Senior Vice President for Inclusion and Diversity
Reporting directly to the President, the senior vice president for inclusion and diversity (SVP-I&D) will be responsible for bringing about the institutional change desired by the College to create an even more inclusive community and to continue building greater diversity among its students, faculty, and staff–which includes diversity by race, ethnicity, religion, economic background, first-generation status, gender, sexuality, disability, and differing political perspectives, among others. Bowdoin aspires to be a leader among its peers as a place where differing histories, experiences and identities are understood and celebrated, where the ties that bind everyone together as a community are strong, where the ideals of Inclusive Excellence are embraced, and where the discourse about the tough questions and issues of inclusion and diversity are engaged in a thoughtful, respectful, and authentic manner.
This position offers the right individual a unique and exciting opportunity. There are currently significant resources and structures in place addressing inclusion and diversity for students, as well as faculty and staff, but there is no role at the most senior level of the College with the responsibility for driving the institutional change necessary to realize Bowdoin’s aspirations. Rather than fitting into a role with specific responsibilities and tasks already identified, this person will have the opportunity to shape the work, programs and goals necessary to achieve the institutional change described above, and will then lead the effort to bring it about, utilizing new thinking and new ways of doing things. The initial work will involve taking the time to understand the College, the people, the work currently being done, who is doing this work, and the issues and opportunities facing Bowdoin. The role will then shift to working with the president and senior staff, faculty, staff, students, and trustees, to determine the areas of focus, work ahead, organizational requirements, specific goals to be set, who will be accountable for which goals, and the resources required for success. Their focus will then turn to assuming the primary role for leading the institutional change required to realize these goals. This job is best suited for someone who understands but is not committed to traditional models of campus diversity, has the disposition for and is excited about the opportunity to create new ways of thinking about inclusion and diversity and new models for achieving the College’s goals, and who has the skills and desire to inspire and help change the community.
This leader must be someone who is not only passionate about diversity and inclusion, but also able to galvanize others into action around building more diverse and inclusive communities. This person will have a track record of institutional change—demonstrating skills in developing vision and strategies that inspire others, and applying effective techniques to achieve meaningful impact. The successful candidate will possess the clear ability to be forward thinking, take calculated risks, and continually see around the corners to anticipate opportunities. This individual will not have a playbook, but should have a history of driving innovation and finding new solutions that lead to tangible results. This person will be comfortable with the many dimensions of identity, with a fundamental inclination to listen with compassion to all perspectives and experiences.
The ideal candidate will have a wealth of experience and track record of impact in advancing both diversity and inclusion in complex communities and/or organizations. This individual should bring a record of success in facilitating effective partnerships with and between constituencies. This individual must be a convener and community builder, with the ability to achieve results through influence, force of intellect, and dynamism of personality. The successful candidate will be known for partnering well in complex environments, and will have demonstrated an ability to utilize data and analytics as important tools in measuring success. This individual must be able to approach challenges with systems-level thinking to work toward institutional change rather than individual remedies. The successful candidate must be able to mobilize a network of enlivened stakeholders across campus to support and claim shared ownership in this effort, and not take on the mantle of driving change alone. This person will be a truth teller, with the ability to operate in a senior team with a culture of respectfully challenging each other and working collaboratively to common ends.
Russell Reynolds Associates has been exclusively retained for this search and prospective candidates are invited to contact RRA directly at BowdoinSVP@russellreynolds.com. All inquiries and discussions will be strictly confidential.
Review of applications will continue until a successful candidate is identified.