WittKieffer Selected by Colorado State University to Lead VP of Diversity & Inclusion Search

May 24, 2021 – WittKieffer has been enlisted to find a vice president for diversity and inclusion (VPDI) for Colorado State University (CSU) in Fort Collins, CO. Spearheading the assignment are Charlene Aguilar, consultant; Christine Pendleton, senior associate; and Bree Liddell, associate. “The vice president for diversity and inclusion will join CSU amidst a time of increasing opportunity and transformative cultural change,” said WittKieffer. “CSU is expected to become a Hispanic Serving Institution within five-years. Reporting to president Joyce McConnell and serving on the president’s executive leadership team, the new VPDI will set an ambitious course that reflects the distinctiveness of the college, its mission as a land grant institution, with the acknowledgement of its institutional history, responsibility and commitment, and its aspirations to become a more diverse, inclusive, just and equitable community.”

In collaboration with the university community, the vice president for diversity and inclusion will be charged with reimagining and articulating a strategic vision for advancing diversity, equity, inclusion, and social justice; assessing and determining structures to meet the university’s goals while also building relationships and fostering collaboration; providing leadership to a team of dedicated professionals; and serving as an ambassador in the university and local communities.

Purposeful Action

To achieve these goals, the vice president for diversity and inclusion must be a talented professional who is eager to lead purposeful action and has a shared responsibility for the community, said the search firm. The leader will define, inspire, and execute the work of inclusion to engage all corners of Colorado State’s communities. The vice president for diversity and inclusion will work with colleagues across the institution to translate current research and theory to practice on diversity and inclusion.

Candidates should have a minimum of seven years of supervisory and leadership experience and be able to demonstrate a record of success in building strategic coalitions and serving as a connector across organizational and cultural boundaries, said WittKieffer.

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. That means you’ll have the ability to reach your goals — no matter what they are. 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.

WittKieffer Seeks Chief Diversity Officer for Colgate University
Colgate University has retained the services of WittKieffer to lead its search for a new chief diversity officer. Charlene Aguilar and Christine Pendleton are spearheading the assignment. The CDO will oversee the continued development of Colgate’s long-term plan for diversity, equity and inclusion, a part of the university’s Third-Century Plan, which identifies a diverse, inclusive and equitable community as foundational for the strength and success of the university, said WittKieffer.

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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