WittKieffer Seeks VP Diversity and Inclusion for Syracuse University

December 20, 2021 – Oak Brook-IL-based WittKieffer has been enlisted by Syracuse University to find a vice president for diversity and inclusion. Leading the assignment are consultant Christine J. Pendleton, senior associate Sandra Chu and senior partner Robin Mamlet. “The vice president for diversity and inclusion will serve as a leader within the campus community to identify and propose solutions to ensure the university continues to advance academic excellence at a university welcoming to all,” said WittKieffer.

Reporting to chancellor Kent Syverud, the vice president for diversity and inclusion will serve on the chancellor’s executive team and provide executive leadership, oversight and vision in the administration on a range of services, programs, policies and procedures for faculty, staff, students and administrators related to advancing the institution’s commitment to diversity and inclusion.

“Syracuse University seeks a courageous diversity leader who will accentuate Syracuse University’s commitment to access, opportunity and inclusion on the basis that the university aspires to provide an education informed by multiple points of view, life experiences, ethnicities, cultures and belief systems that is undergirded by a shared commitment to excellence, said the search firm.

Key Qualifications

Candidates must have experience as a senior-level leader in a higher education institution or equivalent field and have a broad and intersectional understanding of diversity, equity, inclusion and accessibility theory and practice. They should also possess a demonstrated track record of successfully engaging with faculty, staff, students, and the community on issues of diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility and have experience in developing and implementing comprehensive training programs. A background of managing financial and human resources is highly desired. Candidates who have scholarly credentials that would merit a faculty appointment in one of the university’s schools or colleges are preferred.

Syracuse University, in Syracuse, NY, was founded in 1870. Over 21,000 students are enrolled in nationally ranked undergraduate, graduate, and professional programs in the university’s 13 schools and colleges. Syracuse University has about 1,700 full- and part-time tenured or tenure-track and non-tenure-track faculty. Syracuse is a university of national stature and international opportunity, known for its professional programs, investment in research and innovation, and undeniable school spirit. Ranked No. 58 among national universities by U.S. News & World Report, Syracuse University was named, in 2021, a top producer of Fulbright Scholars.

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 Assists UConn in Landing New Chief Diversity Officer

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. Prior to joining WittKieffer, Ms. Pendleton worked at a community-based education, career development and supportive services organization in Chicago. In her role, she was responsible for developing and implementing fundraising, marketing, communications, and program growth plans.

Ms. Chu, based in Geneva, NY, works in WittKieffer’s education practice. She has more than 20 years of experience in leadership development, project and relationship management, and executive recruiting. Prior to joining WittKieffer, Ms. Chu was a principal with Two Tigers Consulting in Geneva. Concurrently, she was a consultant for MMS Consulting of Langhorne, PA, where she project-managed two national conferences on student health and wellness in the K-12 space. A former all-Ivy League athlete, Ms. Chu served as a collegiate rowing coach for 22 years, mentoring athletes at Princeton University, Kansas State University and Hobart and William Smith College.

Ms. Mamlet, based in Philadelphia, is a nationally renowned executive search professional and former WittKieffer managing partner. She focuses her time on working with governing boards, senior leadership teams and search committees in searches for presidents, provosts, vice presidents and deans for many of the firm’s most valued clients both in the U.S. and around the world. A national leader on access and diversity recruitment, she joined WittKieffer after 23 years in academic administration, most recently as dean of admission and financial aid at Stanford University.

Related: WittKieffer Seeking Chief Diversity Officer for Brandeis University 

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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