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Utah State University
Website URL:
Posted: 11/24/2021
Vice President for Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion

Vice President for Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion

Requisition ID: 2021-4386

# of Openings:

Location: US-UT-Logan


Position Type:
Benefited Full-Time

Job Classification:



Advertised Salary:
Competitive compensation based on experience, plus excellent benefits


Utah State University (USU) invites inquiries, nominations, and applications for the inaugural position of Vice President of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (VPDEI). This position will serve as the university's executive-level strategist responsible for guiding practices and creating opportunities to define, assess, and promote inclusive excellence, access, and cultural proficiency for students, faculty, and staff.

The VPDEI is responsible for leading the development and implementation of a diversity and inclusion strategic plan in consultation with students, faculty, staff, and administration of the statewide university system. The diversity and inclusion strategic plan will align and integrate inclusion and equity initiatives to advance USU's mission, strategic plan, and core values. The VPDEI will have a lead role in the recruitment and retention of diverse students and will contribute to the recruitment and retention of diverse faculty and staff across the university. The VPDEI will also engage community constituents through thoughtful outreach efforts that will engender a strong sense of trust and understanding of the university's commitment to inclusion and equity. The individual will serve as a central source and point of coordination and communication for diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives and programs across the USU statewide system.

The VPDEI must have a firm, evidence-based understanding of the effectiveness and appropriateness of differing approaches to diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts in the context of higher education systems. The successful candidate will work to understand academic and departmental diversity initiatives already in place in each college/work unit and on each campus and offer advice, support, and guidance to strengthen them, and promote their continual development.

The position is an administrative position reporting directly to USU President Noelle Cockett and is a member of the President's Executive Committee and Vice President's Council. For more information about the position, please visit:


Reporting directly to President Noelle Cockett, the VPDEI will oversee the Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. As a core member of the President’s Executive Committee and Vice Presidents Council, the VPDEI will regularly engage with university leadership on a wide range of issues. In addition, the VPDEI will serve in several other highly visible, critical leadership roles across campus. The VPDEI 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 VPDEI 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 VPDEI will work closely with other university leaders to evaluate and advance diverse and inclusive hiring and retention practices institution-wide, as well as our undergraduate and graduate student recruitment. In addition, the VPDEI serves as the university’s chief spokesperson for diversity, equity, and inclusion issues, in collaboration with the university’s communications team.

In all of the above contexts, the VPDEI 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 VPDEI 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.


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. The successful candidate will bring many of the following complementary skills and experiences to their work:

• A demonstrated commitment to and sophisticated understanding of the national conversation around diversity, equity, and inclusion in higher education and a keen sense of best practices and emerging issues;
• Experience in collaboratively developing and implementing a shared strategic vision across a complex institution specifically focusing on DEI;
• A track record of creativity and innovation in approaching complex and/or difficult conversations;
• Demonstrated knowledge, and/or experience with the process of the recruitment, hiring, tenure/promotion, and retention of historically underrepresented faculty and staff;
• Demonstrated knowledge, and/or experience with the process of the recruitment and retention of historically underrepresented students;
• Experience setting and achieving long-term goals and objectives to respond effectively to pressing issues as they arise;
• 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;
• Strong communications skills, including the ability to credibly present data both orally and in writing to a wide range of audiences, including administration, faculty, students, community, and media;

Required Documents

Along with the online application, please attach:

• CV / Resume to be uploaded at the beginning of your application in the Candidate Profile under “Resume/CV”
• Cover Letter to be uploaded at the beginning of your application in the Candidate Profile under “Documents 1-5”
• Please write a brief statement about how you would contribute toward our mission of creating an inclusive culture in the role for which you are applying to be uploaded at the beginning of your application in the Candidate Profile under “Documents 1-5”
• Contact information for three professional refererencs 
**Document size may not exceed 10 MB.**

Advertised Salary

Competitive compensation based on experience, plus excellent benefits


Employees work indoors and are protected from weather and/or contaminants, but not, necessarily, occasional temperature changes. The employee is regularly required to sit and often uses repetitive hand motions.

University Highlights

Utah State University (USU) was founded in 1888 and is honored to be Utah’s land-grant and space-grant university. USU is a Carnegie RU/H (Research University/High Research Activity) institution with approximately 27,700 students (24,660 undergraduates and 3,040 graduate students) on the Logan main campus. Utah State’s statewide system features eight campuses and 23 education centers and serves all counties in the state with Extension programs. USU offers 114 undergraduate majors, 132 graduate programs, and a variety of innovative stackable associate and certificate credentials. in 2019 and the in 2018. As one of the two premier research institutions in Utah, USU is proud to provide a high-quality education at an affordable price. Additional information about Utah State University can be found

A core characteristic of USU is engagement with communities and people in economic development, improvements to quality of life, and human capital. Through the practical application of knowledge, the University and its faculty engage and share expertise with the state, nation, and world, preserving the historical land-grant tradition of partnering with communities to address critical societal issues in the interest of the public good.

The USU main campus is located in beautiful; a city of about 50,000 situated in a picturesque mountain valley about 80 miles north of Salt Lake City. Outstanding recreational opportunities abound in the nearby mountains and proximate region.

Notice of Non-discrimination

In its programs and activities, including in admissions and employment, Utah State University does not discriminate or tolerate discrimination, including harassment, based on race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, genetic information, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, disability, status as a protected veteran, or any other status protected by University policy, Title IX, or any other federal, state, or local law.

The following individuals have been designated to handle inquiries regarding the application of Title IX and its implementing regulations and/or USU’s non-discrimination policies:

Executive Director of the Office of Equity, Old Main Rm. 161, 435-797-1266

Title IX Coordinator Hilary Renshaw,, Old Main Rm. 161, 435-797-1266.

For further information regarding non-discrimination, please visit, or contact:

U.S. Department of Education, Office of Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights, 800-421-3481,

U.S. Department of Education, Denver Regional Office, 303-844-5695,

USU is sensitive to the needs of dual career couples and provides a to support careers for partners who are also seeking employment.

To apply, visit