University of California, Merced — Vice Chancellor for Equity, Justice and Inclusive Excellence / Chief Diversity Officer

The University of California, Merced (UC Merced) invites inquiries, nominations and applications for a visionary and inspiring leader to serve as the Vice Chancellor for Equity, Justice and Inclusive Excellence/Chief Diversity Officer (VC/CDO). The University seeks a VC/CDO who is a collaborative leader and possesses a passion for equity, a broad concept of diversity and inclusive excellence, a strong appreciation for the academic environment, a demonstrated administrative competence, and a commitment to UC Merced’s vision and values.

The University
The University of California, Merced is the newest of the University of California system’s 10 campuses and the first American research university built in the 21st century. With over 9,000 undergraduate and graduate students, UC Merced offers an environment that combines a commitment to diversity, inclusive excellence, collaboration and professional development. With bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degree programs, strong research and academic partnerships, and extensive community engagement, the UC Merced campus continues to evolve and requires talented, knowledgeable and dynamic educators, researchers, management and staff.

Ranked among the best public universities in the nation by U.S. News and World Report, UC Merced is uniquely equipped to provide educational opportunities highly qualified students from the San Joaquin Valley and throughout California. UC Merced enjoys a special connection with nearby Yosemite National Park and the Sierra Nevada mountains.  The campus, which is guided by a long-range vision of sustainable construction and design, supports the economic development of Merced and the surrounding region. For more detailed information about the campus, visit https://www.ucmerced.edu/. 

Chancellor Juan Sánchez Muñoz
In May 2020, the University of California Board of Regents appointed a dynamic, capable, and inspiring new leader, Dr. Juan Sánchez Muñoz, as Chancellor of UC Merced. Prior to joining UC Merced as Chancellor, Dr. Muñoz served as President of the University of Houston-Downtown (UHD), a Hispanic Serving Institution that serves more than 15,000 students in Houston, TX. A California native whose parents immigrated from Mexico and whose father worked in the fields of the San Joaquin Valley, Dr. Juan Sánchez Muñoz has deep roots in the UC System and the Central Valley. To learn more about Chancellor Muñoz, visit https://chancellor.ucmerced.edu/meet-chancellor/munoz. 

The Office of Equity, Justice and Inclusive Excellence
The Office of Equity, Justice, and Inclusive Excellence (OEJIE), previously the Office of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion, was established in 2019 in response to campus wide efforts to centralize EJIE efforts and ensure UC Merced institutionalizes inclusive excellence as it grows. In the office’s founding, the inaugural Associate Chancellor and Chief Diversity Officer was to prioritize the needs of faculty and staff and extend support to students via strong partnerships with the Division of Student Affairs. Efforts to define OEJIE’s role at UC Merced included the Listening Tour of 2019, the creation of the Bobcat IDEAs Strategic Framework, and the increased visibility of campus wide EJIE efforts. The pandemic and 2020’s racial justice protests focused OEJIE’s initiatives, programming, and services on community building and uplifting the needs of staff, faculty, and students to senior leadership (i.e. the People’s First Workgroup and the Valuing Black Lives Taskforce). 

In its second year of operation, the office has grown from two Graduate Student Researchers and an Executive Assistant to hiring a Deputy Chief Diversity Officer, Executive Director of Equity and Justice, and an Equity Analyst. With this accomplishment, it has also expanded partnerships throughout the university. The AC-CDO role has been elevated to Vice Chancellor and Chief Diversity Officer in order to expand the office’s oversight to all campus constituency groups. Thus, the VC-CDO will strategically build upon the current infrastructure, both internally as a unit and for the campus at large. To learn more about OEJIE’s current scope of work, visit https://diversity.ucmerced.edu/.

Position Summary
Reporting directly to the Chancellor and serving as a member of the Chancellor’s senior leadership team, the Vice Chancellor for Equity, Justice and Inclusive Excellence/Chief Diversity Officer (VC/CDO) is charged with providing visionary and strategic leadership that will place UC Merced into national prominence as a model for inclusive excellence. The VC/CDO will be empowered to collaboratively convene a broad group of stakeholders to engage in strategic planning and set priorities via assessments and metrics with the clear authority and responsibility to achieve the goals of the University and the Chancellor.

In leading UC Merced’s Office of Equity, Justice and Inclusive Excellence, the VC/CDO will foster an environment that embraces change and the values of equity, justice and inclusive excellence as critical components of UC Merced’s continued commitment to ensuring the success of its students. The VC/CDO will promote initiatives that address the issues of equity, diversity and inclusive excellence and serve as a champion for these endeavors across UC Merced. In doing so, the VC/CDO will help guide the continued development of an inclusive campus community that nurtures learning and growth for all its members. Moreover, the VC/CDO will assess the University’s needs related to equity, justice and inclusive excellence and coordinate with all divisions and units on campus to ensure that these needs are prominent in and met by stakeholders’ decision-making processes, event planning, and organizational cultures. 

For a full position profile and list of qualifications, please visit https://www.spaexec.com/pd/UCM/VC-CDO.pdf  

Application and Nomination Process
The Search Advisory Committee will begin reviewing applications immediately and continue to accept applications and nominations until the position is filled. Applicants must submit: a current resume or curriculum vitae, a cover letter describing relevant experience and interest in the position, and a statement of contributions to promoting equity, diversity, and inclusion in their professional careers. Nomination letters should include the name, position, address, and telephone number of the nominee. All applications and nominations will be handled in confidence.

Applications and letters of nomination should be submitted by email to:

Alberto Pimentel, Managing Partner
Sal Venegas Jr., Principal
Email: apsearch@spaexec.com
Refer to code “UCM-VC-CDO” in the subject line
SP&A Executive Search
6512 Painter Avenue

Whittier, CA 90601

The University of California, Merced is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action employer advancing inclusive excellence. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, creed, religion, national origin, citizenship, sex, age, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, disability, pregnancy, or status as a disabled veteran or Vietnam-era veteran, or other protected categories covered by the UC Nondiscrimination and Affirmative Action Policy. UC Merced intentionally promotes and maintains a discrimination- and harassment-free workplace by demonstrating it neither condones nor tolerates employment practices that discriminate against or harass any person or specific group of persons on the basis listed above. We seek candidates who will support our vision to cultivate a vibrant, equity-minded, inclusive excellence university community. When applying to UC Merced, we strongly encourage you to reflect on our Principles of Community and our 2021 strategic plan.

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