Vice Provost for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion and Chief Diversity Officer

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Sep 08, 2020
Executive Administration Jobs
Employment Type
Full Time
Institution Type
Four-Year Institution

Carnegie Mellon University (CMU or Carnegie Mellon) invites inquiries, nominations, and applications for the inaugural position of vice provost for diversity, equity, and inclusion and chief diversity officer (VP-DEI).

Carnegie Mellon University, a member of the Association of American Universities, is a global, research-intensive university with nearly 14,800 students, more than 105,000 living alumni, and approximately 6,300 faculty and staff. In 2019, U.S. News & World Report ranked CMU #25 among national universities, and many of its programs are among the top ranked in the world. Carnegie Mellon boasts academic strength across a broad range of fields spanning humanities, fine arts, social sciences, business, public policy, physical sciences, and engineering, and, indicative of this breadth, is home to the #1 ranked programs in computer science and drama. CMU’s annual budget exceeds $1.3 billion, with total research expenditures of $400 million. In addition to its main campus in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Carnegie Mellon has campuses in California’s Silicon Valley and Qatar, and programs in Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe, and Mexico.

Carnegie Mellon currently has diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) resources and structures for students, faculty, and staff, but there is no senior administrator with the responsibility for driving the institutional and cultural change necessary to realize CMU’s aspirations. This is the role of this position.

Reporting to the provost and serving as a member of his senior leadership team, the VP-DEI will have the opportunity to:

  • work collaboratively with Carnegie Mellon’s leadership, including the president, vice presidents, deans, and other vice provosts, to shape the university’s DEI strategies;
  • be a member of the University Leadership Council which meets regularly and is chaired by the president; and
  • serve as a strategic leader, adviser, and catalyst for institutional and cultural change to build greater diversity among CMU’s student body, faculty, and staff, and to create an antiracist, equitable, and inclusive community.

The initial work will involve understanding Carnegie Mellon, its current work, and the opportunities and challenges facing the institution. The role will then shift to working across the university to determine areas of focus, articulate specific goals, and marshal the resources needed to achieve them. The inaugural VP-DEI must be able to lead from the middle, acting as a central anchoring point, unifying stakeholders across campus around a core DEI mission. The position is multidimensional with a focus on leading strategic change, building capacity for training and providing expertise, coordinating and convening community members, serving as an advocate and ambassador, establishing metrics and systems of accountability, and communicating regularly about DEI to internal and external stakeholders.

The inaugural VP-DEI must be someone who not only demonstrates deep passion for the work of diversity, equity, and inclusion, but also demonstrates intellectual and ethical leadership as a strategist, innovator, and change agent who can capture the hearts and minds of the campus community and get them excited about the possibilities of this moment. The ideal candidate will be an accomplished administrator, convener, and community builder who has significant experience and a track record of successfully advancing DEI in higher education or mission-driven organizations. This individual will be comfortable with the many dimensions of identity and will be adept at fostering dialogue with multiple constituencies, building coalitions, and achieving results through influence and collaboration.

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 person must work toward institutional change by proactively approaching challenges with systems-level thinking rather than simply reacting to challenges or fixing problems. The VP-DEI 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.

An earned doctorate or other terminal degree is strongly preferred, though truly outstanding candidates with a master’s degree and substantial experience will be considered.

A complete position specification is available at

Carnegie Mellon has retained Spelman Johnson to assist with this search. Review of applications will continue until the position is filled; complete applications received by October 9, 2020 will be assured full consideration. A resume or curriculum vitae with a cover letter that addresses the responsibilities and requirements described in the position specification may be submitted via the Spelman Johnson website at Confidential inquiries and nominations should be directed to Jim Norfleet at [email protected] or Michel Frendian at [email protected]. Applicants needing reasonable accommodation to participate in the application process should contact Spelman Johnson at 413-529-2895.

Visit the Carnegie Mellon University website at

Carnegie Mellon University considers applicants for employment without regard to, and does not discriminate on the basis of, gender, race, protected veteran status, disability, or any other legally protected status.

We are sensitive to how the COVID-19 pandemic is impacting work and personal lives, and will offer the utmost flexibility throughout the interview process. The search advisory committee expects to conduct initial interviews via Zoom for the safety and well-being of all involved.

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