Roanoke College — Vice President for Community, Diversity, and Inclusion

Roanoke College, an independent, coeducational, four-year liberal arts college in Virginia, invites applications and nominations for the Cabinet-level position of Vice President for Community, Diversity, and Inclusion. The College seeks a senior administrator who will build, promote, and lead the institution’s aspirations to be a model of a 21st century diverse community. This senior administrator will report to the President of the College and will work with departments, offices, and programs across the College community.

See complete information in the Search Profile at https://myersmcrae.com/skins/userfiles/files/Roanoke21.pdf

About Roanoke College

Founded in 1842, Roanoke College is the second-oldest Lutheran-related college in America. The College provides a residential college experience for approximately 2,000 full-time undergraduate students. Situated against the backdrop of the Blue Ridge Mountains, the College occupies a spacious 90-acre, tree-lined campus in the heart of historic Salem, Virginia. Roanoke College offers an innovative curriculum that combines a general education program in the liberal arts with strong major fields of study. 

Roanoke College is ranked in the top 10% of America’s Best Colleges by Forbes and in the top 9% of Best 381 Colleges by Princeton Review. It is one of only 290 institutions with academic credentials to shelter a Phi Beta Kappa honor society chapter.

The College offers 54 majors, 31 minors, and 27 concentrations leading to the Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Science, and Bachelor of Business Administration degrees. Majors include traditional liberal arts disciplines such as Biology, History, and Psychology, cross-disciplinary programs such as Environmental Studies, Data Science, and Public Health Studies, and pre-professional programs such as Business, Engineering Science, Education, and Health & Exercise Science. 

The student-teacher ratio is 13:1. With an average class size of 18, the academic environment allows faculty and students to develop a close connection that helps the students find their individual purpose and prepares them for their next steps, whether directly into a career or graduate and professional studies. Both faculty and staff are committed to preparing student to “Live on Purpose” by helping them find their purpose.

Of the College’s faculty, 131 are tenure-track and 98 percent hold the highest degree available in their fields. Professors are graduates of many of the finest graduate programs in the nation. Faculty and staff place the highest priority on supporting and nurturing their students while at the same time challenging them to excel.            

The College has a vibrant campus community. Seventy-eight percent of the students reside on campus.  Twenty-two religious affiliations are represented within the student body. Since 2000, the number of students of color attending Roanoke has nearly tripled, totaling 341 in Fall 2020.

The Leadership Opportunity
Across the decades, Roanoke College has developed programs and initiatives that have strengthened its commitment to diversity and inclusivity, understanding that their commitment and mission to developing the whole person can only succeed in a community where students, faculty, staff, and alumni see that everyone matters, each person belongs, and each one has a purpose to find and to live. 

Over the past three years, the College has been on the journey of identifying its shortcomings and becoming more intentional and encompassing in its commitment to diversity, inclusion, and equity.

Highlights of Recent Accomplishments

  • A College commitment to hire a Vice President for Community, Diversity, and Inclusion
  • The creation of a standing Board of Trustees Committee for Community, Diversity, and Inclusion
  • The creation of a campus-wide Diversity and Inclusion Steering Committee
  • The approval of new College definitions of diversity and inclusion and inclusive excellence
  • The approval of major revisions of the College’s policy on bias, including reporting and review processes for bias complaints
  • A College commitment to hire a Victims Advocate
  • An enhanced College commitment to build diverse applicant pools for faculty positions and to vet applicants with minimal implicit and explicit bias
  • The creation of the Center for Studying Structures of Race
  • A College commitment to install memorials to the enslaved persons who helped build the Administration Building and Miller Hall
  • A College commitment to an enhanced MLK Day celebration, a new celebration in honor of Juneteenth and Emancipation Day, and a re-conceptualized Founders Day Celebration.

The Vice President for Community, Diversity, and Inclusion

While actively developing programs and initiatives, Roanoke wants significant synergy throughout the College community to advance its goals. In August 2020, the College created a position at the Vice Presidency level to centralize and institutionalize Roanoke’s approach to Community, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. 

The Vice President will lead college-wide efforts to realize the College’s potential to be an exemplary community where everyone is a respected and valued member and has a sense of belonging. Building on the momentum and accomplishments of the recent years, the Vice President will accelerate and refine the College’s efforts for and commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion. 

This senior officer will be a transformative, collaborative, and inspirational leader, who has the strength to articulate an agenda and the ability to continue to move the College forward. The Vice President will have strong interpersonal skills to work with people throughout the college community in a manner that results in positive interaction.

Reporting to the Vice President will be the Director of the Office of Multicultural Affairs, the Associate Director of International Education, and the new position of Ombudsperson Services Director. The Vice President will have collaborative relationships with the Dean of the Chapel, the Center for Studying the Structures of Race, Human Resources, the Associate Director of Student Health and Counseling and Coordinator of LGBTQ+, the Director of the Center for Civic Engagement, and the Assistant Director of Academic Services for Accessible Education. The Vice President also will work with the Vice President for Academic Affairs & Student Affairs and Dean of the College and others in Academic and Student Affairs on Live on Purpose initiatives.

Responsibilities

  • Provide strategic vision and leadership for College initiatives related to encouraging community, diversity, equity, and inclusion.
  • Engage students, faculty, and staff to further behaviors, attitudes, and policies that support diversity, equity, and inclusion on campus.
  • Encourage College efforts to provide students with cross-cultural competencies with all constituencies. This includes conceptualizing the educational efforts and training opportunities for the entire College.
  • See and communicate the big picture of what is needed as well as the details that ensure its accomplishment.
  • Monitor groups or cases where students, faculty, or staff members may experience any forms of discrimination or marginalization.
  • Lead the identification, planning, and implementation of educational programming and training to make the College a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive community.
  • Analyze diversity and inclusion metrics and monitor trends and events to recommend solutions where students, faculty, or staff may be experiencing discrimination or marginalization.
  • Establish on a recurrent basis an internal audit process and reporting system to allow for effective measurement of College diversity and equity efforts and produce reports on at least an annual basis to the College community.
  • Lead a community advisory group to involve local citizens and alumni for diversity and inclusion efforts. 
  • Support and foster intercultural learning and cross-cultural opportunities locally and abroad.
  • Provide oversight for all campus diversity and inclusion compliance efforts for students, faculty, and staff, including Title IX, Title VII, Section 504, ADA, and others.
  • Support and enhance efforts toward greater diversity and inclusion across students, faculty, and staff.
  • Anticipate future developments and trends that will impact diversity, equity, and inclusion.
  • Initiate and implement cultural competency, gender differences, disability, sexual harassment, and other similar initiatives for students, faculty, and staff to create a culture of belonging and respect on campus.
  • Serve as staff liaison for the Board of Trustees Community, Diversity, and Inclusion Committee.
  • Provide leadership with community partnership opportunities that enhance the College’s environment for diversity, equity, and inclusion.
  • Collaborate with all cabinet officers to provide College leadership.
  • Manage a new division of Community, Diversity, and Inclusion.
  • Work closely with the Dean of the Chapel for religious diversity and tolerance; Human Resources for the pursuit of diverse faculty and staff; the Associate Director of Student Health and Counseling for LGBTQ services and programming; and the Title IX Deputy Coordinators.
  • Serve as an advocate and leader for international students and educators.

Special Qualities

  • Ability to provide leadership and a vision for inclusive excellence 
  • Credibility with faculty and staff based on experience, education, and presence
  • Ability to effectively communicate with campus and community partners

Requirements

Candidate must have a minimum of a master’s degree and eight years of experience advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion in a complex organization and two years of management or supervisory experience are required. Prior relevant higher education experience, preferably at an independent college, is desired.

Knowledge, Experience, and Skills

  • Expertise in diversity, equity, and inclusion best practices
  • Understanding of Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, the 1991 Civil Rights Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act and as amended, Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, Equal Employment Opportunity, and other applicable federal and state laws
  • Proficiency with collaboration and consensus building
  • Ability to analyze and make sound recommendations on complex management and administrative issues, including identifying alternative solutions, projecting consequences of proposed actions, and making recommendations in support of goals
  • Strong and effective communication skills through oral and written mediums
  • Experience leading and supervising staff
  • Ability to create and execute a strategic plan

Application & Nomination Process

Confidential inquiries are welcomed, and nominations are invited.

Applications

  1. Application packet must include:  a) A letter of application that addresses the responsibilities and qualifications of the position, b) Current curriculum vitae, and c) At least five references with full contact information including e-mails (References will not be contacted without consent from applicant.)
  2. Submit application packet (preferably as PDFs) to roanoke@myersmcrae.com  by April 19, 2021, for best consideration. Review of applications begins immediately. Applications will be accepted until the position is filled.
    Additional information will be requested upon receipt of application.

Nominations

Submit nominations to roanoke-nominate@myersmcrae.com with complete contact and e-mail information for the individual being nominated.

Emily Parker Myers, CEO, and Jennifer Barfield, Senior Vice President, of Myers McRae Executive Search and Consulting are assisting Roanoke College with this search. 

A Phi Beta Kappa institution, Roanoke College is an equal opportunity employer and actively seeks diversity among its faculty, staff, and students; women and members of under-represented groups are especially encouraged to apply. Roanoke College does not discriminate against students, employees, or applicants on the basis of race, color, gender, creed, religion, age, sexual orientation, marital status, national or ethnic origin, disability, or veteran status.

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