Search for vice chancellor for diversity, inclusion ramps up

Search for vice chancellor for diversity, inclusion ramps up

Assessment & Impact Summit

The University of Nebraska–Lincoln is increasing its focus in the search and preparation for its inaugural vice chancellor for diversity and inclusion.

“Responses to the search have been broadly regarded with optimism. Candidates attracted to the position say they appreciate the interweaving of diversity efforts throughout the fabric of our institution,” Kwame Dawes, Chancellor’s University Professor of English and chair of the search committee, said.

The 17-member search committee was formed in April and is comprised of faculty, staff and students. Greenwood/Asher and Associates, a national executive search firm, is assisting the committee with their work. Applications and nominations will continue to be accepted until the position has been filled, and on-campus interviews are tentatively scheduled for this fall.

The search committee has reached out to members of the community, similar institutions and individuals working in the field to help conceptualize how this position will work within the existing framework and vision of the university. Crystal Williams, a professor and Associate Provost for Diversity and Inclusion at Boston University, spent time at Nebraska in mid-August with administrators, diversity stakeholders, faculty senators and the search committee to share her recruiting perspective as someone recently hired in her inaugural role.

“We are learning that we must expend as much energy preparing our university for the work ahead in this area as we are in searching for the candidate who will guide this work,” Dawes said.

“Diversity and inclusion are a critical area in our university’s life,” Chancellor Ronnie Green said. “Creating this cabinet-level position sends a clear message that fostering a climate of belonging where all faculty, staff and students thrive is a priority for the university.”

The vice chancellor will provide intellectual, strategic and visionary leadership for university goals surrounding diversity and inclusion and provide annual campus metrics and progress toward these goals to the chancellor. The executive level position will also ensure that institutional goals will be reflected across all areas of the university.

“This person will be an agent of change at the university, leveraging all of the efforts that span the campus in the area of diversity and inclusion," Donde Plowman, executive vice chancellor and chief academic officer, said. "We’re looking for someone who values collaboration, someone who is adaptable and savvy, and someone who is a leader, to be a strategic partner with other campus leaders,”

The university welcomes nominations for this position, which can be sent directly to Marion Frenche, Principal and Practice Leader, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion with the executive search firm, Greenwood/Asher and Associates at marionfrenche@greenwoodsearch.com. More information about the position can be found on the search website.