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OVERVIEW

Binghamton University, a public research institution widely known for its Nobel Prize-winning faculty and high-achieving student body, invites nominations and applications for its inaugural Vice President of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. Reporting directly to President Harvey Stenger, the Vice President will provide both high-level strategic vision and pragmatic expert counsel with the goal of ensuring that the University is an inclusive community in which all can thrive, regardless of race; culture; ethnicity; religion; gender, gender identity, and gender expression; sexual orientation; immigration status; or ability. The elevation of the former Chief Diversity Officer role to Vice President of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) is yet another milestone at Binghamton, which has long been one of the institutions at the forefront of DEI initiatives within the State University of New York (SUNY) system.

The new Vice President of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion will be the chief architect of the University’s strategy for ensuring that the campus climate reflects its deepest values. Binghamton University can point to a long and proud history of DEI-related programs and initiatives which have developed ad hoc and across a variety of offices and divisions. The Vice President will provide leadership for developing a conceptual framework which will magnify the impact of existing programs and initiatives while simultaneously outlining a clear direction for future growth. In working to bring together a constellation of DEI efforts into a cogent whole, the Vice President will find the campus community eager to move forward and the university leadership fully prepared to align its resources with its mission.

 

STRATEGIC DIRECTION

In 2013, Binghamton University published its Road Map to Premier strategic plan. The Road Map was built with the assistance of more than 400 volunteers from the campus and community in a highly collaborative process. Beginning with a broad goal in mind – making Binghamton University the premier public university of the 21st century – Binghamton established a timeline and a general process that would involve individuals both from across campus and from the community. The plan was updated in 2017, through the Road Map Renewal, which again included input from all stakeholders.

Five key strategic priorities form the core of the Road Map:

  1. Creative Activities: Engage in path-breaking graduate education, research, scholarship, and creative activities that shape the world.
  2. Learning Community: Provide a transformative learning community that prepares students for advanced education, careers, and purposeful living.
  3. Inclusive Campus: Unite to foster a diverse and inclusive campus culture.
  4. Engagement: Enhance the University’s economic, social, and cultural impact through engagement from the local to the global level.
  5. Strategic Investments: Optimize the acquisition and allocation of human, technological, financial, and physical resources.

Each of these strategic priorities includes several specific goals, which are in turn associated with target metrics to be reached by 2020. Broad university-wide committees – one devoted to each strategic priority – meet regularly to plan, pursue, and assess progress toward the identified goals.

 

ROLE OF VICE PRESIDENT OF DIVERSITY, EQUITY, AND INCLUSION

Reporting directly to President Harvey Stenger, the Vice President will oversee the Division of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, which currently includes the Multicultural Resource Center, the Q Center, and the University Educational Institute. As a core member of the President’s cabinet, the Vice President will regularly engage with university leadership on a wide range of issues. In addition, the Vice President will serve in several other highly visible, critical leadership roles across campus. As co chair of the strategic planning implementation working group focused on inclusive community, the Vice President will join campus-wide efforts already under way toward specific goals and metrics related to campus climate. The Vice President will collaboratively develop and lead the implementation of the University’s first comprehensive, university-wide strategic plan for DEI. In addition to these formal responsibilities, the Vice President will be expected to serve as an insightful, diplomatic, and highly collaborative subject matter expert in a variety of informal ad-hoc interactions with faculty, students, staff, administrators, and the local community.

The Vice President will provide leadership and support to the Divisional Diversity Officers (DDOs), all of whom are full-time faculty or staff who have welcomed the additional responsibility of serving as facilitators and resources to their colleagues on matters related to DEI within their divisions: Academic Affairs, Administration, Advancement, Athletics, Student Affairs, and Research. While the DDOs do not report to the Vice President, they are important colleagues and allies who share a common mission.

In all of the above contexts, the new Vice President must build trust, create connections, and forge new relationships. To do so effectively, they will need to be able to quickly establish rapport and credibility as a leader, resource, facilitator, and trusted partner for faculty, students, staff, and administrators. In exchange, the new Vice President will find allies and colleagues university-wide who are eager to collaborate, share experiences, and seek expert advice as they work together toward the common goal of ensuring a diverse, equitable, and inclusive community for all.

 

OPPORTUNITIES AND CHALLENGES

The Vice President of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion will have the opportunity to address the following priorities:

  • Lead the development of a unifying strategic vision for the future of DEI at the University
  • Bring together the current array of DEI-related programs and initiatives into a cogent, powerful whole
  • Serve the entire University community as an accessible, trusted, and responsive subject matter expert on diversity, equity, and inclusion
  • Collaboratively develop strategies for addressing recruitment challenges impacting campus diversity
  • Be an accessible and responsive source of support for both undergraduate and graduate students
  • Maintain existing and build new relationships with the communities that surround the University
  • Establish and maintain a culture of data-driven assessment and evaluation in relation to DEI

 

DESIRED QUALITIES AND CHARACTERISTICS

The inaugural Vice President of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion will bring high-level strategic thinking, subject matter expertise, and exceptional interpersonal and communication skills to their role on the President’s senior leadership team. The ideal candidate will hold a Ph.D., J.D., or equivalent terminal degree, and will have a well-conceptualized understanding of the faculty experience at a research university. They will bring many of the following complementary skills and experiences to their work:

  • A sophisticated understanding of the national conversation around diversity, equity, and inclusion in higher education and a keen sense of best practices and emerging issues;
  • Demonstrated subject matter expertise in the state and federal laws, regulations, and policies relevant to the position, particularly in relation to personnel management;
  • Experience collaboratively developing and implementing a shared strategic vision across a complex institution;
  • A track record of creativity and innovation in approaching complex and/or difficult conversations;
  • Demonstrated knowledge, expertise, and experience with the process of the recruitment, hiring, tenure/promotion, and retention of historically underrepresented faculty;
  • Experience setting and achieving long-term goals and objectives to respond effectively to pressing issues as they arise;
  • The broad institutional perspective expected of a Vice President, including a collaborative spirit and the ability to contribute to discussion on a wide range of university issues;
  • The ability to quickly build relationships of trust and shared purpose with faculty, students, staff, and administrators on campus as well as key community partners in the surrounding area;
  • Exceptionally strong communications skills, including the ability to credibly present data both orally and in writing to a wide range of audiences; and,
  • A genuine intellectual curiosity about and commitment to the University’s mission of enriching the lives of people in the region, state, nation and world through discovery and education and to, in turn, being enriched by partnerships with those communities.

 

CONTACT

Please send nominations, applications, and queries in confidence and electronically to:

Storbeck/Pimentel & Associates, LP

Sue May, Partner
Steve Leo, Partner
Alyssa Perez, Associate
Matthew Marsallo, Senior Associate
Will Anyu, Junior Associate
BinghamtonVP@storbecksearch.com

 

State University of New York is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer


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