WittKieffer Seeking VP of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion for Providence College

May 2, 2023 – Oak Brook-IL-based WittKieffer has been selected to find a vice president for diversity, equity, and inclusion for Providence College in Rhode Island. The assignment is being led by Christine J. Pendleton, Lucy Leske, and Sarah Seavey.

The vice president serves as a member of the president’s cabinet and is responsible for spearheading Providence College’s development and implementation of a robust, strategic diversity and inclusion agenda across all divisions, said WittKieffer. This leader is charged with advancing a campus climate and a common vision that respects, values, and supports the academic, social, and personal development of diverse students, faculty, and staff. Working across campus constituencies, the vice president is expected to ensure the successful accomplishment of diversity and equity-related goals within the college’s strategic plan.

“This is an exciting opportunity for a transformative and courageous leader to build upon the many assets of the college and support a campus environment where all are welcome and invited to participate meaningfully,” said the search firm.

Key Requirements

The successful candidate will be a relational and strategic leader who has a deep grasp of and passion for the mission of Providence College and Catholic social teaching who uses the mission as the motive, guide, and goal for advancing diversity, equity and inclusion for the institution.

Candidates should also have exceptional communication and relational skills with an ability to find common ground with people from diverse backgrounds, said WittKieffer. A minimum of seven years of experience in successfully advancing diversity initiatives in a college, university, or professional setting or equivalent combination of experience and training and a master’s degree are required.

Founded in 1917, Providence College is a Catholic and Dominican liberal arts institution of higher education. It is the only college or university in the U.S. founded by, and conducted under the auspices of the Dominican Friars. With an undergraduate population of approximately 4,600 students, 342 full-time and 207 part-time faculty members, Providence College has a 12:1 student-faculty ratio, ensuring a highly personalized education. Providence College has more than 1,000 employees and is among the top 30 employers in Rhode Island. The college competes in eight men’s and 11 women’s varsity sports, all at the Division I level, with membership in the NCAA, the Big East Conference and the Hockey East Association.

Veteran Recruiters

WittKieffer 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.

Related: WittKieffer Seeks President for Manhattan College

Ms. Pendleton, a consultant in 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 co-chair of the firm’s diversity council and director of its community fund. She has twice been the recipient of a WittKieffer Quality Award. She is also a member of the AESC Diversity Leadership Council.

WittKieffer Assists Colorado State University with Recruitment of VP for Diversity and Inclusion
WittKieffer has placed Kauline Cipriani as VP 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.”

Ms. Leske, senior partner, is based in Nantucket, MA. An executive recruiter since 1992 – and with WittKieffer since 1998 – Ms. Leske has supported the hiring of hundreds of administrators who are helping to shape and position their institutions for the future. During her tenure with WittKieffer, she has led a broad range of searches, including presidential, vice presidential, decanal, and provostial searches. Her areas of expertise include presidential and CEO positions; academic leadership in arts and sciences, law, engineering, education and business; finance and administration; inclusion and diversity; international leadership; and advancement and philanthropy.

Ms. Seavey, an associate for WittKieffer’s education practice, is based in Miami, FL. She helps to match executive candidates with institutions at which they can truly make a difference and advance their chosen professions. Sarah excels at connecting with candidates on a personal level in order to understand their goals and match them with unique institutions. Prior to joining WittKieffer, she served as director of professional development & training for the University of Miami.

A Previous Assignment

Last fall, WittKieffer placed Eloísa Gordon-Mora as chief diversity officer of Gettysburg College in Pennsylvania. Dr. Gordon-Mora serves as a member of Gettysburg’s president’s council and is charged with advancing the school’s diversity, equity, and inclusion priorities into the future. Dr. Gordon-Mora was previously the inaugural university diversity and inclusion officer at the University of Nevada, Reno.

“Eloísa is committed to this work and brings with her extraordinary experience, enormous personal warmth, and a belief in what this college represents and in our ambitions for our community and beyond,” said Gettysburg College president Bob Iuliano.

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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