UNIVERSITY OF SAN DIEGO- Chief Diversity Officer

About the University of San Diego

The University of San Diego, a contemporary and engaged Roman Catholic institution, was founded by the Diocese of San Diego and the Society of the Sacred Heart in 1949. Governed by an independent board of trustees since 1972, USD remains committed to a liberal arts education grounded in the Catholic intellectual tradition and the pursuit of truth, goodness and beauty. Inspired by this centuries old tradition of Catholic higher education, the University welcomes people of all faith traditions and any, or no, religious background. The future success of USD relies on the contributions of those who seek to foster the development of engaged global citizens and an earnest confrontation of humanity’s urgent challenges.

Overview of the Opportunity

The University of San Diego (USD) seeks a collaborative, strategic, and results-oriented leader to serve as the Chief Diversity Officer (CDO) for Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Access (DEIA). As a contemporary and engaged Roman Catholic institution whose mission includes “creating a diverse and inclusive community and preparing leaders who are dedicated to ethical conduct and compassionate service,” we believe that the pillars of diversity, equity, inclusion, and access should be embedded within all levels of our institution. The CDO will play a vital role in developing an institutional framework to aid USD in accomplishing our Envisioning 2024 goals with a particular focus on Goal 2: “Strengthening Diversity, Inclusion & Social Justice: Justly represent the breadth and beauty of God’s creation in our own community and transform the campus culture to ensure that all community members thrive.”

The Chief Diversity Officer for DEIA is an inaugural position responsible to the Provost for providing vision, leadership, and counsel in the creation of a welcoming and respectful environment that embraces diversity, equity, inclusion, and access as dimensions of academic excellence. This is an exciting opportunity to shape a proactive leadership role within academic affairs in accordance with national best practices, institutional needs, and changing demographic realities. The CDO will work collaboratively with DEIA leaders in all the academic Units and administrative areas to advance USD’s mission and strategic DEIA goals. The CDO is also expected to be a thought leader and community convener on issues relating to DEIA.

While this position is envisioned to be full-time within the university administration, should the CDO have academic credentials and scholarly accomplishments that warrant a tenured appointment, the possibility of tenure will be considered at the time of appointment.

Required Qualifications and Experience

  • PhD or terminal degree
  • Relevant experience working in diversity-related positions in a higher education environment with a demonstrated record of progressively responsible leadership in, and provide strategic direction of diversity, equity, inclusion, and access efforts.
  • Record of teaching and research in the areas of diversity, equity, inclusion, and access.
  • Proven track record of creating and administering DEIA policies, initiatives, and training with a strong knowledge of contemporary discourses, issues, pedagogical practices, curricular development, fundraising practices and principles, research methods, student development theory and practice, and survey development.
  • Demonstrated experience in developing budget proposals, budget management, hiring, staffing, supervising, and evaluating employees.
  • Proven success in recruiting and training a diverse pool of faculty, students, and staff and building an inclusive, professional environment.
  • Outstanding advocacy and diplomatic skills that demonstrate commitment to equity, fairness, and transparency.
  • High-level verbal and written skills with an ability to communicate effectively at all levels throughout the organization, including trustees, executives, faculty, administrators, staff members, students, and outward facing to the broader community.
  • Demonstrated knowledge and understanding of federal, state, and local legislation related to harassment and issues related to protected class discrimination, including the Equal Employment Opportunity Act of 1972 and Title IX of the Educational Amendments Act of 1972.

Core Competencies

  • Ethics and Values: Honors the core values and beliefs of the organization in their choice of behaviors; consistently embodies appropriate behavioral choices in both stressful and non-stressful situations; practices behaviors they advocate to others.
  • Process Management: Good at figuring out the process necessary to get things done; knows how to organize people and activities; understands how to separate and combine tasks into efficient work flow; knows what to measure and how to measure it; can see opportunities for synergy and integration.
  • Creativity and Innovation: Generates new ideas; makes new connections among existing ideas to create fresh approaches; takes acceptable risks in pursuit of innovation; learns from mistakes; has good judgment about which creative ideas and suggestions will work.
  • Influencing Others: Encourages others to cooperate, participate, provide resources or make decisions, in service to the work at hand; uses verbal and non-verbal skills to communicate respect for others, and to generate energy, passion, and commitment to an idea; creates an environment that others want to participate in.
  • Integrity and Trust: Is seen as trustworthy by others; practices direct, hones, and transparent communication; keeps confidences; admits mistakes; doesn’t operate with hidden agendas, responds to situations with consistency and reliability.
  • Interpersonal Skills: Establishes good working relationships with all others who are relevant to the completion of work; works well with people at all levels of the campus community; builds appropriate rapport; uses diplomacy and tact; avoids communication triangles.
  • Conflict Management: Understands the dynamics of negotiation among conflicting interest groups and how to achieve mutual agreement; reads situations quickly; can find common ground and get cooperation with minimal anxiety.
  • Hiring and Staffing: Identifies new talent; attracts and hires the best people; clearly defines the essential functions and core competencies of a role before hiring; is not afraid or intimidated of selecting strong people.
  • Team Building: Blends people into teams when appropriate; leads the team successfully through difficulties and challenges; creates strong morale and spirit in their team; shares wins and successes; defines success in terms of the whole team; creates a feeling of belonging and pride in the team.

Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Access at USD

The University of San Diego has demonstrated an increased institutional interest in matters of Diversity, ensuring Equity, fostering Inclusion, and increasing Access in the last twenty years. In 2005 USD established a Committee on Inclusion and Diversity. The committee issued a set of recommendations in 2007 as to how to craft a way forward in diversity work. As a result, the Presidential Advisory Board for Inclusion and Diversity (PABID) was formed in 2008 to lead institutional diversity and inclusion efforts. PABID initiated a number of programs, and issued a report, recommending the establishment of the Center for Inclusion and Diversity (CID). Currently the CID is one of several diversity initiatives across USD; however, the CID has a particularly important role in influencing the direction of DEIA work on our campus. The work of the CID and the organizations and committees that predate it have been important and helped move USD from a predominantly racially, religiously, and economically homogeneous institution to the more diverse community we enjoy today.

Our campus, like many others across our country, is navigating a critical turning point on issues of DEIA. We are witnessing the reemergence of similar nationalist social and political ideals that led our global community into two world wars and our country into a prolonged cold war. Our campus community, situated near the border between the United States and Mexico, is not immune to the consequences of this rhetoric. As a globally recognized institution in Southern California we must be among those leading the way toward a more just and inclusive society.

Given the changes in the global socio-political context and the changes (and desired changes) in our student, faculty, staff, and administrative makeup, we believe an expanded and more intensely resourced approach to addressing DEIA at USD is needed. We aim to continue moving beyond being an institution that is interested in the quantitative metrics of diversity, to one committed to diversity, equity, inclusion, and access –- one that accepts and embraces the notion that the fundamental makeup of who we are and who we are becoming will shift as we include the voices of those who have been historically silenced.

As a contemporary Roman Catholic institution, USD is committed to DEIA because our institutional mission influences our vision of what our community can become. This vision proclaims that all human beings possess inherent dignity. Discrimination and dehumanization of any kind are therefore an affront to the common good that we are called to pursue. The Roman Catholic Church defines the common good as “the sum total of the conditions of social living, whereby persons are enabled to achieve their own perfection.” In this way, the common good requires not only that individuals have life but also that they are equipped with the necessary tools that will enable them to flourish. The campus community that we strive to continue building should empower all people to explore, learn, and discern what is needed to ensure that each member’s past, present and future communities will flourish.

To this end, we believe that DEIA should be guided, informed, and formed by the following six philosophical principles which align with our Catholic Identity, our Strategic Plan Envision 2024, and our Mission:

  1. Generosity– offering resources to address the needs of the campus community, but especially to those in our community who are most vulnerable.
  2. Solidarity– caring directly for the immediate needs of the USD campus community, serving as allies, seeking to listen and learn from the experiences of one another.
  3. Advocacy– bearing witness to the plight of those community members who come from backgrounds that have historically suffered. Using empirical data methods, both quantitative and qualitative, to investigate and follow with appropriate action (i.e., diversity dashboard, surveys).
  4. Empowerment– providing marginalized members of the campus community with skills, tools, and personal capacities to sustain their own flourishing.
  5. Justice– attending to the root structural (or systemic) causes that give rise to marginalization in the first place.
  6. Accountability– Committing fully and in a transparent way to the work of access, inclusion, equity, and diversity.

Application Instructions

For preferred consideration, applications should be received by March 6, 2020; however, applications will continue to be accepted until the position is filled. Applications and expressions of interest should be accompanied by a cover letter, curriculum vita, and the names of five references. Cover letters should address how the candidate’s experience and qualifications have prepared them for the role. Nominations, applications, and inquiries of interest may be sent in confidence to the University’s executive search firm:

Martin M. Baker, Managing Partner

Chelsie Whitelock, Principal