Occidental College
Los Angeles, California
Nov 17, 2020
Executive Administration Jobs
Vice Presidents
Institution Type
Four-Year Institution


Occidental College welcomed a new president in the summer of 2020. Newly appointed President Harry J. Elam, Jr. is committed to advancing and progressing Oxy’s long-standing values of equity, justice, and inclusion. In fact, we believe--now more than ever--that there is a national, if not worldwide, imperative to advance causes of equity and justice--in particular, those related to anti-racism. To that end, Occidental (Oxy) invites nominations and applications for the position of Vice President for Equity and Justice and Chief Diversity Officer (VPEJ/CDO) at our exceptional liberal arts college in the city of Los Angeles.

With the support of Oxy’s Board of Trustees, President Elam, the leaders of Academic Affairs and Student Affairs, and the rest of the Oxy community, Oxy’s VPEJ/CDO will advance the College’s long-standing commitment to equity and justice by promoting and intensifying efforts to attract, develop, and support a highly diverse community of accomplished students, faculty and staff. Reporting to the President, the VPEJ/CDO is a key member of the President’s senior staff, and as such, represents the College in the design, promotion, and enhancement of equity and justice efforts across our campus and throughout the Oxy community.

The ideal candidate will have a strong record of administrative leadership inside and outside of the classroom in higher education; deep knowledge, including best practices, in the field of equity, justice, and inclusion with the ability to translate that knowledge into practical applications to develop, assess, implement and monitor effective programs and services; and the demonstrated ability to collaborate with all institutional constituencies to build consensus and provide a strategy for implementing key initiatives. A master’s degree is required; a terminal degree is strongly preferred.

Founded in 1887, Occidental is a small, highly selective and diverse liberal arts college located in Los Angeles, in one of the city’s most eclectic neighborhoods. Occidental's mission is to provide a gifted and diverse group of students with a total educational experience of the highest quality--one that prepares them for leadership in an increasingly complex, interdependent and pluralistic world. The distinctive interdisciplinary and multicultural focus of the College’s academic program seeks to foster both the fulfillment of individual aspirations and a deeply rooted commitment to the public good. One of the first campuses where Upward Bound had its start, and home of one of the first West Coast chapters of Phi Beta Kappa, Occidental boasts a firmly rooted tradition of academic achievement and dedicated community service. The small size and strong sense of community, rigorous curriculum, superb faculty, diverse student body and access to the resources of Los Angeles, make Oxy intimate in scale, but infinite in scope.

Occidental is committed to recruiting and supporting an engaged, passionate, and inclusive community that represents a broad spectrum of backgrounds in an increasingly diverse and global society. Oxy aspires to achieve equity and justice within our community by recognizing how the college experience is enriched by interactions among persons of different backgrounds and experiences--including, but not limited to: racial and ethnic identities, national origin, socioeconomic background, ability, religion and/or spiritual values, sexual orientation, gender and gender identity, veteran status, and political perspectives.

The College seeks to build a community founded in equity and justice that is much more than a celebration of differences or a demographic quota. Oxy seeks to give authentic and tangible meaning to the principle of an equitable and just educational experience and community environment, and to foster intellectual stimulation and interrogation of inequity and injustice in a culture that supports at the least tolerance, and ideally mutual respect. To this end, we are guided by the shared aspirations of equity, social justice, cultural competence, and engaged citizenship as we strive to create a more anti-racist society.

Through a national search process, led by an inclusive search committee, the College intends to appoint a VPEJ/CDO who will be responsible for leading efforts to uphold the College’s stated and aspirational mission regarding equity and justice.

The VPEJ/CDO will develop and maintain exceptionally strong relationships and partnerships; listen and engage with empathy and concern; effectively navigate difficult conversations--such as those related to antiracism--and tough situations with compassion, care, and support; demonstrate skill in motivating and unifying students, faculty, staff, and other key stakeholders in the College community to develop and support an equity and justice strategic vision and plan; and utilize data, research, and narrative lived experiences of community members to inform a system of accountability and change.

As a College senior leader, the VPEJ/CDO will establish strong collaborative working relationships with key Oxy stakeholders, including the Board of Trustees, the President and President’s cabinet/senior staff, faculty, students, staff, alum and other external constituents.


  • Lead a process to refine, implement, and support an institutional strategic plan for equity and justice at the College. Oxy’s VPEJ/CDO will necessarily, eagerly, and effectively work with multiple Oxy constituencies and stakeholders to help deliver and enact Oxy’s equity and justice strategic plan. The VPEJ/CDO will have a strong and prominent--but not a solo--voice for the work of equity and justice at Oxy, as the entire Oxy community is implicated and responsible for advancing these efforts.
  • Advise the President, senior College administrative officers and members of the Board of Trustees on issues relating to equity and justice at the College and regarding trends in higher education relating to equity and justice.
  • Facilitate development and communication of College-wide values to both internal and external campus communities about the development of the messaging of equity and justice values, mission, initiatives, and strategies employed by the College. Articulate the College’s identity internally and externally and support efforts that propel the College as an active leader in the field of equity and justice. Importantly, the VPEJ/CDO will need to bring campus constituencies together to develop a shared language and vision for what equity and justice mean in the context of the College mission.
  • Implement policies, procedures and best practices by consulting and collaborating across campus departments in the areas of hiring and onboarding of employees, recruitment and retention, training and professional development, assessment, communications and institutional development.
  • Implement equity and justice professional development and training/educational opportunities, and begin to develop policies, procedures and best practices by consulting and collaborating across campus departments in the areas related to recruitment and retention, equity and justice education and professional development for students, faculty, and staff, and campus climate assessment.
  • Partner with Oxy’s stellar faculty to highlight equity and justice through the College curriculum, faculty hiring practices, and building and sustaining inclusive classroom environments.
  • Partner with Oxy’s Intercultural Community Center and other student, faculty, and staff programming groups across campus to develop and deliver a broad range of programs--especially those related to anti-racism--for the entire campus community related to equity and justice, and evaluate the effectiveness of these programs.
  • Lay the groundwork for cultural and institutional change by deploying resources for students, faculty and staff activities and initiatives (grassroots and otherwise) related to the support and development of an equitable and just campus environment as a residential college, academic community and workplace. Work in concert with the College’s Intercultural Community Center to advance this goal.
  • Offer expertise and guidance by leading efforts to ensure that the College is in support of, and in compliance with, applicable federal/state laws, policies and procedures (e.g. Affirmative Action, Equal Opportunity, Americans with Disabilities Act, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, etc.) and by collaborating with Title IX Coordinator, disability services and General Counsel in the resolution of grievances resulting from protected status complaints.


The ideal candidate will have the following professional experience and personal characteristics:

  • Strategic Planning: Ability to skillfully provide leadership for a process to articulate and build consensus for a vision for equity and justice at the College, determine goals and needs both internally to the campus community and externally to a broad range of constituencies; and to support the College’s equity and justice strategic plan for the initiatives to achieve that vision.
  • Proven record in advancing equity and justice: A proven record of advancing equity and justice initiatives that reveals the ability to develop and implement successful strategies and initiatives; a commitment to increasing equity and justice in academic settings through research, faculty engagement or curricular reform as well as in furthering and improving the lived experiences of our students related to equity and justice.
  • Commitment: The successful candidate will be committed to supporting and cultivating a distinguished, accomplished and diverse faculty, student body and staff, with the experience to do so; passion for the work, strong presence, ability to motivate, challenge and be challenged; and welcoming to a wide variety of perspectives.


The search process for this position will commence immediately and continue until the position is filled, with an anticipated start date of summer of 2021. Please submit a resume and letter of interest explaining how your qualifications meet the requirements of the position. 

As a condition of hire for a staff position and for appointment to a faculty position, Occidental College requires that all candidates who have received a conditional offer of employment complete an application form (if they have not already done so) and consent to a background check. Satisfactory completion of a background check, along with pre-employment verifications and references are required as a condition of employment, but only as permitted by federal, state, and local law, including the City of Los Angeles Fair Chance Initiative for Hiring Ordinance.

We will consider for employment all qualified Applicants, including those with Criminal Histories, in a manner consistent with the requirements of applicable state and local laws, including the City of Los Angeles’ Fair Chance Initiative for Hiring Ordinance.



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