Reporting to the Provost and serving as a member of the President’s cabinet, the AVP-DEI will administer the three units that comprise the Division of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion. In this role, the AVP-DEI will manage the Center for Diversity and Enrichment; Diversity Resources; and the Office of Equal Opportunity and Diversity and set goals and priorities, manage resources, and drive the mission of the division. As an experienced and accessible manager, the AVP-DEI will bring exemplary organizational development skills to bear in building and managing strong teams and in ensuring that the work of the Division is creative, nimble, and in alignment with the university’s goals. Additionally, the AVP-DEI will provide advice and guidance to the DDEI ensuring university compliance with relevant state and federal EEO and civil rights laws/regulations/guidelines and university policies.
The AVP-DEI will work with other institutional leaders to foster a sense of community and will serve as a collaborator and consultant for diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives at large. The AVP-DEI will stay informed on current research and best practices, influencing campus discussions and serving as an advisor for other leaders to improve diversity, enhance equitable access to resources, and create and sustain a welcoming and collaborative environment. The AVP-DEI also plays an important external role as UI’s representative to the AAU and Big Ten Conference on matters of diversity, equity, and inclusion. The next AVP-DEI will continue to represent the university at annual gatherings of these and other groups, sharing and applying best practices from colleagues in similar higher education institutions. The AVP-DEI will be a leading contributor to the expanding body of best practices and research in these areas, positioning UI as a model for large public research institutions nationwide. Additionally, with the university’s campus situated in the heart of Iowa City, UI and the city are intrinsically connected. As a key university leader, the AVP-DEI is an important liaison to local officials and may be called upon to attend formal quarterly meetings as well as other informal engagement opportunities with the city of Iowa City.
KEY OPPORTUNITIES AND CHALLENGES
The AVP-DEI supports campus-wide efforts to bring to fruition a vision and implement a strategic plan that enhances elements of diversity, equity, and inclusion within each campus unit, and fosters a campus climate in which students, faculty, administrators, and staff are respected, valued, and supported. In carrying out these extensive responsibilities, the AVP-DEI will address the following key challenges and opportunities:
In close collaboration with UI stakeholders, develop and operationalize the university’s plan for diversity, equity, and inclusion
The AVP-DEI will oversee, coordinate, and collaborate with campus leaders on the development of the university DEI Action Plan that will also inform the university’s Strategic Plan 2021-2026. The AVP-DEI will play a key role in articulating the identity and mission of the Division of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion to all stakeholders, internal and external. To this end, the AVP-DEI will help to define a unifying vision that drives efforts across campus and facilitates the paradigm shift from solely “diversity” to also encompass equity and inclusion, catalyzing the evolution of this work across both curricular and co-curricular activities. In this endeavor, the AVP-DEI will help to develop a framework for the exchange of ideas that takes into account an understanding of the complex histories, expressions, and needs of different identities and communities. Partnering with key stakeholders across the campus, the AVP-DEI will operationalize a strategy, oversee programmatic implementation, and manage logistics. As an innovative and creative thinker, the AVP-DEI will be responsible for translating ideas into action to improve student success, enhance research, and increase engagement within the university community and beyond.
Connect and integrate further DEI activities across campus
The AVP-DEI will serve as a connector and a facilitator, partnering with both academic and administrative units across the campus to further integrate DEI into numerous facets of campus life. The AVP-DEI will improve communications and strengthen a campus-wide DEI infrastructure in relationship to diversity leaders and councils in the colleges and divisions to enhance the coordination of efforts to advance DEI throughout the institution. The AVP-DEI must partner on DEI initiatives and communicate with key units, including University Human Resources, which addresses staff needs, as well as the Division of Student Life, the Deans, and Shared Governance. UI is a highly collegial institution and it is critically important that key stakeholders across the university view the AVP-DEI as a knowledgeable, genuine, and willing partner. The AVP-DEI will lead by influence, building and maintaining relationships with a wide variety of stakeholder groups, and leveraging those relationships to advance the goals articulated in the university’s DEI Action Plan.
Promote rich intellectual engagement with DEI at UI
The AVP-DEI is expected to think deeply about ways to further build philosophical and practical engagement with DEI within an intellectually rigorous context. As a credible leader and voice in the campus community, the AVP-DEI will have command of the language and literature on inclusion and diversity and an appreciation of how these issues intersect with the core academic mission and the student experience. The AVP-DEI must possess a deep understanding of the academy and stimulate important institutional discussions, posing challenging questions and insightful solutions on difficult topics that will guide nuanced thinking by UI’s leadership. As a cabinet-level advisor and strategist, the AVP-DEI will establish systems of accountability and promote the evaluation and continuous improvement of institutional diversity and inclusion goals using data-driven metrics to measure success and disseminate information.
Increase diversity among faculty, staff, and students and foster a culture of inclusivity
The AVP-DEI will help identify policies and practices that support the recruitment, retention, and advancement of diverse faculty, administrators, staff, and students. The AVP-DEI will initiate and support data-driven plans to identify where improvement is needed and will support the development of guidelines and training to reflect best practices and current research in these areas. In this effort, the AVP-DEI will serve as a trusted advisor to administrative and academic units to help to ensure a culture of equity and inclusion, paying special attention to historical and systematic inequity and its implications in research, service, teaching, recruitment, persistence, and retention.
Working with senior leadership, the AVP-DEI will also develop and promote opportunities to support the career development of underrepresented faculty and staff. They will identify strategies to strengthen effective mentoring practices and foster an inclusive environment that supports development and career progression. There may also be opportunity for the AVP-DEI to engage and foster relationships with alumni and stakeholders who are champions of diversity to build upon endowments and scholarship opportunities.
THE SUCCESSFUL CANDIDATE
Diversity, equity, and inclusion are shared, strategic university priorities that are fundamental to creating an even more intellectually rigorous and dynamic environment that fulfills the teaching, learning, scholarship, civic engagement, and service missions at the University of Iowa. The ideal candidate will be a proactive and strategic advocate, partner, and leader who will develop constructive relationships with faculty, administration, staff, students, alumni, and other university stakeholders. The most successful candidates will possess organizational savvy; a proven track record of successfully advancing strategic diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives; and the energy, enthusiasm, drive, and gravitas necessary to successfully implement contemporary diversity, equity, and inclusion concepts and best practices at an institutional level.
While no single candidate will likely have all the ideal qualifications, candidates should possess many of the following qualifications and characteristics:
· An advanced degree, Ph.D., M.A., M.F.A.
· Demonstrated success leading transformational change initiatives in a collaborative environment
· Successful record of experience in administrative leadership working collaboratively with administrators, faculty, staff, students, governing board, and other stakeholders to advance diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives in all aspects of campus life
· Familiarity with, or engagement in, scholarly activities such as research, teaching, publishing, and assessment, and significant knowledge of issues of how equity and inclusion impact the faculty life cycle, staff life cycle, and/or student experiences
· Excellent interpersonal and public communication skills, including effective messaging to multiple and diverse audiences through multiple media formats (including oral presentation, written communication, digital communications, etc.); ability to present, write about, and discuss controversial topics and conflict in a way that results in productive discussion and meaningful outcomes
· Strong track record in effectively developing and managing budgets, as well as experience soliciting and securing external funding to advance strategic initiatives
· Ability to be a collaborator and a convener, to work judiciously and diplomatically, with the capacity to build bridges and consensus
· Strong track record of recruiting talent and effectively leading teams of both direct reports and ad hoc working groups
· Effective data analysis, problem solving, and reporting skills; expertise in identifying, collecting and analyzing data necessary to develop and assess progress toward achieving institutional priorities and develop key strategies
· Demonstrated knowledge of federal and state EEO and civil rights laws/regulations/guidelines (e.g., Title IX, Title VI, Title VII, ADA, Section 503/504 of the Rehabilitation Act, VEVRAA, EEO/affirmative action) as they apply to higher educational institutions and knowledge of how these laws interact with up-to-date concerns of marginalized groups
· Intellectual depth and breadth that will command respect and establish credibility in all areas of an academic setting
Please direct all applications (including a letter of interest and curriculum vitae), nominations, and inquiries electronically to:
Donna Cramer, Principal
Andarla Hodge, Senior Associate
The University of Iowa is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer. All qualified applicants are encouraged to apply and will receive consideration for employment free from discrimination on the basis of race, creed, color, religion, national origin, age, sex, pregnancy, disability, genetic information, status as a U.S. veteran, service in the U.S. military, sexual orientation, gender identity, associational preference, or any other classification that deprives the person of consideration as an individual.