, and belonging; higher education; social justice; organizational change; sociology; public administration; or related field.
  • Five years of experience in progressively responsible roles in equity, belonging, and/or engagement.
  • Three years of experience in supervision and management or equivalent experience.
  • Experience in leading, serving, partnering with, advocating for, and/or representing historically minoritized, marginalized and underserved communities.
  • Demonstrated experience in working effectively with multicultural/multilingual communities.
  • Proven ability to lead others in a constructive and inclusive manner while building sustainable collaborative relationships.
  • A superior record of leading, building, and guiding a strong team of committed contributors.
  • Experience with complex cross-sector initiatives with an ability to work inclusively and effectively with stakeholders and partners.
  • The ability to translate innovative ideas into action while ensuring measurable impact and full regard for process and data.

Special Requirements: 

  • The successful candidate must consent to and pass a criminal background check after a conditional offer of employment. Information from the background check will not necessarily preclude employment but will considered in determining the applicant's suitability to perform in this position.

Required Competencies: Knowledge, skills, abilities, traits and characteristics: 

  • Ability to work independently, analyze issues, exercise sound judgment, and demonstrate adaptability when dealing with ambiguous situations. 
  • Ability to establish and influence partnerships with individuals and groups from a range of diverse cultural, geographic, and socioeconomic backgrounds. 
  • Ability to engage in community building and partnering with external educational institutions and communities, with an understanding of rural and urban or urban-like locations, including multilingual and multicultural, and Indigenous and Tribal communities. 
  • Strong coaching and mentoring skills, including the ability to encourage, inspire, and support students and employees in achieving individual and collective goals.
  • Strong theoretical, research-based, and working knowledge of best practices, issues, and trends related to equity, engagement, and belonging, including social, economic, racial, gender, and restorative justice principles, and the ability to translate that knowledge to others in the context of higher education, student development, and student success.
  • Strong knowledge/understanding of specific needs, challenges, and opportunities related to equity, engagement, and belonging work in STEM-focused and STEM-adjacent educational settings. 
  • Understand the broader history and context of higher education in perpetuating privilege, discrimination, and inequities against the contrasting opportunities for students, their families, and communities. 
  • Understand the experiences of historically minoritized, marginalized and underserved groups, especially people with disabilities, neurodiverse communities, low-income communities, members of LGBTQIA+ communities, English language learners, immigrants, refugees, multiracial communities, and Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) groups.
  • Experience facilitating challenging conversations that produce positive outcomes, including but not limited to issues that address race, power, institutional racism, implicit bias, settler colonialism, patriarchy, and a culture of white supremacy. 
  • Experience with successfully developing, implementing, and facilitating training related to equity, engagement, and belonging for a diverse range of audiences. 
  • Knowledge of local, state, and federal law, including SBCTC policies and practices, and ability to read, understand and interpret policies and procedures. 
  • Knowledge of tribal sovereignty and government to government relations. 
  • Ability to promote and exemplify transparency, trust, integrity, and high ethical standards within the institution. 
  • Ability to use emotional and cultural intelligence to effectively lead organizational learning and change efforts, such as those related to assessment, evaluation, continuous improvement, and accreditation, with a commitment to participatory governance and meaningful involvement of all constituent groups. 
  • Ability to provide leadership, coordination, and systems-thinking in strategic planning and development, policy development, resource allocation, fiscal management, and decision-making, informed by data and best practices. 
  • Ability to collaborate and form effective individual relationships and dynamic teams.


Application Process

Application Requirements:
To be considered for this position, applicants must:  

  • Meet the required qualifications as outlined in this announcement.
  • Complete the online application profile at
  • Apply for the specific job opening.
  • Upload (attach) a cover letter that addresses how you meet the required  qualifications as outlined in this announcement. At Pierce College, we value culturally competent and compassionate individuals who bridge diverse backgrounds and perspectives in support of academic equity and excellence. In your cover letter, please address how you will support the mission of Pierce College to create quality educational opportunities for a diverse community of learners to thrive in an evolving world. Please include in your response how your previous education and/or professional experience contribute to your effectiveness in promoting a climate of student success for a diverse community of learners(Cover Letter)
  • Upload (attach) detailed résumé of all educational and professional experience. (Résumé)
  • Transcripts are not required in order to apply for this position; however, if you are selected for an interview, you will be asked to bring copies of unofficial transcripts showing completion of the required level of education. Please upload current copies of your transcripts, if available. Unofficial copies of all college and university transcripts must include degree received and conferral date. International transcripts must include a foreign transcript evaluation. For a list of approved credential evaluation services visit: (Unofficial transcripts acceptable for application process; official transcripts required upon hire). (Transcripts) 
  • Upload (attach) a list of at least two professional references with names, addresses, telephone numbers, and e-mail addresses. Letters of recommendation will not be accepted. (References)
  • Provide a response to the following question (Supplemental Question):
    1. Pierce College has a goal to close equity gaps by 2027 in student success rates, as well as to diversify, recruit, and retain employees.  Please describe how you would implement equity, engagement, and belonging efforts to advance these goals. 


Please Note
To ensure consideration, application materials should be received no later than 5:00 p.m. on the closing date.

All correspondence regarding your application status will be sent to the email address associated with your NeoEd account. Please make sure to check your spam folder periodically, in the case of an automated, incorrect delivery.

Terms of Employment
This is a full-time administrative - exempt position. The primary work location will be at either the Pierce College Fort Steilacoom or Puyallup campus. Frequent travel to Pierce College campuses or other sites may occur. Standard work hours are between 8:00 am to 5:00 pm, Monday through Friday, with occasional evening and weekend hours required.
Salary & Benefits
The salary range for this position is $147,296 to $182,240 annually; new hires typically start at $153,434. Your paycheck is just part of the total compensation package. There is an outstanding benefits package which is worth an additional value equivalent to about 30% of your salary. A comprehensive health care benefits package for you and your dependents includes medical, dental and vision insurance. Life and long- term disability insurance plans; vacation, sick and personal leave; reduced tuition; and retirement benefits are also provided. For more information, please visit our Benefits and Leave website at benefits.

Physical Work Environment
This position works indoors in an office environment.  

Reasonable Accommodation
Applicants with disabilities who require assistance with the application and employment process will be accommodated to the extent reasonably possible. Requests should be made to the District Human Resources Office by emailing Persons who are deaf or hard of hearing may dial 711 to place a call through Washington Relay, the state's free telecommunication access service.

Screening & Interview Process
Only those candidates who have complied with the application process and meet the required qualifications will be considered. Following the review of application materials, the most qualified candidates will be contacted for an interview. Check the email account you used for the application process for communication regarding the status of your application. Application materials submitted to Pierce College are the property of the College and will not be returned.

Please note: This is a competitive selection process. Your application materials will be reviewed and evaluated based on the minimum qualifications listed for the position. Applicants whose qualifications most closely correspond to the District's needs will be eligible for further consideration. Notification of application status normally occurs 4 to 6 weeks after the closing date. Short notice may be given to applicants to participate in further selection processes which may include written, oral and performance examinations, and final interviews. 

Conditions of Employment
Pierce College is a “fully vaccinated campus” under the state’s higher education guidance, which means that COVID-19 vaccination is highly encouraged for all employees and students.

Applicants considered for this position will be required to disclose if they are the subject of any substantiated findings or current investigations related to sexual misconduct at their current employment and past employment. Disclosure is required under Washington State Law RCW 28B.112.080.

An offer of employment will not carry with it any responsibility or obligation on the part of the District to sponsor an H-1B visa. In compliance with the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986, proof of authorization to work in the United States will be required at the time of hire.

Pierce College has adopted a Drug Free Workplace policy. As a condition of employment, employees must agree to abide by the requirements established in that policy.

Equal Opportunity
The Pierce College District is an equal opportunity employer. The Board of Trustees and Pierce College District are committed to providing equal opportunity and will not discriminate in terms and conditions of employment and personnel practices. Decisions are made without regard to race, color, national origin, age, perceived or actual physical or mental disability, pregnancy, genetic information, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, marital status, creed, religion, honorably discharged veteran or military status, or use of a trained guide dog or service animal.

For more information about this position or assistance regarding your application, please contact the Human Resources office at:

Questions regarding equal employment opportunities or discrimination may be directed to the following:

Sean Cooke
Title IX Coordinator
(253) 840- 8472

Tami Jacobs
ADACO / Section 504 Coordinator
(253) 964- 6581

Deena Forsythe
Interim Vice President for Human Resources
(253) 964- 6586

Paula Henson-Williams
District Affirmative Action Officer
(253) 864- 3229

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