The University of Kansas seeks a strategic leader and skillful collaborator to serve as Vice Provost for Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging (VP-DEIB). The VP-DEIB is a member of the senior leadership team under the direction of the Provost & Executive Vice Chancellor who works closely with Vice Provosts/Chancellors, Deans, and other campus and community organizations such as KU Faculty Staff Councils (https://diversity.ku.edu/councils) to set goals that advance community dialogue, education and action in ways that center diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging in every aspect of our work. The VP-DEIB leads the campus in fostering an open, inclusive and exceptional learning community that promotes equity and excellence by nurturing the growth and development of each student, faculty and staff member. Working closely with the Provost, the Vice Provost is responsible for developing and communicating clear goals, metrics, benchmarks, plans and strategies to improve DEIB at KU Lawrence-Edwards, in alignment with the Jayhawks Rising strategic plan, and co-chairs the Jayhawks Rising DEIB Objective and strategies.
The VP-DEIB leads and facilitates the achievement of DEIB goals, projects, and professional development initiatives, enhances communications, and promotes collaborative activity across all campus units and organizations. The successful candidate engages and oversees a professional team within the Office of DEIB as well as engages and collaborates with Equity Advisors and other colleagues, committees, and governance organizations to forward DEIB initiatives, programming and communications.
The Jayhawks Rising strategic plan is based on the perspective that diversity of race, ethnicity, abilities, gender, sexual orientation, age, and religion — as well as diversity of values, interests, experiences, nationality/citizenship, and intellectual and cultural viewpoints — enriches our learning, our community, and our lives.
The VP-DEIB is a model of "call-in" culture, which challenges all Jayhawks to dismantle historical systems of oppression to address discrimination and other exclusionary practices in all their various forms, fostering a welcoming and supportive environment for each student, staff, faculty, alumni, and community partner who learns, serves and leads at KU.
A successful candidate will be a strong relationship-builder, collaborator, excellent communicator, and advocate for human rights who is adept at navigating a large organization with a wide range of leadership levels, engaged on-campus partners, and community members that have varying perspectives. The successful candidate will work closely with the Provost to articulate the vision, monitor key metrics, communicate goals and expectations, develop and deliver programs, provide resources and services, review progress and give feedback, as well as address issues that impede progress toward greater diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging at KU.
The VP-DEIB is a comprehensive leadership role for KU Lawrence-Edwards. The VP role leads and aligns efforts across campus, directly involving units that engage faculty, staff, alumni, athletics, and student-facing service units. The position is a 12-month, 1.0 FTE position that reports to and serves at the pleasure of the Provost. This opportunity may include a tenure-line, or a courtesy appointment with release time to teach in an academic unit, based upon candidate credentials and interest.
90% Strategic Leadership, Alignment and Collaboration, Monitoring and Reporting
A. Strategic Leadership
Working with Jayhawks Rising implementation team, co-chair the DEIB Objective in order to plan, implement, and monitor strategies, including:
Roll-out of campus-wide framework for DEIB strategic planning with appropriate metrics and benchmarks for success which are aligned with Jayhawks Rising plan.
Providing guidance and assistance to deans and vice provosts as they establish DEIB strategic plans based on the campus metrics.
Monitor each unit’s DEIB plans annually on key campus metrics in order to gauge progress and improve outcomes.
In coordination with Offices of Chancellor and Provost, lead and manage strategic DEIB communications for KU Lawrence-Edwards and its reporting locations (i.e., Juniper Gardens, Kansas Law Enforcement Training Center, Leavenworth, etc.).
Monitor and analyze institutional data in the context of national data related to diversity initiatives and climate. This includes climate studies, demographic data, and policy analyses.
Lead the implementation of the framework for a DEIB strategic plan in each unit across Lawrence-Edwards that ensures responsibility, action, campus-wide collaboration, engagement of stakeholders, and aligns with the University strategic objectives to improve diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging.
Meet with members of the Faculty Staff Councils. DEIB Steering Committee, the Provost’s DEIB Advisory Council and others to understand the needs, experiences, and challenges surrounding diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging in the workplace, classroom, and campus community.
Convene the Associate/Assistant Vice Provost DEIB leaders in the offices of student affairs, human resources, and faculty affairs and different leadership groups to guide and coordinate initiatives as part of Jayhawks Rising and DEIB objectives and strategies.
Act as a catalyst in stimulating important institutional discussions and offer insightful solutions on complex topics that help achieve DEIB objectives and strategies.
Provide frequent feedback to the Provost and the Chancellor on current issues emerging in the community and on campus, especially when there is the opportunity to improve culture, make changes in policy or practice, and communicate in a way that will further the goal of making KU a more inclusive and equitable environment.
Propose innovative and creative solutions to existing policy or structure that will facilitate persistence and completion for all students, as well as address recruitment and retention of faculty and staff.
B. Administrative Oversight
Assume administrative responsibility for the DEIB Office by leading staff who support, collaborate, and communicate with all units on campus to design, implement and monitor diversity strategic plans based on our DEIB framework, and by providing developmental opportunities and feedback as necessary and appropriate.
Responsible for the leadership and supervision of the DEIB Office and assigned staff. Hires, manages, evaluates, coaches, addresses performance, and conduct matters, and provides learning and development support.
Convene and lead staff in other units with DEIB responsibilities and dotted-line affiliations to align and coordinate initiatives and efforts.
Convene Provost’s DEIB Advisory Council and DEIB Steering Committee, a network of Equity Advisors across the University community, to facilitate planning and implementation of the DEIB strategic plan to improve campus climate and key measures of DEIB success, and who report to the Provost’s DEIB Advisory Council once a year.
Coordinate with the Provost to develop and oversee operating budget and, as appropriate, build financial resources through fundraising and other external support.
Regularly review data and communicate data-informed feedback to the campus community on the effectiveness of DEIB efforts.
Exercise discretion and ensure strict adherence to confidentiality pertaining to sensitive matters.
C. Training and Education
Assess, grow, and develop professional learning opportunities in areas of DEIB for campus participation.
Develop a slate of professional developmental programs to support DEIB, including though not limited to advanced programs for mentoring, intergroup dialogues, nonviolent communication, "calling-in," and conflict management. Delivery of such programs may be through Human Resource Management (HRM), Faculty Mentoring, Student Affairs, or unit-level programs.
Establish a coordination hub for professional development and experiences across campus, helping each group to articulate their efforts with campus efforts, and consulting with providers on evaluation of the effectiveness of these efforts,
D. Collaboration, Empowerment and Implementation
Engage and collaborate with key units including but not limited to Academic Affairs, Student Affairs, International Affairs, Academic Success, Graduate Studies, Faculty Affairs, and Human Resource Management to ensure shared vision and consistency of approach to delivery of DEIB programs and services.
Facilitate the implementation of DEIB curriculum through the efforts of academic leaders and faculty. Work with academic leaders and faculty to implement such principles into the classroom and related materials.
Build partnerships with Equity Advisors on campus to bring clarity and consistency to existing roles as well as to provide necessary resources, support, and training.
Facilitate and provide campus expertise that can and should be leveraged to improve DEIB.
Develop and maintain active partnerships with the external community and appropriate alumni groups in support of DEIB at KU.
Collaborate, engage and partner with the Faculty Staff Councils. Develop other ad hoc advisory groups as necessary. Serve on various committees, councils, and taskforces as appropriate.
Meet regularly with University Governance groups (Faculty, Staff, and Student Senate) to inform, advocate and support DEIB efforts.
Lead, engage, and develop collaborative engagements across the AVP’s for DEIB to strengthen communities, culture and climate, programming and encourage dialogue addressing needs and spaces for communication, processing, and reflection.
Provide outreach, advice, training, guidance and resources to campus leaders, administrators, academic units, and appropriate offices on DEIB practices to assist faculty, staff, and students in creating and maintaining an inclusive campus community.
Work with leadership to design and implement strategies to help recruit, support, and advance diversity and equity across the faculty, staff, and student communities.
10% Other duties as assigned by the Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor
Represent KU as appropriate to external organizations with related DEIB initiatives and interests.
Attend meetings as requested and addressed other duties as assigned.
Earned doctorate or terminal degree in the field.
Five years of progressively significant leadership experience with generating a positive environment of diversity, equity, inclusiveness and belonging for students, staff, and faculty.
Three years of supervision experience.
Three years of previous leadership experience in advancing DEIB goals within an institution or company as demonstrated by application materials.
Demonstrated understanding of intersectionality and the ways in which multiple identities intersect in efforts to foster diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging across campus.
Experience in responding to bias-related incidents when they occur on university campuses and managing communications and related media.
Professional work experience in designing strategic plans, curriculum, and resource development, and budgetary oversight articulated around a defined vision.
Mastery of foundational theories and that impact diversity issues in a complex organizational setting, such as those articulated in NADOHE and ADA standards.
Strong oral, written, and interpersonal skills as demonstrated through application materials, interview, and references.
Experience in gathering and analyzing quantitative and qualitative data for measuring outcomes, reporting and strategic planning activities.
Experience at a large, comprehensive research institution as a faculty member or administrator; or work experiences that demonstrate an understanding of and effectiveness at working on DEIB issues within a complex higher-education institutional setting.
Demonstrated ability to provide anticipatory and solution-oriented thinking on broad cultural and societal concerns to effectively lead transformational change.
Experience developing and maintaining strategic and collaborative relationships with stakeholders within a university setting and its surrounding community.
Demonstrated experience in addressing conflict by modeling processes such as intergroup dialogue, nonviolent communication or calling in the call-out culture.
Contact Information to Applicants
Nominations and inquiries can be directed to:
Charlene L. Aguilar, Ed.M. and Meredith Davis, Ph.D.
Additional Candidate Instruction
All applications, nominations and inquiries are invited. Applications should include, as separate documents, a CV or resume and a letter of interest addressing the themes in this profile.
WittKieffer is assisting the University of Kansas in this search. For fullest consideration, candidate materials should be received by July 31, 2022.
Application materials should be submitted using WittKieffer’s candidate portal.