Chief Diversity Officer
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You Belong Here
The University of Florida, the state of Florida’s flagship university and ranked No. 6 among the nation’s top public research universities by U.S News and World Report, is accepting inquiries, nominations, and applications for the position of Chief Diversity Officer and Senior Advisor to the President.
Role of Chief Diversity Officer & Senior Advisor to the President
The chief diversity officer and senior advisor to the president is a member of the University of Florida cabinet, with strategic responsibility for promoting and enabling inclusive excellence for faculty, staff, and students. The position reports directly to the president, with close working relationships with the provost and the chief operating officer, and serves as an advisor to the president and the cabinet.
The chief diversity officer provides leadership, expertise, and vision for the university’s coordinated model for inclusion, diversity, equity, access, and anti-racism. The position serves in a collaborative and coordinating role with 34 campus diversity liaisons who are college and work-unit employees responsible for diversity and inclusion. The CDO facilitates sharing of best practices and identifies opportunities for greater alignment and more unified efforts throughout campus including through programs like the “Stronger Together” training series and in UF’s current AI hiring initiative.
The position will chair a senior advisory group of UF scholars and professionals providing expertise and support for various initiatives that cultivate a more inclusive and diverse campus culture.
This work is bolstered through active participation in major national initiatives, including UF serving as a charter member of AAAS SEA Change, which aims to support institutional transformation in support of diversity, equity, and inclusion in STEMM, as well as Cohort 2 grantees of the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities’ ASPIRE IChange Network, which is focused on increasing diversity in STEMM+ faculty. A strong community of underrepresented group faculty, staff, and graduate student affinity organizations offers additional support, advocacy, and opportunities for connection.
The university strives to place diversity, equity, and inclusion front and center instead of relegating it to a sidebar, infusing research, teaching, and leadership with needed resources and empowering the UF community and beyond to build a culture of trust and to celebrate diversity as excellence.
How the university allocates its resources must reflect its priorities. UF is committed to allocating the resources and support to ensure success across the institution in diversity, equity, and inclusion for all areas of the institution, including all departments, schools, and colleges, and all members of the institution, including students, staff, and faculty.
Opportunities & Expectations for Leadership
Strategy & Engagement
Serves as the university’s executive-level strategist responsible for guiding practices and creating opportunities to define, assess, and promote inclusive excellence, access, and cultural proficiency. Collaborates with deans, campus leaders, students, and other key stakeholders to identify institutional priorities and short-term objectives that align with the university’s strategic goals and enhance UF’s national reputation.
Coordination & Alignment
Works with inclusion and diversity liaisons throughout the university to support inclusive excellence. Facilitates shared best practices and identifies opportunities for greater alignment to ensure a more unified university-wide effort, when appropriate. Reinforces and supports a collaborative and decentralized approach.
Communications & Issues Management
Working with other senior leaders, provides subject-matter expertise related to emerging diversity and inclusion matters throughout the university and local communities. Develops a cohesive narrative of what inclusive excellence and diversity mean at UF and works with other leaders to communicate this vision consistently within the UF community and externally.
Establishes and leverages key metrics to demonstrate both quantitative and qualitative progress toward a climate of inclusion.
Expertise, Consultation & Compliance
Provides evidence-based insight to support diversity and inclusion. Engages and consults with the Office of the Provost, Student Affairs, Human Resources, General Counsel, Chief Compliance Officer, and other expert stakeholders to help support related efforts, including compliance, throughout campus.
Qualities & Qualifications
The position demands a proven leader with demonstrated vision and the ability to execute for results; a thorough understanding of the challenges and opportunities present at a large, comprehensive research university or comparably complex enterprise; a record as a champion of diversity and inclusion; and an enthusiasm for advancing UF strategic initiatives. Other qualifications include the following:
Executive Leadership & Vision
- Ability to develop a clear vision and strategy consistent with the university’s mission and best practices
- Demonstrated leadership skills that result in the production of high-quality services and exceptional standards
- Strategic thinking with the capability of contributing at the senior administrative level and leading other leaders
- Experience implementing and managing effective diversity change efforts within a university
Communication & Collaboration
- Exceptional communication and interpersonal skills that reflect effective listening, humility, persuasiveness, and authentic engagement with individuals at all levels
Qualities & Qualifications
For The Gator Good
The challenges facing our world are bigger than one person. One organization. One university. The Gator Good is our campaign to combine those efforts and solve those global problems. Because together, our impact is greater.
- Ability to effect results creatively through networks rather than hierarchy
- Strong collaboration skills with individual and group partners
- Ability to facilitate and sustain a culture of trust and confidence as well as resilience and ability facilitate difficult conversations
Experience, Knowledge, & Education
- Master’s degree with six years of relevant experience, or a bachelor’s degree with eight years, is required
- A terminal degree in a related field is strongly preferred; extensive executive leadership experience may be considered as a substitute
- At least five years of experience in higher education, preferably at a large, complex research university
- Knowledge of contemporary issues of inclusion, social justice, diversity, access, and equity, including the current scholarship and pedagogical approaches that inform and address these issues
- Fundamental knowledge of how varied forms of institutional data can be leveraged to benchmark and track accountability for the diversity mission
- Understanding of laws, regulations, and policies related to equity and diversity in higher education
Salary is competitive and commensurate with education and experience.
The University of Florida offers a generous benefits package that includes insurances such as health, life, and dental as well as a robust leave package.
The University of Florida
UF aspires to provide an exceptional academic environment that reflects the breadth of thought essential to preeminence and manifest through a community of students, faculty, and staff of diverse experiences and backgrounds. We believe inclusion equals excellence, and key to our quest is a commitment to fostering a culture of inclusion, diversity, equity, access, and anti-racism. In support of this and in response to recent national events, the university has outlined a specific action plan to combat systemic racism and committed nearly $1 million to faculty research projects focused on racial disparities in health care, diversity in professional programs, challenges in developing and teaching an inclusive curriculum, and strategies for creating a more inclusive campus environment.
UF’s 2,000-acre main campus in Gainesville, FL, is home to 16 colleges, a major academic health center, a leading collegiate athletics program, a top-ranked undergraduate online program and, in keeping with its land-grant mission, one of the nation’s most comprehensive agriculture and natural resources programs. A historic red-brick core extends to modern facilities and preserved natural areas – all connected to burgeoning innovation, commercial, and residential districts.
The university maintains a strong partnership with the main campus’ local and regional community. Like many communities throughout the country, Gainesville has responded passionately to the nationwide call for social justice. A recent joint study on racial inequity in Alachua County validated that, as in many other communities, members of our historically marginalized and underserved population fare worse than whites. While dispiriting, the study illuminated key elements in need of improvement and has prompted new partnerships and a task force created specifically to address diversity and inclusion in our area.
Our footprint also extends throughout Florida, with faculty, staff, students and postdocs at 19 research and education sites located throughout the state and 67 county extension offices as well as a strong UF Health presence in Gainesville, Jacksonville, Central Florida, and beyond. As such, we influence and are influenced by the diversity of communities throughout the state.
Several qualities distinguish UF among today’s leading public research universities:
- As the only AAU-member university in Florida, UF enjoys a highly comprehensive breadth on a single campus, facilitating interdisciplinary collaboration among, for example, faculty within the adjacent colleges of journalism, engineering, and medicine.
- In 2020-2021, the entering freshman class included 2,743 men and 3,830 women. The racial diversity included 3 American Indian/Native American/Alaska Native students, 815 Asian students, 365 Black students, 441 Hispanic students, 1 Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander, 3,383 White students and 322 multi-racial students. Of these, 20% were the first in their families to attend college, and approximately 16% were from out-of-state and 2% were international students.
- UF has committed to increasing enrollment of Pell students, and particular attention must be paid to the University’s Black student population, as this demographic has declined in recent
years. UF is ranked 4th and 9th nationally when it comes to LatinX and African American graduates who go on to receive PhDs in STEM.
- The university receives unwavering support from the state of Florida, which has endorsed UF’s drive to become one of the nation’s very best public research universities — supporting
those efforts since 2013 with hundreds of millions of dollars in additional funding to grow its faculty ranks by 500 members.
- Research spending in 2020 reached a record $942 million in spite of the COVID-19 pandemic, and with significant strengths in STEM, the university has placed emphasis on the importance of increasing diversity in these areas.
- Like Florida, the nation’s third-largest state and among the fastest-growing, UF is undergoing rapid transformation as it pursues the overarching aspiration to be “a premier university that the state, nation, and world look to for leadership.”
The City of Gainesville
Gainesville is home to Florida’s largest and oldest university, and so is one of the state’s centers of education, medicine, cultural events, and athletics. The University of Florida and UF Health Shands Hospital are the leading employers in Gainesville and provide jobs for many residents of surrounding counties. Gainesville is also the largest city in Alachua County and is the county seat, with approximately 269,000 residents county-wide. It serves as the cultural, educational, and commercial center for the north central Florida region.
Gainesville is known as an innovative city and continues to receive national recognition as a top-rated city. Some of Gainesville’s accolades are listed below:
- Gainesville ranks no. 3 on Smart Asset’s list of Best Places for Career Opportunities in the COVID-19 Recession, August 2020
- Gainesville ranks no. 13 on Money Inc’s 20 Best Places to Live in Florida, February 2020
- Gainesville ranks no. 7 on tollfreeforwarding.com’s Top 10 College Towns to Start a Business, January 2020
- Gainesville ranks no. 11 on BestCollegeReviews.org’s 50 Best College Towns in America, December 2019
- Gainesville ranks no. 10 on Livability.com’s Top 10 Best College Towns, October 2019
- Gainesville ranks no. 6 on Market Watch’s Best and Most Affordable Places to Live in Florida, September 2019
Known for its preservation of historic buildings and the beauty of its natural surroundings, Gainesville’s numerous parks, museums, and lakes provide entertainment to thousands of visitors. Because of its beautiful landscape and urban “forest,” Gainesville is one of the most attractive cities in Florida. The city is less than a two-hour drive from Orlando, Jacksonville, St. Augustine and in a central location to both the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Ocean, providing easy access within a day’s drive to beaches, nature preserves, and water-based activities.
The University of Florida is an Equal Opportunity Employer. The University is committed to non-discrimination with respect to race, creed, color, religion, age, disability, sex, sexual orientation, gender identify and expression, marital status, national origin, political opinions or affiliations, genetic information and veteran status in also aspects of employment including recruitment, hiring, promotion, transfers, discipline, terminations, wage and salary administration, benefits and training.
We welcome nominations of and applications from anyone who would bring additional dimensions to the university’s research, teaching and outreach mission, including women, members of underrepresented groups, protected veterans and individuals with disabilities.
The “government in the sunshine” laws of Florida require that all documents relating to the search process, including letters of application/nomination and reference, be available for public inspection.