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, a distinctive and strong undergraduate liberal arts institution of national reach and reputation now entering its third century, invites applications and nominations for the new position of Chief Diversity Officer (“CDO”).

This new senior University officer will have the opportunity to define priorities and directions in a time when the University is pushing forward ambitiously on many fronts, supported by a President and Provost deeply committed to diversity and inclusion. Reporting directly to President Brian W. Casey , this leader will serve as a key strategic advisor to the president and as a vital member of the University Cabinet.

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 and located in Hamilton, NY, the mission of Colgate is to develop wise, thoughtful, critical thinkers and perceptive leaders by challenging young men and women to fulfill their potential through residence in a community that values intellectual rigor and respects the complexity of human understanding. Colgate seeks, on multiple fronts, to pursue its academic mission at an even higher level.

The CDO will join a supportive community and lead an institution of almost 3,000 students, 332 full time faculty and approximately 650 staff in its efforts to create a diverse, inclusive and equitable academic community. The CDO will provide leadership and collaborate with the board, administrators, faculty, staff, students, alumni and the Hamilton community to advance Colgate’s vision of an inclusive and equitable community gathered in pursuit of Colgate's academic mission.

The CDO will oversee the continued development of the University’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. Additional priorities for the CDO include assisting with recruitment and retention of diverse faculty, staff and students, and providing support to diversity, equity and inclusion practitioners already on the campus, working with a number of offices to coordinate DEI efforts across campus, and deepening connections to diversity, equity and inclusion work across the campus and with the Village of Hamilton.

Colgate seeks in its next CDO a courageous, collaborative, strategic and inspiring leader who has a track record of building programs and partnerships in addressing intersecting dimensions of diversity. Successful candidates will bring emotional intelligence and strong communication and conflict resolution skills to charged issues in order to mov e the institution forward in its ambitions. Ideal candidates will also have demonstrated skills in collecting and using data to assess programs; familiarity with and support of shared accountability in an academic setting; significant supervisory experienc e and demonstrated strengths in coaching and mentoring; and the capacity to bring together community resources in support of institutional change and growth. A terminal degree is preferred, but not required.

See additional information about Colgate University on this website. To submit a nomination or express personal interest in this position, please see Procedure for Candidacy.

Role of the Chief Diversity Officer

Reporting to the President and sitting on the President’s Cabinet, the CDO will provide leadership and vision for equity and inclusion efforts across campus. The CDO will engage with every division, from student life centers to human resources to the prov ost’s office to alumni relations to admissions and financial aid to communications to finance and administration.

The CDO will supervise the Office of Equity and Diversity , which currently oversees hiring practices, Title IX cases, ADA concerns, affirmative action/equal opportunity and the University’s Equity Grievance process. Reporting to the CDO will be the following positions, but futu re institutional planning might imagine a team with a different structure:

  • Associate provost for equity and diversity (2)
  • Executive director for equity and inclusion, equal opportunity
  • Data analyst

Key Responsibilities

  • Engage the campus in the project of inclusion and equity and identify opportunities for university wide participation and collaboration in this shared work
  • Direct efforts in these areas to develop and augment existing tools for monitoring progress, maintaining accountability, ensuring compliance with policies, and setting goals
  • Engage with the key committees of faculty governance to partner with the faculty in shaping their contributions to this work
  • Identify opportunities for necessary strategic investments and develop plans and a budget fo r such investments, and partner with the advancement division to identify fundraising opportunities

Opportunities and Expectations for Leadership

Colgate University is ready and eager to welcome its new CDO. The CDO will be responsible for addressing the following critical leadership issues, among others.

During Colgate’s Bicentennial year, the University developed and adopted a plan for success moving forward, titling it The Third-Century Plan. Crucially, the plan includes a document titled The Plan for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. The plan provides a framework and foundational first steps from which the CDO can build upon. The CDO will be tasked with continued development of this in alignment with Colgate’s ambitions for movement towards inclusion and equity.

Through its curriculum, the engagement of the faculty, and life on the campus, Colgate challenges students to be enlightened thinkers and prepares them to be global citizens who will thrive in life and in work. The University attracts students of achievement and promise from around the nation and the world, and the faculty are scholars and teachers of the first order. While the University seeks to bring together students of different backgrounds, there is also a desire to increase the diversity of those who work with students. See a breakdown of the demographics of the Colgate community. The new CDO will be expected to work in partnership with units across the University to develop and implement strategies that will increase recruitment and retention of diverse faculty, staff and students and position Colgate as a leader among its peers.

Among the many assets the new C DO will find at Colgate are a number of faculty and staff who are deeply committed to Colgate and to advancing inclusive excellence. However, current initiatives are siloed across the campus, and it is sometimes difficult for one part of the university to know what another is doing. As a result, there are both inefficiencies and missed opportunities. The CDO will work collaboratively to build on, modify and/or create the structures needed to serve the University with a uniform approach to advance diversity and inclusive excellence.

In addition to having a strong presence on campus, the CDO will be expected to build bridges, raise morale, serve as men tor and guide to work together on behalf of the University as a whole while counting on partners and allies who support these efforts. The CDO should be able to speak eloquently about the value and range of diversity and help the campus community understand the role that every member plays in helping Colgate achieve its vision. The CDO should also represent Colgate's diversity initiatives to external audiences and actively engage and help strengthen linkages with the Village of Hamilton.

Professional Qualifications and Personal Qualities

Colgate University seeks in its next CDO a courageous, collaborative, strategic and inspiring leader who has a track record of building programs and partnerships and specific experience in addressing intersecting dimensions of diversity including racial and ethnic, physical ability, socioeconomic, religious, sexual orientation, and gender expression. Successful candidates will bring emotional intelligence and strong communication and conflict resolution skills to charged issues in order to build consensus and reconcile competing interests. Ideal candidates will have familiarity with an academic setting and the requirements of shared governance as well as a deep commitment to the academic mission of a leading university.

Ideal candidates will also have demonstrated skills in collecting and using data to assess programs and ground shared accountability; significant supervisory experience and demonstrated strengths in coaching and mentoring; and the capacity to bring together community resources in support of institutional change and growth. A terminal degree is preferred, but not required.

In addition, Colgate seeks a leader with the following attributes:

  • Knowledge of diversity, equity, and inclusion best practices and Title IX, Title II, Title VII, and other federal legislation concerning equity, and the capacity to engage with the specific legal requirements of New York State
  • Experience in policy development and in leading substantive change in culture, practices, and policies
  • Experience in leading institutional initiatives, building programs with impact, working with faculty, staff, and students, and promoting diversity and inclusion in a complex campus setting
  • Excellent interpersonal and communication skills and an ability to inspire and influence others
  • Cultural awareness, agility, and emotional intelligence; ability to build trust and credibility, collaborate with a wide variety of stakeholders, and provide leadership to a vibrant environment
  • Thorough knowledge of research and best practices around promoting inclusion in a higher education setting
  • Dedication to the mission of a private, high research institution with a strong undergraduate academic program.

About 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. At the core of Colgate University is one of the most ambitious and relevant learning experiences in the country. Regardless of major, all students are taught to think critically, communicate powerfully, analyze other perspectives, and solve complex problems. Colgate's Core Curriculum equips students to develop as leaders who can engage thoughtfully and flourish in the careers that they want.

Mission

Colgate's mission is to provide a demanding, expansive, educational experience to a select group of diverse, talented, intellectually sophisticated students who are capable of challenging themselves, their peers, and their teachers in a setting that brings together living and learning. The purpose of the university is to develop wise, thoughtful, critical thinkers and perceptive leaders by challenging young men and women to fulfill their potential through residence in a community that values intellectual rigor and respects the complexity of human understanding.

Leadership

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 a s 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 Unversity 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 https://www.thisishamiltonny.com/.

Procedure for Candidacy

All applications, nominations and inquiries are invited. Applications should include, as separate documents, a CV or resume and a letter of interest ad dressing the themes in this profile.

WittKieffer is assisting Colgate University in this search. For fullest consideration, candidate materials should be received by October 16, 2020.

Application materials should be submitted using WittKieffer’s candidate portal.

Nominations and inquiries can be directed to:

Charlene L. Aguilar and Christine J. Pendleton at ColgateCDO@wittkieffer.com

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 veteran 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. This policy shall apply to all employment actions, including but not limited to recruitment, hiring, upgrading, promotion, transfer, demotion, layoff, recall, termination, rates of pay or other forms of compensation and selection for training at all levels of employment. Colgate University will not discharge or discriminate against employees or applicants who inquire about, discuss, or disclose their own compensation or the compensation of another employee or applicant. Colgate University is an Equal Opportunity Employer. Minorities/Females/Persons with Disabilities/Protected Veterans are encouraged to apply.