Marist College — Vice President of Diversity, Equity And Inclusion

Marist College seeks an inaugural vice president of diversity, equity and inclusion (VP, DEI) to serve on the president’s cabinet and report directly to President Kevin Weinman. The VP, DEI will serve as a strategic leader in ensuring Marist fulfills its goals to become a more diverse, equitable and inclusive institution while developing a vision for optimal organizational structure and resources (human and financial) that are necessary for Marist not only to succeed in this work, but to thrive.

Located on the banks of the historic Hudson River and at its Florence, Italy campus, Marist College is a comprehensive, independent global institution grounded in the liberal arts. Its mission is to “help students develop the intellect, character and skills required for enlightened, ethical and productive lives in the global community of the 21st century.” Marist educates more than 5,000 traditional-age undergraduate students and 1,400 adult and graduate students in 47 undergraduate majors and numerous graduate programs, including fully online MBA, MPA, MS, and MA degrees, and also Doctor of Physical Therapy and Physician Assistant programs.

The College was founded by the Marist Brothers, who first arrived in Poughkeepsie in 1905. The Marist Brothers were and are famous for their skill and dedication as educators and, even though Marist has not been religiously affiliated for many years, their values remain central to the College. Those core values are excellence in education, a sense of community and a commitment to service. From U.S. News & World Report to Barron’s to Kiplinger’s Personal Finance, the College is recognized for both educational excellence and exceptional value. The Princeton Review’s book Colleges That Create Futures: 50 Schools That Launch Careers by Going Beyond the Classroom lists Marist alongside such schools as Princeton, MIT, Stanford and Duke.

President Weinman began his term as Marist’s fifth president in October 2021, and has proven deep commitment to ensuring Marist College becomes an anti-racist institution. He arrived at Marist from Amherst College, an institution that has achieved ever-greater heights as a world-class liberal arts college by becoming a more diverse, equitable and inclusive institution. President Weinman served on the search committee for the College’s first chief diversity and inclusion officer and worked closely with him to build a robust and successful DEI function at Amherst. President Weinman looks forward to drawing on his successes at Amherst to support Marist’s inaugural VP, DEI in a shared effort to help Marist become a more diverse, equitable and inclusive institution.

President Weinman places a particular emphasis on equity and a sense of belonging within his leadership approach. Like others in the Marist community, he seeks to remove barriers and develop a culture that helps every student and faculty member take full and equal advantage of all Marist has to offer and to feel that the institution belongs to them as much as to anyone else. He will be an active partner with the VP, DEI, committed to supporting their success in this role. In fact, President Weinman believes so strongly in this as a priority that he and his wife Beth have personally pledged $250,000 to Marist College to support a number of priorities designed to make a Marist education more accessible and equitable for talented students, regardless of their financial situation. This gift has already inspired more contributions, with hopes it will inspire many more. 

Marist not only aspires to be a more diverse, equitable and inclusive institution, but also an actively anti-bias institution. Marist aspires to eliminate social discrimination across all areas including cissexism, homophobia, sexism, ableism and any form of religious discrimination. The Marist Brothers founded the campus with the purpose of creating a sense of community, and the campus is united around a goal to stop marginalizing individuals or groups. No one person can be fully responsible for these enormous and urgent priorities. Therefore, the VP, DEI will encourage community-wide ownership for each full and part-time student, staff, faculty and administration member to rally one another to be focused on this result.

The ideal candidate will have proven experience in the implementation of diversity initiatives and a demonstrated commitment to diversifying faculty, students, staff and curriculum. They will be a proven administrative leader able to build upon a foundation of diversity and inclusion initiatives in extraordinary ways. The VP, DEI will have a strong voice in all institutional initiatives and priorities and will be positioned and supported by leadership as a visibly respected community leader. 

It is worth emphasizing that this is not a status quo position. The expectation is that the VP, DEI will lead a campus-wide effort that progresses the institution to become a very different environment. This leader will be expected to finalize a diversity, equity and inclusion strategic plan and lead its implementation with the full participation of the president and cabinet; partner with units across the campus to enhance diversity, equity and inclusion and build community; lead the inaugural Office of Diversity and Inclusion and establish a system of accountability using data and reporting; and proactively engage in resource development to support diversity initiatives. Successful candidates will bring a dynamic, collaborative and nimble leadership style. They will build trust with the campus community that eagerly unites to focus and create an authentically anti-racist campus.

All applications, nominations and inquiries are invited. Applications should include, as separate documents, a CV or resume and a letter of interest addressing the themes in this profile.

WittKieffer is assisting Marist College in this search, which will remain open until an appointment is made.

Application materials should be submitted using WittKieffer’s candidate portal.

Nominations and inquiries can be directed to:

Kim Brettschneider
Consultant, WittKieffer

Marist College is committed to creating a diverse workforce on our campus by ensuring that barriers to equal employment opportunity and upward mobility do not exist here. To this end, the College will strive to achieve the full and fair participation of minorities, women, people with disabilities, and any other protected groups found to be under-represented. Equal opportunity means employment, development, and promotion of individuals without consideration of race, color, disability, religion, age, sex, marital status, national origin, sexual orientation, or veteran status unless there is a bona fide occupational requirement which excludes persons in one of these protected groups. The College will review its employment policies and procedures to ensure that barriers which may unnecessarily exclude protected groups are identified and eliminated. The College will also explore alternative approaches if any policy or practice is found to have a negative impact on protected groups. Marist’s policy of non-discrimination includes not only employment practices but also extends to all services and programs provided by the College. It shall be considered a violation of College policy for any member of the community to discriminate against any individual or group with respect to employment or attendance at Marist College on the basis of race, color, disability, religion, age, sex, marital status, national origin, sexual orientation, veteran status, or any other condition established by law.