November 2, 2023 – Boston-based Isaacson, Miller, which serves mission-driven organizations has been retained by Davidson College to lead in its search for its inaugural vice president of diversity, equity, and inclusion. Keight Tucker Kennedy, Diana Carmona, and Alexis Scott are leading the assignment. A search committee of faculty, staff, students, and a member of the board of trustees, supported by Isaacson, Miller, will lead the search. Confidential inquiries, nominations, and applications may be directed to the firm.
Reporting to the president, the VP of diversity, equity, and inclusion will be a key partner to the president and senior leadership in coordinating and enhancing existing DEI efforts across the community. This individual will serve as a central resource for diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging efforts; create a strategic framework to guide existing DEI work across campus and identify opportunities for growth; design constructive community programming; and serve as a strategic advisor to other campus offices. They will connect and build on existing efforts across campus to lead Davidson in the national conversation on diversity, equity, and inclusion, and belonging in higher education.
The successful candidate will be a collaborative, optimistic, and forward-thinking subject matter expert in diversity, equity, and inclusion, with the demonstrated ability to lead community-wide coordination and engage empathetically across differences. Davidson seeks candidates with a minimum of seven years of combined leadership, education, and training experiences in the diversity and equity education space. They should have a proven ability to provide visionary strategic leadership and a strong record of success in developing and implementing strategic equity and inclusion initiatives. Candidates must also have demonstrated understanding of the liberal arts college tradition, passion for the mission of the College, and alignment with institutional values.
Isaacson, Miller also notes that those applying have a broad and contemporary understanding of diversity, equity, and inclusion scholarship, as well as a working knowledge of related equal employment opportunity and discrimination issues. They need to have experience working cross-culturally, utilizing sophisticated relational abilities and conflict resolution skills, strong emotional intelligence, and experience working across a wide range of constituencies with a high degree of diplomacy. In addition they must have experience in administrative leadership, working collaboratively with administrators, faculty, staff, students, trustees, and other stakeholders to advance diversity and inclusion initiatives.
Davidson College is a private liberal arts college in Davidson, NC. It was established in 1837 by the Concord Presbytery and named after Revolutionary War general William Lee Davidson, who was killed at the nearby Battle of Cowan’s Ford. Today, the college offers 37 majors and 39 minors in liberal arts disciplines as well as other interdisciplinary academic programs. It enrolls 1,973 students from 50 states and territories, Washington, D.C., and 46 countries.
Serving Mission-Driven Organizations
A nationally recognized search firm focused on recruiting transformational leaders for mission-driven organizations, Isaacson, Miller has conducted thousands of placements over more than three decades. More than half of the firm’s work has been in academia, involving university presidents, college chancellors and deans. The firm has filled top leadership posts at Wellesley College, Washington State University, Miami University, Howard University, Bowdoin College, Dartmouth, NYU, Virginia State University, and the University of North Carolina, among others.
Spencer Stuart Places President for Davidson College
Spencer Stuart has assisted in the recruitment of Douglas Hicks as the 19th president of Davidson College in North Carolina. “Doug learned and led at some of our nation’s top liberal arts colleges,” said Alison Hall Mauzé, chair of Davidson’s board of trustees. “He began his teaching at one of the country’s first leadership schools and led the faculty at a prestigious university. As the dean of Oxford College, at Emory, he has strengthened the sense of community and propelled initiatives that are in sync with Davidson’s priorities and collaborative work, including reckoning with historical ties to enslavement and creating new approaches to preparing students for careers in a complex and changing world. He understands where we are now and has charted a path ahead.”
John Isaacson, the firm’s chair, founded Isaacson, Miller in 1982. He has led searches in many areas of the firm’s practice. Mr. Isaacson has helped the firm develop its cumulative knowledge of the craft of search and has attended, with increasing interest, to the missionary purposes of institutions, the political and economic disciplines of specialized markets, and the emotional and intellectual learnings that leaders acquire in a committed working life.
A member of Isaacson, Miller’s team since 2014, Ms. Tucker Kennedy brings diverse experience in non-profit and higher education organizations to her practice. She has worked on several presidential searches, including those for Spelman College, Hamilton College, Converse College, Duke University, Johnson C. Smith University and Elizabeth City State University. Additionally, Ms. Tucker Kennedy has played a key role on several student affairs searches for Ohio State University, Washington University in St. Louis, Princeton, MIT and Cornell. As a search consultant, she has worked with historically black colleges and universities, women’s colleges, and K-12 education and advocacy organizations.
Ms. Carmona joined Isaacson, Miller as an associate in 2021. Prior to joining the firm, she worked as an assistant director of admissions at the University of Pennsylvania where she supported the recruitment and evaluation of first-year and transfer applicants.
Ms. Scott joined Isaacson, Miller in 2021 as a search coordinator. She brings to the firm experience in human resources, having worked in various capacities with organizations including Duquesne University, Spirit Consulting, and D.C. Central Kitchen. Ms. Scott is primarily involved searches within the firm’s higher education and social justice + advocacy practice areas with a focus on equity, diversity, and inclusion positions.
Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Executive Editor; Lily Fauver, Senior Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media