December 22, 2016 – Neumann Executive Search Partners has been retained by Ithaca College to lead in a national search for a chief inclusion and diversity officer. Vice president Tom Phillips and principal Beth Schaefer are leading the assignment for the recruitment firm.
Ithaca’s search committee will be chaired by Dr. Brian Dickens, who’s currently vice president of human resources. Campus visits by finalists are anticipated to occur next June and the committee’s goal is to have the new chief in place the following month.
The incoming diversity leader will support Ithaca’s continuing efforts toward increase diversity and inclusive excellence for the school’s community. While the job description is still being drawn up, the search committee said it is encouraging members of the campus community to share the position description or to nominate potential candidates.
Ithaca College is a coeducational, nonsectarian private college located on the South Hill of Ithaca, New York. The school was founded by William Egbert in 1892 as a conservatory of music. The college has a strong liberal arts core, but also offers several pre-professional programs and some graduate programs.
Mr. Phillips has expertise in identifying and recruiting leaders to positions in student affairs, information technology, facilities, compliance, athletics, and finance and administration. A partial roster of clients he has worked with includes Yale University, Northwestern University, University of Southern California, Vanderbilt University, Cornell University, Wake Forest University, Rutgers University, Wayne State University, and Oberlin College.
Ms. Schaefer has 20 years of corporate experience in human resources roles and over a decade of search experience in the corporate and higher education arenas. She specializes in searches for senior leadership roles in human resources, diversity and inclusion, financial management, enrollment management, institutional research, and other areas of higher education administration.
Importance of Chief Diversity Officers
“Chief diversity officers are extremely important across the spectrum,” said Edie Fraser, CEO of STEMconnector and its Million Women Mentors (MWM) Initiative. She also serves as vice chairman of Diversified Search. “Their roles have shifted to insuring diverse talent as a primary role although they oversee outreach with organizations and are also often dotted lined to marketing and to supplier diversity for procurement.” Diversity officers, she added, are today “considered part of the business team.” And institutions of higher learning, in particular, are lining up to bring them on board.
Neumann Executive Search Partners is not the only search firm in 2016 to be retained to find a chief diversity officer.
Carrington & Carrington recently snared Major League Baseball‘s diversity head, Wendy Lewis, to serve as vice president and global chief diversity officer for McDonald’s. She replaces Patricia Harris who is retiring at the end of the year after 40 years of service. The firm also placed C. Greer Jordan, PhD as chief diversity and inclusion officer of Medical College of Wisconsin (MCW). Dr. Jordan previously served as associate vice chancellor, diversity and inclusion, for the University of Massachusetts Medical School and UMass Memorial Health Care.
Witt/Kieffer was retained recently by Eastern Michigan University (EMU) to lead its search for a chief diversity officer. Oliver Tomlin, a senior partner in Witt/Kieffer’s education and healthcare practices, is leading the search along with senior associate Jennifer Bauer. The executive will serve as advisor to the president, administration, faculty, staff and students on diversity issues and provide key input to, and leadership for, efforts focused on minority and underrepresented students, faculty and staff by developing initiatives and coordinating education, training, and awareness across the University.
Isaacson, Miller recruited Norm Jones as chief diversity and inclusion officer at Amherst College. Bud Moseley, a vice president in Isaacson, Miller’s Boston office, is led the search along with Donna Cramer, senior associate. Mr. Jones was previously associate chief diversity officer and deputy director at Harvard University.
Contributed by Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor, Hunt Scanlon Media