THE OFFICE FOR EQUITY AND DIVERSITY (OED) OED is responsible for the University of Minnesota’s system-wide diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) initiatives and programs, leveraging the transformative power of DEI to advance excellence in teaching, research, and community engagement at the University. OED includes the following units: the Office of Business and Community Economic Development (OBCED); the Office for Conflict Resolution (OCR); the Disability Resource Center (DRC); the Office of Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action (EOAA); the Gender and Sexuality Center for Queer and Trans Life (GSC); the Multicultural Center for Academic Excellence (MCAE); the Sexual Misconduct Hearing Committee; and the Women’s Center.
CAMPUS CLIMATE Campus climate is defined as the current attitudes, behaviors and standards of faculty, staff, administrators and students concerning the level of respect for individual needs, abilities and potential. (Pascarella & Terenzini, 2005).
At the University of Minnesota, we work as a system to ensure that all of our students, staff, and faculty have the best experiences possible across our five campuses. In the Office for Equity and Diversity, we know that the climate on our campuses is influenced by many factors, including events that occur locally, nationally, and internationally.
Although defining and assessing climate is complex, campus climate typically refers to a few areas, including the experiences of individuals and groups on campus, and importantly, the quality and extent of interactions between those groups and individuals.
As we have seen on our campuses, having a diversity of views and experiences is only one component of climate, and how we interact with one another, oftentimes referred to as interactional diversity, greatly impacts how we perceive the health of our overall environment.
One of the most crucial pieces of climate we want to cultivate in our campus communities is respect. We know from research on campus climate that feeling valued and respected is the foundation for how we understand many of our experiences.
This position reflects the institutional understanding that campus climate directly affects academic achievement, professional accomplishment, and essential health and well-being. Research has indicated that campus climate sets the “expectational context for individual actions, for the way individuals respond to each other and often competing demands upon their time and energy.” (Tinto, 2012). Through the work of OED units and initiatives, we develop the elements of a welcoming climate - a sense of belonging and a sense of autonomy. Not only do we want to have spaces where we can reach our highest potential, but we also want to be in those spaces without having to hide or minimize our identities, views, and experiences. Growing and nurturing a campus climate that is safer and more welcoming for all is one of the core commitments of the University’s system-wide strategic plan; an integral component that enables all of the University’s diversity, equity, and inclusion goals.
THE POSITION The Associate Vice President – Campus Climate (AVP-CC) is a newly created senior level position within OED at the University of Minnesota. OED’s new Associate Vice President will play a pivotal role in assessing campus climate and identifying opportunities for growth and development. These efforts will increase understanding across academic departments and administrative units as to how climate impacts achievement, particularly among communities that have been historically underrepresented, and will grow capacity for more effective interactions. The work requires centering intersectionality: the ways in which race, class, gender and other identities overlap with one another and impact individual, interactional and systemic experiences.
Progress in these areas is effectuated in significant part by education, relationship-building, and community support, all of which are core OED functions. The AVP-CC will have senior leadership responsibility for OED’s Education Program, Campus Climate Initiatives, and leadership of three specific units – GSC, MCAE, and the Women’s Center – whose work persistently engages issues of campus climate.
In order to be effective, programs must be grounded in scholarship, driven by data, and evaluated against measurable metrics over time. These metrics should contribute to the University’s MPACT 2025 system-wide strategic plan. Furthermore, the AVP-CC will develop and implement rigorous and comprehensive assessment measures for all OED programs and initiatives across units.
DEI work at the University of Minnesota can only be accomplished through strategic partnerships across the system and must progressively increase in visibility year after year in order to be effective institutionally and systemically. Therefore, the AVP-CC will act as a resource and partner for all UMN system campuses. Broadly, the position requires a high degree of DEI subject matter expertise, independent judgment, creativity, and interpersonal skill. This appointee will frequently act on behalf of the Vice President and must represent the Office and the University competently in complex and rapidly changing contexts. To do so effectively, the AVP must be a clear and direct communicator who can address challenges in a collaborative manner, consistently recognizing diverse and sometimes opposing viewpoints. As an essential member of the Vice President’s senior executive team, the successful candidate will demonstrate high levels of emotional and cultural intelligence, an understanding and appreciation of shared governance processes and other forms of shared authority, and an ability to informally influence and lead others. The AVP will be able to concisely present a vision for the work of OED - both current and future - that is pragmatically grounded but also reaches for distinctive excellence. Accordingly, the AVP will function as both a scholar and a practitioner and will be as much a “doer” as a “thinker.” Individuals who identify as indigenous, LGBTQIA+, gender nonconforming, people of color, women and others from historically underrepresented communities are highly encouraged to apply.
Major Functions Strategic Planning and Initiatives OED informs and guides the University’s current and future approach to achieving its systemwide strategic goals, including Commitment 4: Community and Belonging. The AVP-CC supports this strategic work by: · • Developing, implementing, and sustaining the mission, vision and values that will guide the work of the unit and inform the larger systemic efforts of the University. The AVP, in conjunction with the Vice President, serves directly as a resource for the University President, Provost, Chancellors, and other senior leaders across the system in both articulating and implementing the University’s DEI and campus climate goals.
• Promoting the University’s goals both internally and externally in ways that reflect current theoretical models and scholarly understanding while presenting that knowledge in ways that are accessible for diverse audiences and constituencies.
• Nurturing relationships across the University of Minnesota system by working and meeting regularly with DEI leaders on our system campuses. · • Developing practical tools, models, and resources for DEI planning and advancement that can be extended to other units, departments and campuses to support and enhance local capacity and practices. · • Establishing appropriate metrics for use in evaluating the efficacy of OED initiatives in achieving unit goals that directly support the University’s system-wide strategic plan.
• Contributing to and informing OED communications strategies.
Education and Campus Climate/Engagement Strategies OED supports a welcoming campus climate in which all persons are able to do their best work. Toward that end, OED facilitates, sustains, and advances a culture that supports equity, inclusion, and community by fostering dialogue, respect, and personal growth. The AVP-CC supports this work by: · • Leading and supervising the OED Education Director in offering core educational programming that increases awareness and understanding of equity, diversity and social justice work. · • Providing advice and support regarding educational programming sponsored by OED units and campus partners.
• Leading and supervising the OED Director - Campus Climate Initiatives in creating and promoting both centralized and local opportunities for engagement and capacity-building initiatives that aim to effect positive culture and climate change throughout the institution. · • Providing leadership on data-driven systemic efforts to improve the experiences of University faculty, staff, and students.
Program Office Leadership Several OED units provide education, advocacy, outreach, and support to students, staff, faculty, and community members in order to create a campus climate that fosters a sense of belonging for all. The AVP-CCS provides senior leadership and support to the Directors and staff of the:
• Gender and Sexuality Center for Queer and Trans Life (GSC), enabling more inclusive understandings of gender and sexuality;
• Multicultural Center for Academic Excellence (MCAE), a community-based space focused on the academic experiences of first-generation students, students of color, and American Indian students;
• Women’s Center, dedicated to advancing gender equity across identities.
This is a full-time, 12 month position with benefits.
Essential Qualifications: • Master’s degree and extensive experience related to contemporary issues of DEI with an emphasis on intercultural competence, education and culture formation, and evaluation. • Five or more years of experience in a large, decentralized workplace managing culture, campus climate, and DEI-related initiatives. • Demonstrated experience working effectively with and across diverse communities, including specific experience with people of color, underrepresented groups, and new immigrant populations; American Indians and other indigenous peoples; people with both apparent and non-apparent disabilities; women; people of various gender and sexual identities and expressions; and first-generation students from economically disadvantaged backgrounds. • Excellent written and oral communication skills, including the ability to communicate effectively and tactfully with all constituencies across the University and levels of University administration. • Demonstrated experience engaging complex, culturally-responsive research and data-driven evaluation of equity and diversity programs/initiatives. • Exceptional planning, analytical, and organizational skills • Experienced educator and trainer able to effectively deliver DEI training on multiple topics to diverse audiences that represent a range of awareness, knowledge, and skills. • Program development experience, which demonstrates a recognition and promotion of all aspects of diversity in an inclusive way. • Ability to work collaboratively with others and contribute to the efforts of a diverse team. • Leads with cultural intelligence.
Preferred Qualifications: • Advanced degree in relevant field. • Experience working in a University or college system. • Experience in student affairs, student development, and related programming. • Experience working closely with faculty and senior-level leaders and administrators.
Internal Number: 341549
About University of Minnesota, Twin Cities
The University of Minnesota, founded in the belief that all people are enriched by understanding, is dedicated to the advancement of learning and the search for truth; to the sharing of this knowledge through education for a diverse community; and to the application of this knowledge to benefit the people of the state, the nation, and the world.