WittKieffer Assists Colorado State University with Recruitment of VP for Diversity and Inclusion

July 19, 2021 – WittKieffer has placed Kauline Cipriani as vice president for diversity and inclusion for Colorado State University (CSU) in Fort Collins, CO. Leading the assignment were Charlene Aguilar, consultant; Christine Pendleton, senior associate; and Bree Liddell, associate. “We are just thrilled to welcome Kauline to the leadership team of Colorado State University,” said Joyce McConnell, president of CSU. “She is taking on this critical role with a track record of success wherever she’s been and will be able to build on the excellent work done by her predecessor, Mary Ontiveros.”

Most recently, Ms. Cipriani worked as the associate dean for inclusive excellence at the Gillings School of Global Public Health at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. She also worked as assistant to the provost at Purdue University, where she launched Purdue’s first strategic plan for diversity and inclusion, and eventually served in leadership positions focused on diversity, equity, and inclusion.

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“Part of my joy in doing this comes from seeing the impact. I’m very aware of what’s at stake when I do my work, and sometimes it can get overwhelming,” said Ms. Cipriani. “But when I get a text or email from someone who has experienced the positive effect of working with a leader who wants to do this better and get it right — a chair or dean who becomes a diversity and inclusion champion — that reminds me you’re affecting an entire school, an entire college, an entire campus. So I’m joining Colorado State with joy and with anticipation and excitement for the future.”

Ms. Cipriani said her background in science and data work helps her DEI efforts, noting that the data she can collect “is invaluable in understanding where there are gaps in our efforts to create a sense of belonging and a climate of inclusive excellence.”

Founded in 1870 as the Colorado Agricultural College, Colorado State University is a land-grant institution with a student body exceeding 34,000 students, 7,000 employees, and, as a Carnegie 1 Research Institution, has annual research expenditures exceeding $350 million. The university offers over 250 programs, over 50 minors, and several advising tracks. Colorado State University is among the nation’s leading research universities. Its world-class research in infectious disease, atmospheric science, clean energy technologies, environmental science and biomedical technology has attracted more than $300 million in research funding annually. Its professional programs in veterinary medicine, occupational therapy, journalism, agriculture and construction management are ranked among the nation’s best.

Respected Recruiters

WittKieffer, based in Oak Brook, IL, assists hospitals, health systems, academic medical centers, medical schools, and physician groups; biotech, pharmaceutical, diagnostics and medical device companies; colleges and universities and not-for-profit community service and cultural organizations with senior administrative recruiting assignments. With more than 100 search professionals nationwide, its consultants recruit CEOs, CFOs, COOs, CNOs, physician executives and other leaders.

Based in South Bend, IN, Ms. Aguilar works in WittKieffer’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 WittKieffer’s Oak Brook 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 director of its community fund.

Ms. Liddell, who is based in St. Louis, supports a range of WittKieffer recruitments for senior academic administrators – including presidents, vice presidents, provosts, and deans. She looks for strong, diverse pools of candidates whose values align with those of the hiring institution. Her work is informed by past administrative experience in recruiting, marketing, student advising, teaching and alumni engagement.

Related: WittKieffer Assists UConn in Landing New Chief Diversity Officer

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

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