ABOUT WARREN WILSON COLLEGE
Warren Wilson College is a vibrant, nationally recognized, independent liberal arts college with an enrollment of over 600 undergraduates located on a 1,135-acre campus in the Blue Ridge Mountains near Asheville, North Carolina. The education program incorporates experiential learning, challenging work experiences, and deliberate community engagement, with a commitment to sustainable practices.
Warren Wilson College seeks a dynamic and committed individual to lead the college's efforts to live into the promise and the reality of our strong commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion. The college had already begun taking important steps in its Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACS) Quality Enhancement Plan, “Building Diversity” in the 2015 Reaffirmation of Accreditation. Under the leadership of President Lynn Morton, who arrived in 2017, Warren Wilson College developed a 2022 Strategic Plan which includes a clear mandate to focus on diversity, equity, and inclusion in Strategic Imperative #3:
The College is unwavering in our commitment to the dignity of all people – particularly those populations who have been both historically oppressed and continue to experience systemic oppression. While we value the breadth of diversity necessary for a rich campus culture, we also recognize the particular challenge and opportunity for growth and leadership around race, noting that such a focus necessarily intersects with deepening efforts around other aspects of identity (such as ethnicity, nationality, religion, gender, sexuality, class, and worldview). We are committed to a culture of educational access and ensuring that students and employees from a diverse range of identities and experiences will thrive in this community.
With these efforts and the commitment of the entire community, we are now poised to take our diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts forward to a deeper and more expansive level of impact and effectiveness.
This position is responsible for guiding the efforts to conceptualize, define, assess, nurture, and cultivate diversity as an institutional and educational resource. The Vice President of DEI and Strategy is a senior level position reporting directly to the President of the College. This is a newly created position and department at the college.
Under the guidance and direction of the President of the College, the Vice President for DEI and Strategy will lead the development and implementation of proactive diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives in support of the College's strategic plan to create a learning and working environment where all have an opportunity to succeed and thrive. The position is designed to lead the college's efforts toward building and sustaining a diverse and culturally vibrant campus.
THE LEADERSHIP OPPORTUNITY AND EXPECTATIONS
The Vice President for Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Strategy will have the responsibility to address the following priorities:
- Lead the development of a unifying strategy and organizational structure, including direct reports, for diversity, equity and inclusion at Warren Wilson, working directly with the President.
- In addition to DEI specific strategy implementation, this position will play a major role at the Cabinet level and in the institution with the strategic planning, implementation, reporting and evaluation work as the 2019-2022 strategic plan closes and the 2022 - 2025 strategic plan launches.
- Lead a collaborative process with the President, Cabinet, Human Resources, and other campus leadership in advancing College policies, procedures, and systems to ensure alignment with best practices in higher education, national trends and developments, and regulations and legislation in regards to diversity, equity, and inclusion. This effort includes faculty and staff hiring and retention, employee training and development, curricular and co-curricular programming, and data driven assessment, evaluation, and reporting.
- Manage the planning process and budget for all DEI strategic planning work, allocating funds according to priorities developed with the President, Cabinet and the Board of Trustees.
- Serve as an accessible, responsive, and highly visible campus leader ready to support students, faculty, and staff and to draw on those interactions and experiences to inform broader strategic efforts and initiatives.
- Work in close partnership with the Faculty Director of DEI Initiatives, the WIDE [Wilson Inclusion Diversity and Equity] Program, the DEI Advisory Committee, and the Director of Institutional Effectiveness at a strategic level to advance the College's strategic goals and objectives.
- Maintain existing relationships in the community surrounding Warren Wilson and build new collaborations and networks at the city, state, and regional level to create effective and mutually beneficial partnerships.
DESIRED QUALITIES AND CHARACTERISTICS
The Vice President for Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Strategy will bring high-level strategic planning and thinking, exceptional communication and interpersonal skills, and depth of experience and subject matter expertise to this role as a member of the College's senior leadership team. The ideal candidate will hold a Master's degree, PhD preferred, in a related field of study and significant experience and work in diversity, equity, and inclusion-- preferably in higher education. In addition, they will bring the following complementary skills and attributes:
- A sophisticated and deep understanding of the national conversation around diversity, equity, and inclusion issues and a keen sense of how to translate trends into action
- The ability to take the broad institutional perspective expected of a Vice President including the ability to work collaboratively with others and an interest and capacity to contribute to a wide range of college issues and concerns
- Demonstrated excellence in creating plans, monitoring and assessing them, and successfully implementing initiatives within those plans
- The ability to quickly build relationships of trust and shared understanding with multiple stakeholder groups including students, faculty, staff, and other community members.
- A genuine interest and curiosity in the history and mission of Warren Wilson College along with the willingness to help drive change where needed and necessary
- Demonstrated ability to use data to guide strategic directions and decisions
- Ten or more years of experience in DEI work required
First Consideration date for this position is January 8, 2021.