December 26, 2019 – The role of chief diversity officer is expanding at universities across the country — and fast becoming one of the most sought after C-suite positions to be filled by recruiters. It has, in fact, become one of the most important positions for shaping the vision, culture and very face of institutions of higher learning from coast to coast. Just recently, Koya Leadership Partners placed Michael Dixon as chief inclusion and diversity officer of Susquehanna University following a nationwide search. Principal Mo Lashendock led the assignment along with consultant Josyanne Roche.
“Inclusive excellence, intercultural competence and global citizenship are critically important guiding principles for Susquehanna, and they are the most important values we can cultivate among our students and colleagues as we encounter an increasingly challenging cultural environment,” said Jonathan D. Green, president of Susquehanna University. “I look forward to welcoming Michael to the Susquehanna University community and to working with him to promote a welcoming environment for all, on and off campus.”
Koya was looking for a visionary leader with proven experience in leading diversity and inclusion initiatives Mr. Dixon fit that bill. He previously served as chief diversity officer and director of intercultural services at Manchester University. In this role, he was responsible for providing the vision, leadership, development and evaluation of a comprehensive multicultural affairs program focused on retaining domestic students of color and international students, while educating all students about multiculturalism, diversity and social justice issues. He was the founding director of Manchester’s Jean Childs Young Intercultural Center and assisted in raising $1.1 million to fund the project.
Mr. Dixon also led the president’s diversity and inclusion council to develop a bias incident protocol and a strategic diversity plan. He further worked with human resources to infuse diversity training for faculty and staff. Prior to joining Manchester University, Mr. Dixon was coordinator of intercultural life and leadership programs at St. Ambrose University. Before that, he served as an admissions counselor at Knox College.
In his new role, Mr. Dixon will work closely with the president and leaders across campus to develop and implement initiatives supporting the university’s inclusion and diversity efforts. He will also lead efforts to encourage all members of the university community to develop an abiding respect for human dignity and difference as manifested through race, ethnicity, gender, religion, nationality, sexual orientation or ability.
WittKieffer Recruits First Chief Diversity Officer for Emory University
WittKieffer placed Carol E. Henderson as vice provost for diversity and inclusion, chief diversity officer and advisor to the president at Emory University. Consultants Oliver B. Tomlin and Jennifer G. Bauer led the search. Ms. Henderson will join Emory from the University of Delaware, where she has served as vice provost for diversity since 2014.
Susquehanna University was founded in 1858 and today is nationally known as a comprehensive, selective, private residential university enrolling 2,250 students. Boasting a strong liberal arts curriculum enhanced by equally robust professional programs, the university enrolls students in the School of Arts and Sciences and the Sigmund Weis School of Business. Degrees offered include the bachelor of arts, bachelor of music and bachelor of science. Susquehanna offers more than 60 majors and minors, plus pre-professional programs and an interdisciplinary honors program. The school is committed to providing access to students from all economic backgrounds and to producing citizen leaders who will contribute to the betterment of society.
Koya Leadership Partners is an executive search and strategic advising firm dedicated to connecting talent with mission-driven clients. The firm partners with non-profits and NGOs, institutions of higher education, responsible businesses, and social enterprises in local communities and around the world. It was recently acquired by Diversified Search of Philadelphia.
Ms. Lashendock has partnered with a range of clients in higher education from large public research universities to smaller private liberal arts colleges. Representative clients include Dartmouth College, Carleton College, Villanova University, Hamilton College, Cornell University, Swarthmore College, Ohio University, Trinity College and Syracuse University. She often works on searches in the areas of finance administration, information technology, enrollment management, diversity and inclusion, academic leadership, research and human resources.
Ms. Roche assists Koya’s higher education team in recruiting top talent to a variety of academic and administrative leadership roles across the country. Prior to joining Koya, she supported the higher education and academic medicine practices at Odgers Berndtson.
Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor; and Stephen Sawicki, Managing Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media