University of Arkansas, Fort Smith — Executive Director for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

Executive Director for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (21-21-0001)

Enhancing diversity and cultural competence is critical to developing more enlightened, skilled, and socially responsible citizens. Staff and faculty of all races, ethnicities, geographic origins, religions, cultures, socioeconomic classes, political perspectives, genders, gender identities, sexual orientations, ages, physical capabilities, veteran status, and intellectual proclivities are empowered to work together in an inclusive, multicultural campus community, contributing to the university’s ability to examine issues from multiple unique perspectives. The Executive Director for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) serves as the chief diversity officer for the University and drives the development and implementation of university strategic plans and frameworks for diversity, inclusion, and social equity. This position reports to the Chancellor and will be a member of the Chancellor’s Cabinet.

Job Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Lead the successful creation and implementation of a diversity, equity, and inclusion plan that ensures campus-wide collaboration.
  • Serve as chair of the University Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee.
  • Act as a catalyst in stimulating important institutional discussions and offer insightful solutions on complex topics that help the University achieve its DEI aspirations.
  • Collaborate with key stakeholders and others to define diversity, equity, and inclusion in alignment with the University’s mission and values.
  • Work closely with administration, faculty, and staff to coordinate and guide efforts to assess and cultivate diversity as a fundamental institutional and educational resource, creating programs that recognize commonalities while engaging with and celebrating differences.
  • Advise the Chancellor and senior staff on issues related to social equity and partner with campus leaders, faculty, staff, students, university committees, and external stakeholders to implement plans, programs, initiatives, and activities that both educate the university community and promote accountability for diversity and inclusion as core institutional values.
  • Develop and maintain active partnerships with the external community and appropriate alumni groups in support of diversity, equity, and inclusion at UAFS.
  • Work with leadership to design and implement strategies to help recruit, support, and advance diverse faculty, staff, and students from under-represented groups.
  • Enhance professional growth and development through participation in educational programs, current literature, in-service meetings, and workshops.
  • Responsible for maintaining a positive work atmosphere by acting and communicating in a manner to foster teamwork and by providing leadership to subordinates. Requires consistent on-time attendance.
  • Other duties as assigned.

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:
To perform the job successfully, the following competencies are required for the essential functions of this position:

  • Knowledge and understanding of the contexts, cultures, and politics within institutions that impact the implementation and management of effective diversity change efforts.
  • Knowledge of how institutional programming enhances the diversity mission of the institution for faculty, staff, administrators, and students.
  • Knowledge of the procedures for responding to bias incidents when they occur on campus.
  • Knowledge of how various forms of institutional data are used to benchmark and promote accountability for the diversity mission of higher education institutions.
  • Knowledge of campus climate research in the development and advancement of a positive and inclusive campus climate for diversity.
  • Knowledge of historical and contemporary issues related to nondiscrimination, access, and equity in higher education institutions, governmental entities or in the private sector.
  • Knowledge of the various laws, regulations, and policies related to equity, diversity, discrimination, retaliation, access and equal opportunity in higher education.
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills.
  • Excellent skills in team-building and planning including proven ability to work collaboratively and effectively with a variety of individuals with diverse backgrounds and experiences.
  • Excellent organizational and informed decision-making skills.
  • Ability to articulate the range of evidence for the educational benefits that accrue to students through diversity, inclusion, and equality in higher education.
  • Ability to work as a mediator with well-developed conflict resolution skills.
  • Ability to work collaboratively and effectively with various constituencies throughout the campus.
  • The proven ability to work with sensitive and confidential information.
  • Ability to engage in productive and respectful conversations with individuals and entities on diversity and inclusivity-related initiatives.

Required Education and/or Experience:

  • Master’s Degree;
  • At least three years’ of relevant higher education and/or private sector professional work experience, including but not limited to, diversity, inclusion, equity, human resources, social justice;
  • Demonstrated knowledge of social justice research;
  • Documented evidence of a proactive role in leading initiatives that contribute to diversity and inclusion.
  • Other job-related education and/or experience may be substituted for part of these basic requirements.

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