Vice President for Diversity and Inclusion

Salem, Massachusetts
Sep 05, 2019
Executive Administration Jobs
Vice Presidents
Institution Type
Four-Year Institution

Salem State University invites inquiries, nominations, and applications for the position of vice president for diversity and inclusion, the university’s chief diversity officer.

Located just 15 miles north of Boston in Salem, Massachusetts, and enrolling 8,500 students, Salem State has enjoyed a remarkable trajectory from its origins as a normal school focused exclusively on teacher preparation to a comprehensive public university with an array of undergraduate and graduate programs. The university provides a diverse community of learners a high-quality, student-centered education that prepares them to be leaders within their chosen professions and to contribute responsibly and creatively to a global society. Salem State serves as an important partner in the economic, cultural, and intellectual vitality of the state’s North Shore region.

Recognized as having the most diverse student body of the nine state universities, Salem State is deeply committed to fostering a culture of inclusion and belonging while achieving greater diversity among its faculty, staff, and students. The vice president for diversity and inclusion will build on efforts already underway to catalyze transformational change and further the university’s vision of a vibrant community characterized in all it does by a central commitment to inclusive excellence. The new vice president will find support structures and a community of students, staff, and faculty of diverse backgrounds and identities that are devoted to the urgency of the task. Salem State currently enjoys energetic student groups and active employee resource groups (ERGs) that promote diversity, openness, understanding, and inclusiveness, as well as regional and national affiliations in organizations such as the National Coalition Building Institute and the Leading for Change Higher Education Diversity Consortium.

Reporting to President John D. Keenan, who took office as Salem State’s 14th president in August 2017, the vice president for diversity and inclusion (vice president) will elevate the important work of transforming the university into a learning community where diversity and inclusion are woven throughout the fabric of the institution, where responsibility for inclusiveness extends to everyone on campus, and where the definition of inclusion is rooted in equity and social justice. The vice president will participate fully in the senior leadership of the university and serve on the President’s Executive Council and the President’s Leadership Cabinet; conduct an inventory of existing diversity and inclusion initiatives to identify strengths, gaps, and opportunities; guide the campus community in crafting and implementing a campuswide strategic plan for inclusive excellence; serve as a resource to schools, colleges, and divisions as they develop unit-level inclusive excellence strategic plans; develop and lead the university’s Office of Diversity and Inclusion; expand pathways for assessing, understanding, and improving the campus climate; and serve as an ambassador for the university and its commitment to diversity and inclusion externally in Salem, throughout the North Shore region, and beyond.

The vice president will serve as an ex-officio member of the university’s advisory committee on diversity, equity, and inclusion. The vice president will collaborate closely with the Office of Human Resources and Equal Opportunity, which has responsibility for the university’s compliance efforts in the areas of equal opportunity, affirmative action, harassment and discrimination prevention, and compliance with all applicable state and federal civil rights laws. The vice president will convene a cabinet (coordinating council) of diversity, equity, and inclusion officers from across the campus to facilitate communication, collaboration, and sharing of ideas across divisions of the university; guide the implementation of inclusive excellence strategies and tactics; ensure the development and mobilization of initiatives related to each unit’s inclusive excellence strategic plan; and establish systems of accountability and assessment using data-driven metrics to measure progress toward goals.

Salem State University seeks candidates whose education, perspectives, and experiences have prepared them to serve in a role at the most senior level of the university with responsibility for driving the institutional change needed to create an increasingly diverse, equitable, and inclusive environment. The ideal candidate will be a strategic leader, skilled administrator, collaborative partner, convener, and community builder who has experience advancing inclusive excellence and positive change in complex communities. This person will be adept at fostering dialogue with multiple constituencies, building coalitions, and achieving results through influence, force of intellect, and dynamism of personality. The successful candidate will have an advanced degree; a deep and intersectional understanding of the dynamics of difference, privilege, and power; and the energy, enthusiasm, drive, emotional intelligence, and gravitas necessary to achieve ambitious goals.

Salem State has retained Spelman Johnson to assist with this search. Review of applications will continue until the position is filled; complete applications received by October 4, 2019, will be assured full consideration. A resume with an accompanying cover letter may be submitted via the Spelman Johnson website at Confidential inquiries and nominations should be directed to Jim Norfleet at [email protected] Applicants needing reasonable accommodation to participate in the application process should contact Spelman Johnson at 413-529-2895.

Visit the Salem State University website at

Salem State University is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer. Persons of color, women, and persons with disabilities are strongly urged to apply.

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