Academic Search Seeking Chief Diversity Officer for University of Nebraska at Omaha

February 2, 2022 – The role of chief diversity officer is expanding at universities. It has become one of the most important positions for shaping the vision, culture and very face of institutions of higher learning from coast to coast. It is also increasingly becoming a cabinet-level job, with a broad range of responsibilities beyond that of most administrators. In turn, executive search firms have become valuable partners to colleges in finding the right talent for the role. Education-focused executive recruiter Academic Search has been selected by the University of Nebraska at Omaha to lead in its search for a new chief diversity officer. Senior consultant Sidney Ribeau is leading the assignment.

The school seeks a strategic thought leader, collaborative campus partner, and proven administrator with an innovative, consistent track record of advancing diversity, equity and inclusion efforts to serve as its chief diversity officer. Reporting directly to the chancellor, serving on the university’s leadership team, this executive will be a highly influential leader focused on deepening the school’s ongoing efforts to create a more diverse, equitable and inclusive community for all faculty, staff and students. The CDO will lead a university-wide effort to evaluate existing programs, policies and practices currently in effect, making recommendations leading to a more efficient and cohesive operation.

The University of Nebraska at Omaha wants a chief diversity officer with the vision, imagination, temperament, skills and experience to build on the accomplishments of past years, leverage the talent of faculty, staff, and students, and create models of success for the future, the search firm said. The ideal candidate must have the demonstrated ability to build strong alliances internally and externally with a broad range of individuals to bring the university community together around shared goals. The candidate must understand the power of collaboration in the creation of an environment where all people have the opportunity to thrive, reach their potential and contribute to the greater good.

Since its inception in 1908, the University of Nebraska at Omaha has been firmly anchored in the community, forging partnerships with business, government, education, arts and civic organizations. As a metropolitan public research university, the school has long set the pace for accessible higher education in Nebraska and continues to offer an academically rigorous experience to a diverse community.

Higher Education Recruiters

For over three decades, Academic Search has been a leader in designing and implementing search processes for leaders of colleges and universities across the country. The firm has completed hundreds of executive searches for higher education institutions and related organizations, for roles ranging from presidents to provosts to deans. Academic Search is the only search firm in the nation with a formal relationship to a premier leadership development program. As the subsidiary of the American Academic Leadership Institute (AALI), the firm provides substantial financial support to a number of leadership identification, development and support programs across all sectors of public and private higher education. The firm is headquartered in Washington, D.C.

Academic Search Recruits President for United Lutheran Seminary
Following an extensive search, Academic Search has assisted the United Lutheran Seminary (ULS) in the placement of Rev. Dr. R. Guy Erwin as its next president. Bishop Erwin succeeds interim president, the Rev. Dr. Angela Zimmann. Bishop Erwin, the fourth bishop of the Southwest California Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA), is the first openly gay male to serve in that office in the churches of the Lutheran World Federation. 

Dr. Ribeau has had a 32-year career in higher education. He spent more than five years as president of Howard University. Prior to his that, he was president of Bowling Green State University for 13 years. He began his career in higher education as a professor of communication studies at California State University, Los Angeles, where he was recognized as an outstanding teacher and student advisor. He later moved into administration, serving as a dean of undergraduate studies at California State University, San Bernardino. Later, Dr. Ribeau was appointed dean of the College of Liberal Arts at California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, and then vice president for academic affairs at Cal Polytechnic, Pomona, before assuming the presidency of Bowling Green.

Related: Why Universities Have Stepped Up Efforts to Involve Search Firms

Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor; and Stephen Sawicki, Managing Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media

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