Witt/Kieffer Recruits Chief Diversity Officer for ArtCenter College of Design

January 4, 2019 – After a comprehensive international search, Witt/Kieffer placed Aaron I. Bruce into the new inaugural role of vice president and chief diversity officer for the ArtCenter College of Design in Pasadena, CA. Consultant Charlene Aguilar is led the search along with associate Christine Pendleton.

With more than 20 years of experience leading initiatives focused on campus diversity, inclusion and international engagement, Mr. Bruce is charged with leading the establishment of a new Center for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in Art and Design.

Since 2008, Mr. Bruce has served as the chief diversity officer at San Diego State University where he led the implementation of that University’s diversity strategic plan. He presently is an active member of the National Association for Diversity Officers in Higher Education (NADOHE), President of the Southern California Association of Diversity Officers in Higher Education (SCADOHE) and is an International Multicultural Institute certified diversity trainer, who has facilitated numerous professional development seminars in the U.S. and abroad. He serves on the National Advisory Council for Saving Students Saving Lives an anti-bullying conference for educators and school counselors.

Impressive Achievements

“His achievements in curricular redesign, recruitment, retention, marketing and global community programming are all deeply impressive,” said Lorne Buchman, president of the school. “His passion for art and design, together with his extensive record of research and program development in areas of diversity, equity and inclusion, make him an ideal candidate for the job.”


Diversity Recruiting: Supply, Demand and the Matchmaking Process  

Hunt Scanlon recently released its latest issue of ESR. This time around, an in-depth look at diversity recruiting – what drives it, why it’s not a social crusade, and how it matters in every workplace. According to the newsletter, diversity starts at the top – and that oftentimes means it begins in the boardroom. Diverse boards make better decisions and lead to improved company performance. But boards are failing to reflect society as a whole. What’s the problem? Hunt Scanlon offers up some answers.

As you might expect, building cultures that will not tolerate discrimination but instead promote diversity – and recruiting talent that reflects this – is the challenge facing every recruiter and talent acquisition leader today. The #MeToo movement is, of course, leaving its mark on recruiting – and in this issue that is examined as well. Five incoming chief diversity officers making a big difference by putting a special emphasis on diversity are also highlighted. Get the free issue now!


“Harnessing creative energy to develop positive change globally is just one of the many characteristics that attract me to ArtCenter. Research shows that embracing the unique identities and lived experiences of artists and designers helps industries achieve higher levels of performance,” said Mr. Bruce. “I envision the Center for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in Art and Design to be a nucleus, where the combined energy of our community helps us thrive. The goal is to build a flexible learning space where diverse research, pedagogy and creative expression is explored,” he says.

Founded in 1930, ArtCenter College of Design is a professional, degree-granting institution. Its visionary approach to art and design education is based on the college’s conservatory-like approach to teaching and learning; a desire for rich, intercultural and transdisciplinary dialogue; and a mandate to provide students with spaces for innovative learning and making.

The Center for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in Art and Design was developed to involve students, alumni, faculty, staff and trustees, as well as the communities with which ArtCenter engages externally, in robust research, exhibitions, symposia, lectures and curricular expansion on issues of diversity, equity and inclusion in art and design. The college expects it to create and support collaborative and transformative activities in the service of the college’s values that are designed to break new ground through practice, scholarship and pedagogy.

Seasoned Search Consultants

Witt/Kieffer has been an advisor to hospitals, health systems, academic medical centers, physician groups and other healthcare enterprises for more than 45 years. With over 100 expert search professionals nationwide, its consultants recruit CEOs, CFOs, COOs, physician executives and many other leaders.


Bridge Partners Finds CDO for Gallaudet University
Bridge Partners helped to place the new chief diversity officer at Gallaudet University in Washington, D.C. Dr. Elavie Ndura comes to the renowned institution for the deaf and hard of hearing from George Mason University, where she led implementation of the school’s diversity and inclusion strategic goals.


Based in South Bend, IN, Ms. Aguilar works within Witt/Kieffer’s education practice. With over 30 years of experience, she conducts leadership searches for college and university presidents, chancellors, provosts and deans, in addition to key positions in advancement, academic and student affairs, enrollment and admissions. She also has knowledge and experience on diversity and inclusion initiatives across the spectrum of independent secondary schools along with public and non-profit enterprises.

Ms. Pendleton, who works out of Witt/Kieffer’s Oak Brook, IL office, joined the firm in 2014. She works to identify presidents, chancellors, provosts, vice presidents, deans and chief diversity officers on behalf of public and private universities and colleges and other senior leaders in non-profit organizations. She is a member of the firm’s diversity council and the director of its community fund.

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

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