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Mitigating Bias and the virtual hiring process

November 4, 2020 @ 1:00 pm

At a time when organizations, including colleges and universities, are making concerted efforts to create more diverse and inclusive teams and environments, search committees, as a significant part of the hiring process, must be armed with knowledge of implicit bias and how it can impede the advancement of equal opportunity and access goals.

Designed for commissioners, athletics directors, coaches and human resource personnel, this session will highlight common biases in the search process and discuss strategies for alleviating their impact.

Participants will:

  1. articulate the importance and value of diversity, equity and inclusion within organizations;
  2. identify common biases present in the hiring process; and
  3. develop concrete strategies to mitigate bias in future search processes.

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Hosted by:

Michel Frendian


linkedin  Contact Michel

Michel Frendian is a consultant with Spelman Johnson, an executive search firm recognized for its work in identifying and recruiting outstanding leaders in education, advocacy associations, and social impact organizations. Based in Chicago, Michel leads searches across a range of institutional types and administrative functions, with particular depth of practice in student affairs, enrollment management, graduate and professional education, and public safety.

Michel joined Spelman Johnson after 30 years in higher education. He most recently served as dean of enrollment management at Erikson Institute in Chicago. Previously, he served as vice president for enrollment management and student affairs at San Francisco Art Institute, as director of international affairs at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and in residential life positions at DePaul University, Elmhurst College, and Occidental College.

Motivated by a deep belief that education and social impact organizations serve the greater public good, Michel is passionate about helping them recruit exceptional leaders. He develops close and effective working relationships with his clients to ensure that he thoroughly understands their mission, strategy, and culture. He is creative and meticulous in crafting searches, building deep candidate pools, and recruiting best-in-class leaders who add great value to their organizations. Clients appreciate his integrity, thoughtful counsel, and attentiveness throughout the search process.

Michel’s most recent board service includes two years with the National Deans and Directors of Social Work Admissions and six years, including a two-year term as board chair, with Positive Parenting DuPage, a regional collaboration that addresses the needs of young children and their families. He was president and annual conference co-chair of the Great Lakes Association of College and University Housing Officers (GLACUHO) and vice president of the Western Association of College and University Housing Officers (WACUHO). He held committee leadership roles with the American College Personnel Association (ACPA); NASPA—Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education, Region IV; and the Association of College and University Housing Officers–International (ACUHO-I). Michel was an active member and presenter for the National Association of Graduate Admission Professionals (NAGAP) and served as a mentor in NAGAP’s Mentoring Program. He received his BS in experimental psychology from the University of South Carolina and his EdM in college student services administration from Oregon State University.

Dell Robinson

Athletics Practice Leader and Senior Consultant

linkedin  Contact Dell

Dell RobinsonDell Robinson is a practice leader and senior consultant with Spelman Johnson and leads the firm’s athletics practice. He partners with organizations of all types to recruit athletic directors, commissioners, coaches, and other leaders across all athletic associations, divisions, and conferences.

A former NCAA Division I athlete with over 25 years of experience in athletic leadership, Dell understands the complexities involved in managing college sports, including the particular challenges and opportunities facing programs in each of the NCAA’s three divisions. He draws on his deep experience in sports and athletic administration and leverages his extensive professional network to deliver outstanding results for his clients. With a winsome personality, a passion for serving others, and a proven ability to identify and recruit the best talent for diverse roles in athletics, Dell is regarded as one of the top executive search consultants in intercollegiate athletics. Clients and candidates value his knowledge, expertise, integrity, personal attention, and commitment to expanding opportunities for women and professionals of color.

Prior to joining Spelman Johnson Dell served as commissioner of the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC). When he assumed the role of GLIAC’s commissioner in July 2009, he became the first person of color to serve as an NCAA Division II commissioner of a non-historically Black college or university conference. His previous roles have included associate commissioner of legislation and governance at the Mid-American Conference, assistant commissioner for compliance at the Western Athletic Conference, and director of compliance and enforcement at the Southwestern Athletic Conference. He served as vice chair of the NCAA Division II Collegiate Commissioner Association and as chair of the NCAA Division II Football Committee.

Dell holds a BS in physical education from Ohio University and an MS in sports administration from Iowa State University. He serves on the board of the John McLendon Minority Scholarship Foundation and is a presenter for the NCAA Pathway Program. His service to Ohio University includes membership on the College of Business Executive Advisory Board, two years as a trustee appointed to the Board of Trustees by former Governor John Kasich, and two terms as chair of the National Alumni Association. He is the recipient of the Ohio University Distinguished Service Award.


November 4, 2020
1:00 pm
Event Category:


Michael Frendian
Dell Robinson