Chief Diversity Officer

Colgate University
Hamilton, NY
Closing date
Oct 22, 2021

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Job Details

Job Category:


Position Title:

Chief Diversity Officer

Full Time/Part Time:

Full Time


Office of the President


President's Office

Department Statement:

Colgate is a diverse community that welcomes an array of perspectives, experiences, and backgrounds. Yet, to fulfill the vision for its third century, this diversity must be supported by efforts to foster equity and inclusion, encouraging students to respond to difference with openness and sensitivity — the first steps toward effective leadership in an interconnected world. This commitment is captured in the University’s Third-Century Plan for Diversity, Inclusion, and Equity (the DEI Plan), endorsed by the trustees and faculty in 2019.

While diversity, equity, and inclusion are foundational elements underlying Colgate’s Third-Century Plan, there are areas that require special attention to ensure the overall success of the DEI Plan. These foundational elements include:

Foundational DEI Structure – Initiatives include enhanced DEI staffing, annual reporting, equity-focused analysis of all University policies.

Equity in the Student Experience – Initiatives include subsidized disability testing for students with financial need, regular training for key University offices supporting students, formal relationships with community-based organizations helping bring diverse students to campus, and work to expand options for social hosting — long a source of systemic disparity between campus organizations.

Diversification of Faculty and Staff – Initiatives include significant oversight of staff searches, required training for staff search committee members, and pipeline–development initiatives to build a foundation for more diverse candidate pools. These efforts are well underway in many faculty search processes, serving as a model and inspiration for further action.

Retention and Development of Diverse Faculty and Staff – Initiatives include implementation of family-friendly job policies; reduction in reliance on long-term non-benefited staff; exploration of faculty cluster hires and partnerships with organizations such as the National Center for Faculty Development and Diversity and the Consortium for Faculty Diversity to help diversify the faculty; and development of career pathway programs to proactively support staff from underrepresented groups to develop a career at Colgate.

Campus Culture – Initiatives include regular assessment of climate, a bias-incident log, expanded support for facilitating dialogue across difference, accessibility of website, continued development of gender-inclusive restrooms, and enhanced support for Mosaic, the alumni relations program aimed at alumni of color.

DEI Responsiveness – Initiatives include comprehensive review and revision of non-discrimination and anti-harassment policies completed in August 2020, implementation of rapid-response structure for bias incidents, and development of concrete avenues of access for student affinity groups to converse with University leadership.

The DEI Plan seeks to guide the creation of a structure designed to persist. The structure will be public and transparent; assertive in communicating both successes and failures; and insistently part of the regular work of the campus, the rhythms of the school year, and the experience of all members of the campus community. This structure must have built-in accountabilities, concrete goals, and a timeline that extends into the future, and always with a multiyear view of the work ahead.

Although progress has been made in integrating Colgate’s DEI Plan with the University’s Third- Century Plan, this work is ongoing and there is an opportunity to envision the next phase of the plan. In some cases, certain aspects of the DEI Plan might need to be modified or revisited.


A member of the President’s Cabinet, reporting to President Brian W. Casey, the Vice President and Chief Diversity Officer (CDO) is a core member of the senior leadership team, providing leadership, oversight, and strategic vision for policies and initiatives to promote an inclusive and equitable learning and working environment for students, faculty, and staff. The CDO will oversee the Office of Equity and Diversity, which currently guides hiring practices, Title IX cases, ADA concerns, affirmative action/equal opportunity, and the University’s non-discrimination and anti-harassment processes. There are currently four direct reports.

The CDO will ensure that the strategic planning and vision for inclusion at Colgate is well integrated into overall institutional planning and will bring visibility and organizational focus to campuswide DEI efforts.

The CDO functions as an integrator and connector, collaborating with staff, faculty, and academic leadership to enhance diversity, equity, and inclusion within and across the institution.

While Colgate has made progress in areas such as student recruitment and student support, the University acknowledges its ongoing challenge of creating an inclusive campus environment in which diverse faculty, staff, and students feel welcome, supported, and successful. There is tremendous enthusiasm and receptivity for bringing in a leader who can help all parts of the University address these important issues, but also recognition that change always brings a level of discomfort. The Vice President and Chief Diversity Officer will be a leader and partner with the rest of the campus community for the creation and sustenance of a diverse and inclusive campus.

Colgate’s aspirations for a diverse, inclusive, and equitable community require a CDO who can bring together broad-based coalitions and alliances with the aim of making the University’s intellectual environment, community, and student experiences richer, more robust, and more inclusive; who can identify gaps in access, equity, and support across the institution and work collaboratively with University leaders to address them; and who can work with others to make diversity, equity, and inclusion a shared responsibility.

The CDO will also serve as a visible participant in Colgate’s rigorous academic culture, one that demands inquiry and debate. In such a way, the CDO will also serve as a champion of Colgate’s faculty-endorsed commitment to academic freedom and freedom of speech as detailed in the university’s statement on these matters.

Colgate features a rich legacy, committed alumni base, long institutional history, and distinctive culture. The successful CDO will understand that these characteristics are both strengths and challenges, assets and liabilities. The CDO will develop an understanding of Colgate’s institutional pillars and work in that context — deploying sensitivity, diplomacy, and tact — to overcome the hesitancy to question tradition and retire unsustainable practices.


Personal Accountability for Results


Takes responsibility for decisions, performance, and outcomes; behaves in a responsible manner with a positive attitude; shows self-awareness and openness to feedback.


Effective Communication


Demonstrates effective written and oral communication skills; shares information and seeks input from others; adapts communication to diverse audiences; protects private and confidential information.


Problem Solving and Decision Making


Analyzes and prioritizes situations to identify and solve problems; generates solutions to improve efficiency and quality; involves others in solving problems and making decisions; factors organizational goals into decisions; makes clear, transparent, and timely decisions.


Change Management


Responds positively to changing university initiatives and readily adapts behavior to maintain effective performance; understands the long-term direction of the university and can relate this to departmental area; adapts to new methodologies; identifies and acts on areas where change is appropriate.


Leadership and Teamwork


Applies skills and knowledge to provide a climate to achieve departmental and organizational success; balances individual and department goals; helps others perform at their best; builds productive relationships to enhance individual and organizational effectiveness; treats others with respect; resolves conflicts among team members.


Creativity and Innovation


Generates, explores, encourages, and implements innovative ways of creating strategic value for the university, division, department, and individual level; critically assesses the effectiveness of new initiatives.


Diversity and Inclusion


Demonstrates respect for people and their differences; understands the benefits of a diverse workforce; earns the trust and respect of others; includes and welcomes others; works to understand the perspective of others; promotes opportunities to experience diversity within our community.




Understands the impact of decision making and personal behavior in achieving the university’s commitment to a sustainable and carbon-neutral campus; supports and advances the university’s sustainability initiatives; influences others to use sustainable practices.

Professional Experience/ Qualifications:

- At least seven years of leadership experience including a strong record of accomplishment in developing, implementing, and championing strategic diversity and inclusion initiatives, preferably in a higher education setting.
- Understanding of and ability to navigate within a private liberal arts university.
- Demonstrated leadership ability with a proven record of success in working with all levels of leadership. Team-oriented/collaborative leadership style; the ability to make connections and build partnerships.
- Outstanding written and verbal communication skills with the ability to communicate persuasively and effectively to convey complex information to a wide array of audiences.
- Proficiency at navigating a university’s political landscape with the ability to respond to politically charged or sensitive situations with tact and diplomacy. Strives to propose win-win solutions to difficult problems that build consensus and reconcile competing interests.
- Ability to engage with students, faculty, staff, administrators, and other community stakeholders, and be committed to working collaboratively with other senior colleagues to craft a common vision and direction.
- Sophisticated relational abilities and influencing skills, strong emotional intelligence, and experience working across a wide range of constituencies with a high degree of diplomacy (e.g., students, faculty, administrative colleagues, parents, community residents, alumni, etc.).
- A record of progressive leadership with a keen sense of diversity, equity, and inclusion. Demonstrated ability to apply best practices of diversity, inclusion, and equity.
- Demonstrated track record exercising leadership, in partnership with others, in building diversity and inclusion teams, initiatives, and programs.
- A track record of building bridges and partnerships and credibility with a diverse set of faculty, students, and staff.
- Sensitivity to and understanding of individuals from diverse backgrounds.


A terminal degree is preferred, but not required.

Requisition Number:




Job Open Date:


Open Until Filled:


Special Instructions Summary:

Diversified Search has been retained by Colgate University to assist in this search process.

Applications, nominations, and further inquiries should be directed to [email protected]

EEO Statement:

It is the policy of Colgate University not to discriminate against any employee or applicant for employment on the basis of their race, color, creed, religion, age, sex, pregnancy, national origin, marital status, disability, protected Veterans status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, genetic information, being or having been victims of domestic violence or stalking, familial status, or any other categories covered by law. Colgate is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action employer. Candidates from historically underrepresented groups, women, persons with disabilities, and protected veterans are encouraged to apply.

Clery Act:

The Campus Safety Department will provide upon request a copy of Colgate’s Annual Security and Fire Safety Report. This report includes statistics as reported to the United States Department of Education for the previous three years concerning reported: 1. crimes that occurred on-campus; in certain off-campus buildings or property owned or controlled by Colgate University; and on public property within, or immediately adjacent to and accessible from, the campus and 2. fires that occurred in student housing facilities. The report also includes institutional policies concerning campus security and fire safety, such as policies concerning sexual assault, life safety systems, and other related matters. To obtain a copy, contact the Campus Safety Compliance Manager via e-mail at [email protected]. You may also access the report from the Campus Safety web page at:


Colgate is a nationally recognized liberal arts college set on a beautiful campus in central New York.

Some 2,900 undergraduates are enrolled in 54 programs, taking advantage of the university's award-winning curriculumoff-campus study program, and numerous research opportunities.

Students enjoy small class sizes taught by expert faculty members -- not teaching assistants.

The university’s strategic plan offers a blueprint for turning today’s students into tomorrow’s leaders, joining the scores of alumni already playing major roles in a variety of fields. The Center for Career Services is a key player as students make this transition.

Colgate hums with activity. It is a place where the arts thrive. Student-athletes compete at the very highest level of NCAA Division I sports. There are dozens of club and intramural sports programs, and the college’s outdoor education program is second to none.

Above all, Colgate is about academic excellence. It is a tradition forged in 1819 and honed through the years by each class of select students.

Colgate University is a highly selective residential liberal arts institution distinguished by academic excellence and interdisciplinary inquiry. Located on a beautiful campus in upstate New York, Colgate takes pride in the active engagement of its students, staff, and faculty in local, national, and global communities. At Colgate, we feel that a diverse and inclusive community is a cornerstone of educational excellence.

Colgate University is a highly selective residential liberal arts institution distinguished by academic excellence and interdisciplinary inquiry. Located on a beautiful campus in upstate New York, Colgate takes pride in the active engagement of its students, staff, and faculty in local, national, and global communities. At Colgate, we feel that a diverse and inclusive community is a cornerstone of educational excellence.

The Office of Equity and Diversity at Colgate is charged with fostering a diverse and collaborative community by increasing understanding, respect and inclusion. It is the mission of the office to support campus diversity initiatives with the goal of increasing understanding, respect and inclusion, and to ensure compliance with policies relating to affirmative action, discrimination, and harassment.  The university’s strong commitment to equal opportunity and inclusivity is clearly articulated in the diversity mission statement found here.  The university strives to provide an environment where everyone in our community can learn about, appreciate, and celebrate our diverse cultures and gain understanding, knowledge and skills to be engaged citizens locally as well as globally.

Colgate University fully subscribes to all federal and state civil rights laws banning discrimination in private institutions of higher education. Colgate will not discriminate against any student, employee or applicant for employment because of race, color, sex, pregnancy, religion, creed, national origin (including ancestry), citizenship status, physical or mental disability, age, marital status, sexual orientation, veteran or military status (including special disabled veteran, Vietnam-era veteran, or recently separated veteran), predisposing genetic characteristics, domestic violence victim status, or any other protected category under applicable local, state or federal law, including protections for those opposing discrimination or participating in any complaint process at the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission or other human rights agencies. This nondiscrimination policy covers both employment and access to educational opportunities.  It is the policy of the university to provide equal opportunity in employment and not to discriminate against any individuals with disabilities who are qualified for employment in the positions for which they apply. Reasonable accommodations will be provided in accordance with applicable laws and regulations.

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