December 21, 2020 – Chicago-based search firm DHR International has been chosen to help find a vice president/ chief diversity officer for Central Michigan University (CMU) in Mount Pleasant, in the state’s Great Lakes Bay region.
The vice president and chief diversity officer is charged with leading the institutional efforts to create opportunities and implement strategies to define, promote and evaluate institutional diversity, inclusion and cultural competency, said DHR International. The position reports to the president and is a member of the executive cabinet.
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“The CDO serves as the senior administrator responsible for developing and implementing a comprehensive strategic plan and broad vision for furthering diversity across the campus and by leading efforts to create a diverse, inclusive and welcoming culture for all students, faculty, staff, alumni and community partners to thrive and engage,” said the search firm. “On addition, the CDO provides strategic leadership, advice and management in policy development for the operation of programs, training and engagement in order to achieve institutional diversity, inclusion and cultural competency goals.”
The CDO will be expected to develop and communicate metrics of the effectiveness of CMU’s Institutional Diversity and Inclusion Institutional Strategic Plan to senior leaders and the campus community. He or she must also initiate and champion diversity and inclusion efforts related to curricular and co-curricular programs.
A Welcoming Climate
Another key responsibility of the role will be to oversee the development and implementation of education and programming that aids in the functioning and/or meets the goals of the office of diversity education. The CDO will provide leadership and education to promote a welcoming climate conducive to the expansion of diversity, inclusion and cultural competency and in which all may thrive and engage.
Candidates must have a master’s degree in a related field or an equivalent combination of education and experience, said DHR. At least five years of increasingly responsible leadership experience, which includes strategic responsibility for activities related to diversity and inclusion, is also required.
The ability to communicate effectively to a wide array of constituencies is essential to the role. Candidates must have demonstrated experience in strategic planning, implementation and proven results in the area of diversity. They should also have a demonstrated commitment to diversity and inclusion that includes working with individuals from diverse communities, specifically with historically under-represented communities in higher education.
The search firm said that demonstrated ability to build strong positive relationships with others in an environment committed to shared governance is critical. Prospects must also have experience developing and providing diversity and inclusion curricular and co-curricular programming and services, including workshops and/or trainings. Demonstrated experience creating and implementing communication strategies to support diversity education, advocacy and engagement strategies is also needed. As is budget and financial planning experience, along with highly effective verbal and written communication skills.
Preferred qualifications include a doctorate/terminal degree, teaching experience in higher education, a history of obtaining external or internal financial support and demonstrated experience in a collective bargaining environment.
A Global Practice
Established in 1892, Central Michigan University has more than 16,000 students on its Mount Pleasant campus and more than 8,000 enrolled online and at more than 30 locations across North America. More than 20 percent of CMU’s main campus students supplement their on-campus classes with online courses. Among just five percent of U.S. universities in the highest two Carnegie research classifications, CMU offers about 300 academic programs at the undergraduate, master’s, specialist and doctoral levels. In addition, CMU has established the nation’s 137th college of medicine to address a growing shortage of primary care physicians in Michigan. The inaugural class of students graduated in 2017.
DHR International’s education practice is a global practice with the ability to serve education clients and their partnerships, affiliates, and campuses around the world. The practice conducts executive searches for education systems, colleges and universities, related associations, and commissions and foundations. At a time when institutions are showing greater interest in considering leadership from outside of the education sector, DHR is well positioned to identify, assess and recruit these leaders. The firm, with a global footprint of more than 50 offices, has the network and access inside and outside of education to attract diverse, traditional, and non-traditional talent from around the globe.
Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor; and Stephen Sawicki, Managing Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media