Education, Higher Education

Director, Academic Diversity and Inclusion

  • University of Notre Dame
  • Notre Dame, IN

This position has been filled.

The University of Notre Dame invites nominations and applications for the opportunity to envision, strategize, advocate, implement, and oversee the institution’s academic diversity and inclusion efforts. The Director, Academic Diversity and Inclusion (Director) will lead academic diversity and inclusion vision, strategy, and community-building programs. Reporting to the Vice President and Associate Provost for Faculty Affairs, the Director’s responsibilities center on coordination, training and development, recruitment, retention, and communications.

In partnership with the diversity and inclusion administrative leaders within each college, and by engaging faculty, the Director will spearhead campus-wide initiatives and programs for faculty and academic departments. The Director will prioritize the efforts targeting the recruitment and retention of faculty as well as expand the discussions about diversity, inclusion, and related issues in the community. The Director will be committed to Notre Dame’s mission and values in seeking to promote equity and inclusion in all aspects of community life – from educational, to residential and professional – for all of Notre Dame’s faculty, staff, and students.

The Director is a globally aware thought leader, collaborator, partner, and change agent. The role of Director demonstrates and advances Notre Dame’s work towards building a more inclusive environment where all community members feel a sense of belonging and are respected, and differences are celebrated. This role will promote the integration of the principles of Catholic Social Teaching into a comprehensive and integrated diversity and inclusion strategy and programming to cultivate a campus community where everyone feels valued, supported, and is treated with dignity. This strategy grows out of and is informed by the Trustee Task Force on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion.

“In our commitment to diversity, we hope to reflect a global Church that is richly diverse ethnically and culturally, yet bound together in a family extending across the whole of the world.” Rev. John I. Jenkins, C.S.C, President

About University of Notre Dame

The University of Notre Dame was founded in November 1842 by Rev. Edward F. Sorin, C.S.C., a priest of the Congregation of Holy Cross, a French missionary order. It is located adjacent to South Bend, Indiana, the center of a metropolitan area with a population of more than 300,000. Chartered by the state of Indiana in 1844, the University was governed by the Holy Cross priests until 1967, when governance was transferred to a two-tiered, mixed board of lay and religious trustees and fellows.

Notre Dame has grown from the vision of Father Sorin, who sought to establish a great Catholic university in America and has remained faithful to both its religious and intellectual traditions. Today, we seek to be an enlightening force for a world deeply in need. Our departments of theology and philosophy are regarded as among the finest in the world while faculty in all departments participate in our mission to ensure that Notre Dame’s Catholic character informs all of our endeavors. From legal scholars who study civil rights and religious liberty to scientists and engineers who investigate environmental protection, to sociologists who examine religious and ethical practices, Notre Dame continues to be a place where the Church does its thinking.

Ranked in the top 25 institutions of higher learning by the U.S. News & World Report and Forbes, and one of America’s leading undergraduate teaching institutions, Notre Dame also has been at the forefront in research and scholarship. The aerodynamics of glider flight, the transmission of wireless messages, and the formulae for synthetic rubber were pioneered at the University. Today researchers are achieving breakthroughs in astrophysics, radiation chemistry, environmental sciences, tropical disease transmission, peace studies, cancer, robotics, and nanoelectronics.

Notre Dame always has been heavily residential, with about four in five undergraduates living on campus. With 8,874 undergraduate and almost 4,000 graduate students, Notre Dame is dedicated to helping students learn not only how to think but also how to live, and often the experiences alumni carry from residence hall communities at Notre Dame remain vivid over a lifetime. The University always has attracted scholars who are interested in teaching and scholarship, men and women who know that a Notre Dame education is more than what is taught in classrooms and laboratories.

Notre Dame has a unique spirit. It is traditional, yet open to change. It is dedicated to religious belief no less than to scientific knowledge. It has always stood for values in a world of facts. It has kept faith in Father Sorin’s vision. For more information on The University of Notre Dame, please visit the website.

The Opportunity

This is an ideal time to join the University of Notre Dame community and lead the diversity and inclusion efforts within the academy. University leadership, including the Board of Trustees, is in full support of these efforts. Established in fall 2021, the Executive Diversity Council, chaired by University President Rev. John I. Jenkins, meets monthly to monitor the process on the key initiatives of the 2021 Trustee Task Force Report on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. Aligned with the University’s Spirit of Inclusion, the Director will play a crucial role in advancing its commitment to ensuring that research, programming, and activities reflect a commitment to social justice and the common good.

The Director will coordinate institutional efforts within the academy focused on diversity and inclusion, working in partnership across all academic levels of the university (program, department, college, and university-wide) to establish Notre Dame as an environment in which all may flourish. Reporting to the Vice President and Associate Provost for Faculty Affairs, the Director’s responsibilities center on coordination, training and development, recruitment, retention, and communications.

In addition, the Director will work closely with the Faculty Affairs Specialist in the Provost office to identify systemic issues that should be addressed with workshops and training, and with the Director for Staff Diversity and Inclusion to share resources, best practices, and approaches. This position will serve as a resource for a wide range of constituencies such as University level administrators, deans, faculty, etc. The Director will collaborate and partner with campus colleagues in the Office of Human Resources.

The Director will be charged to assess, develop, implement, research, and evaluate the academy’s diversity and inclusion programs and initiatives. The Director will be responsible for guiding the university in defining and creating specific outcomes that support these diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts. Additionally, the Director will develop, maintain, and regularly report on the progress and outcomes of strategic initiatives to university leadership.

In alignment with the University’s strategic goals, the Director will create actionable metrics to target change and develop internal and external partnerships. After completing an audit of workplace diversity trends (i.e. recruitment, hiring, retention, professional development, employee engagement) the Director will propose changes in policies, practices, and processes that are equitable.

The Director will partner with the Human Resources (HR) leadership to serve as an equity and diversity expert and will provide consultative services and guidance. Additionally, the Director will support academic hiring managers and search committees to ensure diversity and inclusion is embedded into processes including recruitment, hiring, and employee relations. In partnership, the Director will develop meaningful benchmarks, goals, and measures to assess equity and diversity.

In collaboration with the Director, Staff Diversity and Inclusion, and other internal stakeholders, the Director will design and deliver learning and development programs across the academy, helping create a foundation of shared knowledge and understanding that fosters cultural diversity and belonging.

Additionally, the Director will have the opportunity to attend conferences and participate in trainings and workshops. The Director will maintain professional knowledge and skills through reading professional journals, viewing related webinars, attending training or professional conferences.

Essential Duties and Key Responsibilities:

Program Coordination

  • In partnership with board members, HR and Student Affairs D&I staff, and campus partners, envision and develop strategic initiatives in support of an equitable and inclusive community. Coordinate and assist efforts led by the VPs (OR, NDI) and Associate Provosts that focus on diversity and inclusion issues;
  • Organize the D&I plans collected from the colleges and depts in response to the Faculty Experience Survey; offer assistance in implementation; collect metrics and provide assessment for such initiatives;
  • Prepare an annual report that documents progress and report to the D&I Committee;
  • In partnership with the Office of Institutional Equity, develop and implement initiatives to address sexual and discriminatory harassment among the faculty.

Learning and Development

  • Coordinate delivery learning and development programs across the academy, helping create a foundation of shared knowledge and understanding that fosters cultural diversity and belonging;
  • Expand D&I training for faculty, including developing a “train the trainers” model to support sustainability if deemed appropriate;
  • Integrate Diversity and Inclusion language and practice into new faculty orientation;
  • Extend D&I training to graduate students and postdocs. Develop follow-ups to diversity and inclusion training (roundtables/lunch-and-learn);
  • Design and deliver training for search committees regarding unconscious bias; and
  • Develop a best practices toolkit for the Committee on Appointments and Committee on Reappointments, Promotion, and Tenure for establishing search committees and for using a fair set of objective criteria when evaluating candidates.

Support the faculty in achieving their goals around equity and inclusion in recruiting

  • Facilitate recruiting efforts for under-represented faculty, postdocs, and graduate students;
  • Offer assessments for each program related to needs and market availability; and
  • Lead efforts to expand where we recruit from and how we recruit.


  • Contribute to the design and development of a university-wide advocacy program that incorporates mentoring and sponsorship at critical transition points, and for all groups of faculty;
  • Review the tenure and promotions process;
  • Participate in the preparation and implementation of grants in support of the program; and
  • Examine policies for inclusiveness related to climate issues that have been identified in the Faculty Pandemic Experience Survey and revise as necessary.


  • Responsible for collecting and promoting ongoing efforts for diversity and inclusion; and
  • Update the academic component of the Diversity and Inclusion website.
Candidate Profile

The new Director will bring a nuanced understanding of the ways in which communities perceive and interact with difference but not limited to race, gender, nationality, sexual identity and/or orientation, religion, ability, and socioeconomic status. The Director will have a high degree of comfort and skill in leading difficult conversations with a range of constituencies including students, faculty, and staff. The Director will bring a strategic, systems-thinking mindset coupled with the ability to translate ideas into concrete initiatives and goals that can be measured.

The Director will bring deep expertise around DE&I practices and principles and experience leading large-scale culture change. The candidate will be an exceptional strategist, communicator, and facilitator who can create a vision, a road map for achieving that vision, and the collective buy-in and accountability required to achieve organizational change. The Director will work in close partnership with campus stakeholders to develop and implement a framework and vision for the University of Notre Dame’s diversity and inclusion work.

Our preferred candidate will have deep experience with inclusivity, diversity, equity, accessibility strategies, and best practices in higher education or relevant industry. An advanced degree is preferred but not required. The candidate should have a preponderance of the qualifications listed.

Diversity and Inclusion Leadership and Expertise

  • A track record of extensive leadership in advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion, including race, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, and disability
  • Strong equity, diversity, and inclusion analyses and commitments as well as experience successfully leading the integration of diversity and inclusion throughout organizational policies, practices, management, and culture
  • A significant background as a thought leader in the field with an unquestioned commitment to D&I values
  • Experience and understanding of leadership in a multiracial, multigenerational setting and the ability to coach others to be inclusive leaders
  • Willingness and comfort with engaging with faculty and with the community to build an inclusive, equitable culture
  • Experience with building learning and development systems and initiatives that support and advance D&I values and principles

Change Management and Leadership

  • Demonstrated experience in significant change management processes that require building buy-in and leading across a wide range of constituents
  • Keen understanding of how to empower people, influence colleagues, and work across departments in a complex organization
  • Proven ability to translate strategic thinking about complex challenges and organizational gaps into executable plans to deliver on strategic imperatives and solve problems large and small, and measure progress toward goals
  • Experience managing complex projects and budgets, including the ability to use benchmarking and data metrics to drive organizational change and accountability
  • Leadership strength, including the proficiency to motivate disparate colleagues and influence decision making
  • Aptitude to take risks, see opportunities, and pivot when called for by circumstances
  • Ability to serve as an effective member of the executive team and internal leader institution-wide

Communications and Relationship Building

  • An emotionally intelligent, results-driven leader who can inspire faculty, collaborate across departments, and provide feedback and coaching to support the achievement of complex goals
  • A thoughtful and patient communicator who will strengthen Notre Dame’s efforts to establish shared norms, vocabulary, and practices around D&I
  • Ability to serve as an organizational spokesperson and inspire internal colleagues with diplomacy, passion, and gravitas
  • A highly skilled communicator, written and verbal — both individually and in large audiences or public communications

In addition, strong candidates will offer:

  • A deep understanding of and commitment to Catholic Social Teaching and the mission, vision, and institutional priorities of the University of Notre Dame
  • Strong record of advancing inclusivity, diversity, equity, and accessibility in their organization or institution
  • Ability to create strategic initiatives and then lead their day-to-day implementation and ongoing assessment
  • Experience building programs and workshops addressing issues of bias, microaggressions, or other topics related to diversity, equity, and inclusion
  • Ability to build relationships of trust and shared purpose with a wide range of stakeholders
  • Strong emotional intelligence, and diplomacy
  • Well-developed conflict resolution skills and ability to respond to highly sensitive situations
  • Exceptionally strong communication skills
  • Innovative, solutions-oriented approaches to change management

Koya Partners, the executive search firm that specializes in mission-driven search, has been exclusively retained for this engagement. Beth Schaefer and Charlotte Harris of Koya Partners have been exclusively retained for this search. To express interest in this role please submit your materials here. All inquiries and discussions will be considered strictly confidential.


The University of Notre Dame seeks to attract, develop, and retain the highest quality faculty, staff and administration. The University is an Equal Opportunity Employer, and is committed to building a culturally diverse workplace. We strongly encourage applications from female and minority candidates and those candidates attracted to a university with a Catholic identity. Moreover, Notre Dame prohibits discrimination against veterans or disabled qualified individuals, and requires affirmative action by covered contractors to employ and advance veterans and qualified individuals with disabilities in compliance with 41 CFR 60-741.5(a) and 41 CFR 60-300.5(a).

About Koya Partners

Koya Partners, a part of Diversified Search Group, is a leading executive search and strategic advising firm dedicated to connecting exceptionally talented people with mission-driven clients. Our founding philosophy—The Right Person in the Right Place Can Change the World—guides our work as we partner with nonprofits & NGOs, institutions of higher education, responsible businesses, and social enterprises in local communities and around the world.

For more information about Koya Partners, visit

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