Chief Diversity Officer Leadership Profile

Colgate has begun a national search for a Chief Diversity Officer (CDO). This new position will report directly to the president and will sit on the president’s Cabinet.

Executive Summary

A great institution is a diverse institution. It is one that brings students of different socioeconomic backgrounds, races and ethnicities, and religions to campus. There are myriad reasons for this to be a priority, not least of which is our obligation to the broader American community in which we have been permitted to prosper. But beyond any responsibilities we might feel to the commonweal, or principles by which we might be motivated, is the simple acknowledgment that an education today is a poor thing if it does not include firsthand engagement with a wide range of perspectives and experiences. We simply cannot claim to be a first tier institution providing a first tier education to our students if we do not expose them to a rich diversity of perspectives and backgrounds in their educational and social experiences.

Colgate University's Third Century: A Vision Statement

Colgate University Overview 

Colgate is a distinctive, leading American university known for its intellectual rigor, world-class professors, campus of stunning beauty, and alumni famously loyal to their alma mater. 

Founded in 1819, Colgate enrolls 3,002 students, of which 46% are male, 54% are female, 23% are domestic students of color, 10% are first-generation college students, and 16% are international students and dual citizens. The University’s mission is to provide a demanding, expansive education to this select group of diverse, talented, intellectually sophisticated students — capable of challenging themselves, their peers, and their teachers — for the purpose of developing wise, thoughtful, critical thinkers and perceptive leaders. 

Colgate is committed to the belief that learning takes place in many settings. Learning must serve life, and the opportunity to live together in a variety of settings encourages interpersonal exploration, expands mutual understanding, and supports a broadened perspective within a caring, humane community. Colgate’s residential liberal arts college–approach to education brings together living and learning. It provides a setting in which students gain maturity by taking responsibility for their actions and by coming to understand the impact of those actions upon others in an environment that is neither permissive nor authoritarian, but conducive to purposeful engagement.

Colgate’s present success and vision for a bright future are rooted in a rich, 200-year history. Entering its third century and following an extensive strategic planning process Colgate now seeks to achieve the highest fulfillment of its mission and to establish the University more firmly as one of a small handful of truly outstanding colleges and universities in the nation and the world. The plans to reach this end are contained in the University’s Third-Century Plan, which has been endorsed by the trustees, faculty, and the alumni bodies. 

Colgate’s major and minor programs of study are divided among 40 departments and programs housed within four academic divisions: Arts and Humanities, Natural Sciences and Mathematics, Social Sciences, and University Studies. With 337 full-time members, of whom 96% have a PhD or the highest degree in their respective disciplines, the Colgate faculty is committed both to scholarship and to transformative teaching in the classroom, the laboratory, the studio, and the library — to transmitting, transforming, and extending knowledge through a demanding, imaginative curriculum. Colgate maintains an ideal size that allows students to work closely with the faculty; this is neither a giant research university nor a tiny liberal arts college. The dialogue between faculty and students provides exciting opportunities for independent work. 

Located in Hamilton, New York, the 600-acre Colgate campus is composed of more than 125 buildings, constructed between 1827 to 2019. The University is known for the beauty of its campus, thanks to careful preservation of its architecture and stewardship of its grounds. 

Colgate employs a highly capable, committed, and diverse staff of approximately 650. 

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at Colgate University 

Colgate is a diverse community that welcomes an array of perspectives, experiences, and backgrounds. Yet, to fulfill the vision for its third century, this diversity must be supported by efforts to foster equity and inclusion, encouraging students to respond to difference with openness and sensitivity — the first steps toward effective leadership in an interconnected world. This commitment is captured in the University’s Third-Century Plan for Diversity, Inclusion, and Equity (the DEI Plan), endorsed by the trustees and faculty in 2019. 

While diversity, equity, and inclusion are foundational elements underlying Colgate’s Third-Century Plan, there are areas that require special attention to ensure the overall success of the DEI Plan. These foundational elements include:

Foundational DEI Structure – Initiatives include enhanced DEI staffing, annual reporting, equity-focused analysis of all University policies. 

Equity in the Student Experience – Initiatives include subsidized disability testing for students with financial need, regular training for key University offices supporting students, formal relationships with community-based organizations helping bring diverse students to campus, and work to expand options for social hosting — long a source of systemic disparity between campus organizations. 

Diversification of Faculty and Staff – Initiatives include significant oversight of staff searches, required training for staff search committee members, and pipeline–development initiatives to build a foundation for more diverse candidate pools. These efforts are well underway in many faculty search processes, serving as a model and inspiration for further action. 

Retention and Development of Diverse Faculty and Staff – Initiatives include implementation of family-friendly job policies; reduction in reliance on long-term non-benefited staff; exploration of faculty cluster hires and partnerships with organizations such as the National Center for Faculty Development and Diversity and the Consortium for Faculty Diversity to help diversify the faculty; and development of career pathway programs to proactively support staff from underrepresented groups to develop a career at Colgate. 

Campus Culture – Initiatives include regular assessment of climate, a bias-incident log, expanded support for facilitating dialogue across difference, accessibility of website, continued development of gender-inclusive restrooms, and enhanced support for Mosaic, the alumni relations program aimed at alumni of color. 

DEI Responsiveness – Initiatives include comprehensive review and revision of non-discrimination and anti-harassment policies completed in August 2020, implementation of rapid-response structure for bias incidents, and development of concrete avenues of access for student affinity groups to converse with University leadership. 

The DEI Plan seeks to guide the creation of a structure designed to persist. The structure will be public and transparent; assertive in communicating both successes and failures; and insistently part of the regular work of the campus, the rhythms of the school year, and the experience of all members of the campus community. This structure must have built-in accountabilities, concrete goals, and a timeline that extends into the future, and always with a multiyear view of the work ahead.

Although progress has been made in integrating Colgate’s DEI Plan with the University’s Third- Century Plan, this work is ongoing and there is an opportunity to envision the next phase of the plan. In some cases, certain aspects of the DEI Plan might need to be modified or revisited. 

Candidate Profile

A member of the President’s Cabinet, reporting to President Brian W. Casey, the Vice President and Chief Diversity Officer (CDO) is a core member of the senior leadership team, providing leadership, oversight, and strategic vision for policies and initiatives to promote an inclusive and equitable learning and working environment for students, faculty, and staff. The CDO will oversee the Office of Equity and Diversity, which currently guides hiring practices, Title IX cases, ADA concerns, affirmative action/equal opportunity, and the University’s non-discrimination and anti-harassment processes. There are currently four direct reports. 

The CDO will ensure that the strategic planning and vision for inclusion at Colgate is well integrated into overall institutional planning and will bring visibility and organizational focus to campuswide DEI efforts. 

The CDO functions as an integrator and connector, collaborating with staff, faculty, and academic leadership to enhance diversity, equity, and inclusion within and across the institution. 

While Colgate has made progress in areas such as student recruitment and student support, the University acknowledges its ongoing challenge of creating an inclusive campus environment in which diverse faculty, staff, and students feel welcome, supported, and successful. There is tremendous enthusiasm and receptivity for bringing in a leader who can help all parts of the University address these important issues, but also recognition that change always brings a level of discomfort. The Vice President and Chief Diversity Officer will be a leader and partner with the rest of the campus community for the creation and sustenance of a diverse and inclusive campus.

Colgate’s aspirations for a diverse, inclusive, and equitable community require a CDO who can bring together broad-based coalitions and alliances with the aim of making the University’s intellectual environment, community, and student experiences richer, more robust, and more inclusive; who can identify gaps in access, equity, and support across the institution and work collaboratively with University leaders to address them; and who can work with others to make diversity, equity, and inclusion a shared responsibility. 

The CDO will also serve as a visible participant in Colgate’s rigorous academic culture, one that demands inquiry and debate. In such a way, the CDO will also serve as a champion of Colgate’s faculty-endorsed commitment to academic freedom and freedom of speech as detailed in the university’s statement on these matters. 

Colgate features a rich legacy, committed alumni base, long institutional history, and distinctive culture. The successful CDO will understand that these characteristics are both strengths and challenges, assets and liabilities. The CDO will develop an understanding of Colgate’s institutional pillars and work in that context — deploying sensitivity, diplomacy, and tact — to overcome the hesitancy to question tradition and retire unsustainable practices. 

Primary Responsibilities 

  • Lead efforts to improve and continually assess the climate at Colgate in line with the University’s DEI Plan. Provide leadership and/or partnership at all levels of the University to promote and evaluate progress and impact of efforts to be an inclusive and welcoming environment. 
  • Lead institutionwide efforts to promote diversity, equity, and inclusion. Serve as a champion of Colgate’s equity and inclusion vision. Promote and market the University’s strategy and programs to the external community. 
  • Provide advice, counsel, and reports to the President, the Cabinet, and key campus communities on issues of equity and inclusion. 
  • Engage with the key committees of faculty governance to partner with the faculty in shaping their contributions to curriculum, faculty retention, hiring, and promotion.
  • Oversee the Office of Equity and Diversity, with dotted-line relationships with key DEI practitioners in the divisions, whose efforts will be supported and coordinated by the Office of Equity and Diversity. 
  • Produce an annual status report on the DEI Plan, providing comprehensive information about both the successes and failures of the prior year and a look forward to the next year’s work. Work with the senior leadership team to set annual goals and measurable objectives that support the mission and objectives of equity and inclusion. 
  • Identify opportunities for necessary strategic investments, develop plans and a budget for such investments, and partner with the advancement division to identify fundraising opportunities. 
  • Oversee development of an equity-focused policy analysis of all Colgate policies to determine areas that need to be addressed and future policy development where there are gaps. Provide information and analyses on the fiscal and administrative implications of proposed policies and ensure that diversity-related issues are considered in all major budgetary, administrative, and governance decisions. 
  • Maintain awareness of prevailing best practices in equity and inclusiveness in higher education with the objective of placing Colgate ahead of this curve. Develop and promote University initiatives based on this information. 
  • Represent Colgate’s diversity initiatives to external audiences and actively engage and help strengthen linkages with the Village of Hamilton. 


  • At least seven years of leadership experience including a strong record of accomplishment in developing, implementing, and championing strategic diversity and inclusion initiatives, preferably in a higher education setting. 
  • A terminal degree is preferred, but not required. 
  • Understanding of and ability to navigate within a private liberal arts university. 
  • Demonstrated leadership ability with a proven record of success in working with all levels of leadership. Team-oriented/collaborative leadership style; the ability to make connections and build partnerships.
  • Outstanding written and verbal communication skills with the ability to communicate persuasively and effectively to convey complex information to a wide array of audiences. 
  • Proficiency at navigating a university’s political landscape with the ability to respond to politically charged or sensitive situations with tact and diplomacy. Strives to propose win-win solutions to difficult problems that build consensus and reconcile competing interests. 
  • Ability to engage with students, faculty, staff, administrators, and other community stakeholders, and be committed to working collaboratively with other senior colleagues to craft a common vision and direction. 
  • Sophisticated relational abilities and influencing skills, strong emotional intelligence, and experience working across a wide range of constituencies with a high degree of diplomacy (e.g., students, faculty, administrative colleagues, parents, community residents, alumni, etc.). 
  • A record of progressive leadership with a keen sense of diversity, equity, and inclusion. Demonstrated ability to apply best practices of diversity, inclusion, and equity. 
  • Demonstrated track record exercising leadership, in partnership with others, in building diversity and inclusion teams, initiatives, and programs. 
  • A track record of building bridges and partnerships and credibility with a diverse set of faculty, students, and staff. 
  • Sensitivity to and understanding of individuals from diverse backgrounds.


Brian W. Casey, President

Portrait of Brian W. Casey

President Casey earned a Bachelor of Arts in philosophy and economics at the University of Notre Dame, and then went on to earn a law degree from Stanford University Law School. He joined Davis Polk & Wardwell and practiced law in New York City and London. He then decided to leave the world of law and attended Harvard University, where he earned his PhD in the history of American civilization.

After graduation, Casey spent about four years as assistant provost at Brown University, and in 2005 he returned to Harvard as an associate dean for academic affairs in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences. He served in that capacity until DePauw University called and in 2008 he would become that school’s 19th president, a role he held for eight years before becoming Colgate’s president on July 1, 2016.

President Casey has accomplished much in just a few short years, most importantly leading the University through a strategic planning process that led to the University's Third Century Plan and the University's comprehensive Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Plan. He has made significant changes in admissions practices, including a major increase in financial aid. He has overseen the construction of three major buildings, two 100 bed residence halls, Jane Pinchin Hall and Burke Hall, an d a new center for careers and post graduate study, Benton Hall. President Casey also led a year long series of events in celebration of the University's Bicentennial.

Tracey Hucks '87 MA'90, Provost and Dean of the Faculty

Portrait of Provost Tracey Hucks

Provost Hucks, a nationally regarded scholar of American religious history and Africana studies, has returned to her alma mater as the university's provost and dean of the faculty.

The author of Yoruba Traditions and African American Religious Nationalism; Obeah, Orisa and Religious Identity in Trinidad: Between and Beyond Colonial Imaginations, forthcoming with Duke University Press, and nearly two dozen published articles, Hucks has conducted research in Brazil, England, France, Trinidad, Jamaica, Nigeria, Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Kenya, and Tanzania.

Previously, Provost Hucks was the inaugural chair of Davidson College’s Africana studies department, overseeing all aspects of the department’s development. Prior to joining the Davidson faculty in 2014, Hucks spent more than 15 years at Haverford College, where she rose from assistant professor to professor and served, on multiple occasions, as chair of the Department of Religion. She also directed Haverford’s Bi College Africana Studies Program with Bryn Mawr College; chaired a presidential working group on diversity initiatives; served on the Educational Policy Committee, which oversees new academic initiatives and establishes curriculum requirements; was the faculty coordinator for the Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship; and was elected as a faculty representative to the college’s tenure and promotion advisory committee.

As an undergraduate at Colgate, Hucks was awarded a George W. Cobb ’94 fellowship by former President George D. Langdon Jr. and was inducted into the Konosioni Senior Honor Society. Colgate University also awarded her a master’s in religious studies (with distinction) in 1990. She earned a second master of arts in 1995 and a PhD from Harvard University in 1998 in religious studies, with a scholarly focus on the religions of Africa and the Americas.

Hamilton, New York

Located in the very heart of Central New York in the historic Chenango Valley, Hamilton, NY Colgate’s home has been recognized as one of the country’s most friendly towns. Hamilton offers a picturesque setting and an abundance of local charm.

The Village of Hamilton, with a population of 4,239, is approximately 40 miles southeast of Syracuse and 30 miles southwest of Utica. Colgate’s campus is situated on the ancestral lands of the Oneida Nat ion, "People of the Standing Stone," one of the original members of the Haudenosaunee, "People of the Longhouse," or the Iroquois Confederacy. The Oneidas lived in an area covering more than six million acres, extending from the St. Lawrence River to toda y’s Pennsylvania border.

A vibrant and quaint downtown area surrounds the Village Green with casual dining restaurants, cafes, specialty shops, movie theater, performing arts center, a natural health food store, Madison County’s first micro brewery, a yoga/pilates studio, the historic Colgate Inn and the Colgate University Bookstore. Recreation abounds in the area including approximately nine miles of Village maintained trails along the former Ontario and Western Railroad right of way and the original Chenango Canal towpath. The Village also supports Seven Oaks Golf Course, an award winning Robert Trent Jones course, hiking trails, waterways and breathtaking cycling and running routes.

For more information about Hamilton, please visit

Search Team

Diversified Search has been retained by Colgate University to assist in this search process. Applications, nominations, and further inquiries should be directed to For best consideration, materials should be received by May 31. 

Euris E. Belle

Managing Director

404-942-6307 Office

404-983-3009 Cell


Holly Bowers

Vice President and Senior Associate

215-656-3555 Office

484-332-6768 Cell

Angela Motte

Research Associate

954-254-1577 Cell


Jayne Traurig

Executive Assistant

404-942-6306 Office

404-358-5054 Cell

It is the policy of Colgate University not to discriminate against any employee or applicant for employment on the basis of their race, color, creed, religion, age, sex, pregnancy, national origin, marital status, disability, protected Veterans status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, genetic information, being or having been victims of domestic violence or stalking, familial status, or any other categories covered by law. Colgate is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action employer. Candidates from historically underrepresented groups, women, persons with disabilities, and protected veterans are encouraged to apply.