Committee begins search for vice chancellor for diversity, inclusion

Committee begins search for vice chancellor for diversity, inclusion

University unveils 'serious' cuts ahead of state budget hearing

The University of Nebraska–Lincoln is launching a national search to hire its first vice chancellor for diversity and inclusion.

The new leadership position is being created based on recommendations made in an 11-month analysis conducted by Halualani and Associates, a national research firm that specializes in diversity and inclusion surveys of universities.

The vice chancellor will provide intellectual, strategic and visionary leadership for university goals surrounding diversity and inclusion. The position will join a campus leadership team focused on building a place where faculty, staff and students can transform and thrive. The vice chancellor will focus on, promote and enhance belonging. The position will report to Donde Plowman, executive vice chancellor and chief academic officer, and provide to the chancellor annual campus metrics and progress towards university goals.

“The new vice chancellor will be charged immediately with the development of a strategic plan for diversity and inclusion, clearly called for by the (Halualani) report,” Chancellor Ronnie Green said in his State of the University address on Sept. 19, 2017. “I look forward to bringing this new leader to the university’s cabinet to catalyze building a more diverse and inclusive university community.”

A 16-member committee made up of faculty, staff and students has been formed to guide the search.

Kwame Dawes
Kwame Dawes

The group is chaired by Kwame Dawes, Chancellor’s University Professor of English and Glenna Luschei Editor of Prairie Schooner. Committee members include: Rich Bischoff, chair and Gwendolyn A. Newkirk Professor of Leadership, Child, Youth and Family Studies; Nicole Buan, associate professor, biochemistry; Sonia Feigenbaum, associate vice chancellor for international engagement and global strategies; Rodrigo Franco Cruz, associate professor, veterinary and biomedical sciences; Abby Freeman, director of admissions; James Garza, director and associate professor, ethnic studies; John Goldrich, licensed mental health practitioner, Counseling and Psychological Services; Deb Hope, professor, psychology; Wendy Hunt, academic adviser, business; Citlally Jimenez, graduate student, natural resources; Charlene Maxey-Harris, chair and associate professor, university libraries; Sergio Ruiz, director and professor, music; Jamie Vaughn, executive associate athletic director, athletics; LaShawn Woodard, undergraduate, architecture; and Christina Yao, assistant professor, educational administration.

The university has partnered with Greenwood/Asher and Associates, a national executive search firm, to assist the committee with the work.

“The inaugural nature of this vice chancellor position presents not only an opportunity, but a necessity for wide participation. We’ll need everyone’s help to support recruitment efforts as the committee moves forward with the search."

-- Donde Plowman, executive vice chancellor and chief academic officer


Faculty, staff and students can provide input about the search for Nebraska’s first vice chancellor for diversity and inclusion through a pair of open forums. A session for student feedback is 5 to 6 p.m. Monday, April 30 in the Jackie Gaughan Multicultural Center’s Ubuntu Room, No. 202. The faculty and staff open forum is Tuesday, May 1 9:15 to 10:15 a.m. in the Nebraska Union, Colonial A.

Representatives of the search firm and committee will attend both open forums.

“The inaugural nature of this vice chancellor position presents not only an opportunity, but a necessity for wide participation," Plowman said. "We’ll need everyone’s help to support recruitment efforts as the committee moves forward with the search."

Additional information about the search and vice chancellor position, including how to submit nominations, will be announced in the summer. The timeline includes on-campus interviews with finalists in the fall, which will include public presentations and opportunities for broad engagement with the university community.

“We are excited to move forward on this important search to identify a national leader who will provide guidance, ideas and positive energy to campus,” Plowman said.