Vice Dean for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, School of Arts and Sciences

University of Pennsylvania
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Closing date
Aug 15, 2021

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University of Pennsylvania School of Arts and Sciences

Vice Dean for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion


The University of Pennsylvania School of Arts and Sciences (SAS), which formed the foundation of the scholarly excellence that established Penn as one of the world's leading research universities, invites applications for an inaugural vice dean for diversity, equity and inclusion.

The University of Pennsylvania was founded by Benjamin Franklin and is home to the nation’s first modern liberal arts curriculum. Today, the School of Arts and Sciences sits at the intellectual epicenter of the renowned research-intensive university that is Penn. The School's combined mission of advancing the depth and breadth of liberal arts education and the innovative pursuit of fundamental and applied knowledge informs and enables all of the scholarly endeavors of the 11 other schools that make up Penn’s compact campus. At the same time, this physical proximity immerses SAS faculty, students and staff in a vibrant academic community that fosters synergies across disciplines, greatly enriching education, research and engagement. Penn’s urban campus in a global city offers limitless opportunities for Arts and Sciences faculty and students to translate theory into practice and address the world’s most pressing challenges.

The School's three educational divisions fulfill different missions, united by a broader commitment to provide students with an unrivaled education in the liberal arts. The College of Arts and Sciences is the academic home of the majority of Penn undergraduates and provides 60% of the courses taken by students in Penn's undergraduate professional schools. The Graduate Division offers doctoral training to over 1,300 candidates in more than 30 graduate programs. And, the College of Liberal and Professional Studies provides a range of educational opportunities for lifelong learners and working professionals.

As Penn strives to be the most inclusive, innovative and impactful university in the nation, the School of Arts and Sciences has renewed its commitment to examining its own community to make changes that will advance diversity in its many forms; making all of its faculty, students and staff feel welcome and respected; and ensuring the fullest possible engagement of its scholarship and teaching with the pursuit of social justice. The inaugural vice dean for diversity, equity and inclusion will help lead that charge. Reporting to the dean of the School, the vice dean will be a member of the Penn Arts & Sciences leadership team, establish and oversee the SAS Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, and serve the full spectrum of SAS community members, including faculty; undergraduate, graduate and lifelong learning students; post-doctoral fellows; and staff.


The ideal candidate for the role of vice dean will demonstrate the passion, empathy, intelligence, flexibility and collaborative instincts to partner with the community in pursuit of its diversity and inclusion goals. Candidates will have substantial administrative and program-building experience, as well as demonstrated leadership as an innovator, convener, ambassador, collaborator, partner and catalyst, mobilizing institutional and community leaders to advance diversity, equity and inclusion.

WittKieffer is assisting the School of Arts and Sciences in this search. Applications should include, as separate documents, a CV or resume and a letter of interest addressing the themes in the profile found at Review of applications will begin immediately and will continue until the position is filled.

Application materials should be submitted using WittKieffer’s candidate portal.

Nominations and inquiries can be directed to the School's consultants:

Charlene L. Aguilar, Ed.M. and Shelley Arakawa, J.D.

[email protected]

The University of Pennsylvania values diversity and seeks talented students, faculty and staff from diverse backgrounds. The University of Pennsylvania does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, creed, national or ethnic origin, citizenship status, age, disability, veteran status or any other legally protected class status in the administration of its admissions, financial aid, educational or athletic programs, or other University-administered programs or in its employment practices. Questions or complaints regarding this policy should be directed to the Executive Director of the Office of Affirmative Action and Equal Opportunity Programs, 3451 Walnut Street, Franklin Building, Room 421, Philadelphia, PA 19104; or (215) 898-6993 (Voice)


Welcome to the University of Pennsylvania! Penn is the largest private employer in Philadelphia and is a world-renowned leader in education, research, and innovation.  

Across our 12 highly-regarded schools, more than 25,000 students, and more than 4,000 faculty members, we become one university: a wide-ranging, ever-changing community that draws its strength from a multitude of races, ethnicities, genders, sexual orientations, historical traditions, ages, religions, disabilities, veteran status, interests, perspectives, and socioeconomic backgrounds. 

Penn carries on the principles and spirit of its founder, Benjamin Franklin: entrepreneurship, innovation, invention, outreach, and a pragmatic love of knowledge. Franklin's practical outlook has remained a driving force in the university's development. To learn more, visit About Penn



As engines of knowledge and new ideas, universities have the unique potential to define the future rather than be defined by it; to pioneer change rather than merely manage it. To do so requires a plan both visionary and pragmatic. The Penn Compact 2022 motivates community members to innovate, be radically inclusive, and positively impact their local, national, and global communities. 


Penn’s fundamental priorities — increasing access, integrating knowledge and engaging locally, nationally and globally — are supported by the three core values that make us uniquely Penn: inclusion, innovation, and impact. 


Learn about the signature initiatives of the Penn Compact 2022:  




Understanding and appreciating diversity is one of Penn's most important priorities and is fundamental to success in today's world. 


Penn adheres to a policy that prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, creed, national or ethnic origin, citizenship status, age, disability, veteran status, or any other legally protected class. 


To learn more about Diversity and Inclusion at Penn visit: 




Penn offers a wide range of benefits and perks - from Penn's retirement Matching Plan to bike repair stations to access to the full LinkedIn Learning library to adoption assistance to workshops at the letterpress and book arts studio and much more! 


Campus and Beyond


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