University of California, Santa Cruz — Vice Chancellor for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

The University of California, Santa Cruz (UC Santa Cruz) announces the search for the inaugural Vice Chancellor for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (VC DEI). The University seeks a bold, experienced and visionary leader to serve as Vice Chancellor to increase understanding and awareness of social justice issues, remove barriers for historically underrepresented groups, improve cross-cultural relations, and contribute to a campus climate that is safe and welcoming to all.

Widely recognized as an academically vibrant and student-centered university, UC Santa Cruz is proud of its profile as one of the most diverse campuses in the United States and as a member of both the Association of American Universities (AAU) and the prestigious, ten-campus University of California system. UC Santa Cruz, founded in 1965, is distinguished by its residential college system through which students live and learn in small communities organized around themes of broad intellectual interest. Santa Cruz is located on the edge of Monterey Bay, approximately 70 miles from San Francisco, and is ideally suited for year-round outdoor activity. 

UC Santa Cruz is an exciting environment to lead diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts. The University is a Hispanic-Serving Institution (HSI) and an Asian American Native American Pacific Islander-Serving Institution (AANAPISI). 61% of undergraduates are students of color; 35% are the first in their families to attend a four-year university. The University was proud to be named a Social Mobility Innovator in recognition of the ways in which it educates economically disadvantaged students who graduate and obtain high-paying jobs. Additionally, UC Santa Cruz has numerous programs already in place that enhance inclusive hiring and support the development of women and people of color for leadership positions on campus. The recent renaming of one of the undergraduate colleges to John R. Lewis College attests to the University’s “deep commitment to educate students to become agents for justice, equity, inclusivity, and social change,” noted Chancellor Cynthia Larive.

Reporting directly to the chancellor, and working closely with the Campus Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor, the Academic Senate, the Office of Equity and Equal Protection, and other campus leaders, the VC DEI serves as the senior executive responsible for providing a holistic and integrated vision for all major diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) efforts for UC Santa Cruz. The Vice Chancellor will lead the Office for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion and offer the dynamic leadership needed to enhance current activities, develop bold new initiatives and programs, and provide focus and accountability across the institution. The VC DEI’s broad areas of focus include high-level coordination of campus-wide diversity initiatives; strategic planning; training, education, and research; community relations; policy development; campus climate issues and communications.

The successful candidate will be an experienced professional with deep knowledge in the field of diversity, equity, and inclusion and possess demonstrated leadership in developing, enhancing, and sustaining DEI initiatives and programs within a complex organization. A collaborative leadership style and skill in interacting with different constituencies will enable the new leader to be successful within UC Santa Cruz’s culture of shared governance and a tradition of student activism. It will be important for the VC DEI to be bold, diplomatic, action-oriented, visionary, and humble. High integrity, ethics, and the ability to think through issues with an equity lens will be assets in this role. An earned bachelor’s degree or equivalent is required.

All applications, nominations, and inquiries are invited. Applications should include, as three separate documents, a CV or resume, a letter of interest addressing the themes in this leadership profile, and a Contributions to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion statement. Information about the expectations for this statement can be found here. 

WittKieffer is assisting University of California Santa Cruz in this search. Applications will be accepted through April 30, 2022, or until the position is filled.

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

Nominations and inquiries can be directed to:

Shelley Arakawa, J.D. and Bree Liddell, M.B.A.

The University of California is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, age, or protected veteran status. UC Santa Cruz is committed to excellence through diversity and strives to establish a climate that welcomes, celebrates, and promotes respect for the contributions of all students and employees. Inquiries regarding the University’s equal employment opportunity policies may be directed to: UCSC Equal Employment Opportunity webpage.