Position Description

As a critical senior institutional leader and part of the global diversity and inclusion division, the assistant vice president of equity and compliance (AVP) supports Portland State University’s (PSU) commitment to being a just and equitable institution and having an inclusive and empowering culture. Reporting to the vice president for global diversity and inclusion and serving as an essential part of the University’s equity infrastructure, the AVP serves as the Title IX and ADA/504 coordinator and directs the civil rights complaint resolution process including managing the investigations of alleged prohibited discrimination, discriminatory harassment, sexual harassment, failure to accommodate disabilities, and violation of consensual relations policy brought against employees. The AVP supervises internal and external complaint investigators, and, when necessary, conducts intake, referrals, and informal resolutions. The AVP monitors and/or revises complaint procedures to ensure timely and equitable processing, review, and resolution of complaints. The AVP also frequently collaborates with the office of general counsel, office of academic affairs, student affairs, human resources, and supervisors of respondents. The AVP supervises the director of affirmative action and the equity and compliance consultant. In addition, the AVP aligns the office of equity and compliance’s work with institutional and global diversity and inclusion priorities and strategies, while ensuring that their duty to conduct neutral investigations and follow laws and mandates remain uncompromised. The AVP takes a proactive approach to justice and equity, consulting, and partnering to educate and support systemic and cultural changes that enable the thriving of minoritized individuals and communities at PSU.

The Position

Additional duties and responsibilities of the assistant vice president of equity and compliance as enumerated in the institutional job description include the following:

Title IX coordinator

  • Ensure University policies, procedures, and practices are in compliance with Title IX and other federal and state laws, regulations, and guidance pertaining to sex, gender, gender expression, gender identity, sexual orientation, pregnancy, and sexual misconduct.
  • Coordinate effective and best practices for campus wide prevention and response to sex/gender discrimination, sexual misconduct, and Title IX response and prevention with the deputy Title IX coordinators, office of the dean of student life, the confidential advocates in the women’s resource center, the sexual/relationship violence prevention coordinator in student health and counseling, the director of services for students with children, the director of the queer resource center, the senior women’s advisor for intercollegiate sports, campus public safety office (including the Clery & records coordinator), human resources, office of academic affairs, and the office of general counsel.
  • Direct Title IX complaint procedures, ensure trauma-informed and culturally aware manner processes, and coordinate provision of resources and support for individuals who experience sexual harassment, sexual assault, relationship violence, and sex discrimination, as well as support measures for Respondents of Title IX Complaints.
  • Oversee and ensure effective institutional support services for survivors of sexual harassment, sexual assault, or other forms of sexual misconduct by coordinating with women’s resource center confidential advocates, registrar’s office, university housing and residence life, parking and transportation, and other support services. Provide supportive measures when necessary.
  • Develop and implement Title IX training for faculty/staff, athletics department, and students in coordination with other university departments by providing trainings to address sex/gender-based discrimination, sexual harassment, and reporting obligations.
  • Oversee compliance with the office of civil rights’ Title IX requirements of gender equity in athletics with the collaboration of the deputy Title IX coordinator/senior women’s administrator and other university officials. Chair the gender equity in athletics committee
  • Provide guidance to the director of services for students with children for compliance with PSU’s student pregnancy and postpartum policy.
  • Oversee the implementation of a campus climate survey and utilization of data for educational outreach and policy review.
  • Implement the student understanding sexual misconduct and resources module and work across campus to obtain a high passing rate.
  • Convene key stakeholders to inform them of Title IX and other sexual misconduct legislative and institutional updates, to collaborate in developing campaign materials designed to inform the University of resources, and to identify and implement Title IX best practices in preventive education and sexual and relationship misconduct response.


ADA/504 coordinator

  • Coordinate and oversee University’s efforts to comply with Section 504 and the Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act (ADAAA) compliance by monitoring, overseeing, and coordinating efforts to ensure that all the university’s programs, services, and activities are accessible to persons with disabilities, including ensuring that the university’s built and virtual environments are accessible. Work with departments to advocate for appropriate funding of institutional access and ADAAA accommodations.
  • Lead the work of deputy ADAAA coordinators as needed.
  • Provide guidance to and meet regularly with the director of the disability resource center, human resource accessibility and leaves administrator, office of information technology (OIT) accessibility and content lead, and administrative services manager for planning, construction & real estate (PCRE) on best practices for accessibility.
  • Provide accessibility guidance for the university’s major capital construction and compliance with facility accessibility standards.
  • Co-chair the accessibility committee.
  • Review and revise university policies pertaining to ADAAA/504 compliance with the assistance of representatives from human resources, the disability resource center, university housing and residence life, OIT accessibility and content lead, and other university officials.
  • May provide guidance to environmental assessments of ADAAA/504 compliance and implement best practices, including leading the University in developing universal access/design, with the assistance of other university officials.

History of the Position

In 2014, Julie Caron, JD, served as the Title IX and ADA coordinator at Portland State University. She was promoted to the role of AVP in November 2015 and has effectively served the institution, while providing strategic vision and leadership to the equity and compliance unit. Ms. Caron is scheduled to retire in spring 2022 and will assist in providing training and onboarding for the new assistant vice president, should the incumbent meet the anticipated January 2022 start date.

Likely Opportunities, Priorities, and Challenges of the Position

In transitioning to Portland State University, the assistant vice president may encounter the opportunities and challenges listed below, as shared by key stakeholders.

  • University stakeholders repeatedly noted that the campus has an institutional culture that emphasizes a strong sense of team and inclusion, mutual support, accessibility, approachability, and a highly collaborative approach to work; there is a strong work ethic and positive energy.
  • The assistant vice president will find a peer group and colleagues that are welcoming, promote open communication, emphasize an orientation toward service, and share a desire for a progressive and forward-thinking professional.
  • The assistant vice president must be respectful of the accomplishments of their predecessor while simultaneously moving forward to implement innovative and strategic initiatives for the division and campus community. These efforts will be both challenging and rewarding.
  • There is genuine excitement that, with a new assistant vice president coming on-board, there will be opportunities for deeper facilitation of a culture of creativity, innovation, and progressive thinking.
  • The assistant vice president must be able to successfully balance the administrative demands of a leadership position within a culture that also expects that the position will be a highly visible and accessible advocate for campus stakeholders.
  • The assistant vice president will be expected to work collaboratively with divisional leadership to analyze, contribute to, and define plans that are best practices for the division of global diversity and inclusion and the campus moving forward.
  • The work of the assistant vice president will be accomplished through influence and the strength of relationships, as well as the formal authorities of the role. To succeed in this environment, the assistant vice president must be a relationship-builder who generates support for the work of the office by developing strong partnerships across the college with students, faculty, staff, and administrators.
  • The successful candidate will be expected to “hit the ground running” and contribute to the university’s strategic discussions. The individual will advise the vice president on strategic and institutional decisions, particularly as they relate to the ideals of equity and compliance. The assistant vice president will be expected to pose challenging questions and suggest insightful solutions on difficult topics in order to stimulate the very best thinking among PSU’s leadership.
  • The successful candidate will undertake a holistic review of current practices and policies related to equity and compliance, assess current programs and initiatives in collaboration with campus partners, and locate opportunities for improvement.

In addition to the aforementioned opportunities and challenges, campus stakeholders articulated the following priorities. The assistant vice president will:

  • analyze, contribute to, and define plans that are best practices for the division of global diversity and inclusion and the campus moving forward;
  • build strong relationships across the institution on trust and open communication with students, colleagues, staff, faculty, and senior administrators;
  • assess the skills and knowledge of the staff, develop a strong sense of teamwork, and build working relationships that emphasize an engaging and collaborative work environment;
  • maintain a proactive, highly visible, well-respected, and established leadership presence on and off campus that is credible, collegial, and highly effective;
  • ensure the reporting units to the assistant vice president will be defined as a strong, highly functioning, well-regarded, and resilient team that works with synergy and shared purpose, readily collaborating across division and institution.


The ideal candidate will have a deep knowledge of anti-discrimination law (e.g., Title IX, ADA, Title VI, etc.), as well as higher education policies and practices and experience in promoting principles and practices of diversity, equity, and inclusion; strong writing, analytical, and editing skills; and knowledge of and experience with effective assessment methodologies and institutional efforts to prevent recurrence of harassment and discrimination and influencing a culture of inclusion and respect in the workplace and learning environments. The ideal candidate will be able to present, train, and facilitate conversations, with the ability to engage students, faculty, staff, and administrators with varying degrees of experience in examining and addressing issues of civil rights, equity, and justice. Requirements include a minimum of a master’s degree and five years of relevant experience; a terminal degree, including a juris doctorate, is preferred.

In addition to the qualifications stated above, various campus stakeholders identified the following characteristics, skills, actions, and/or abilities as important attributes of the assistant vice president:

  • exhibit qualities of emotional maturity, genuineness, self-confidence, common sense, judgment, fairness, creativity, discretion, decisiveness, political savvy, tact, resiliency, adaptability, courage of convictions, and tolerance for ambiguity;
  • a leader with an even temperament who is person-centered, mission-driven, and brings passion, high energy, and enthusiasm for moving equity and compliance and the institution forward;
  • a sense of patience and diplomacy with a broad array of constituents who have varying perspectives and the ability to be both firm and flexible;
  • an advocate for positive, progressive change and the skill to manage change through collaborative partnerships;
  • exceptional listening, interpersonal, and communication skills to clearly articulate vision, direction, purpose, and earn the respect and confidence of the faculty, staff, and students;
  • excellent negotiation skills, courageous, self-confidence, and a persuasive speaking style;
  • the ability to disagree without being confrontational;
  • the ability and demeanor to manage stressful or difficult situations calmly and with tact;
  • demonstrate superior interpersonal and diplomatic skills;
  • maturity, presence, and gravitas to engage effectively with all constituencies, work across boundaries, cultivate and sustain collegial relationships, and build unity around difficult issues;
  • a culturally competent leader;
  • drive and intellectual curiosity, a willingness to work hard, a quick learner in a fast-paced environment;
  • ability to communicate effectively and build trust with staff and faculty to engage them meaningfully in the educational process and goals of the University and to listen to and respond appropriately to their needs and concerns with the ability to suspend bias;
  • strong mediation and demonstrated conflict-management and resolution skills, particularly resolving concerns of equity and compliance;
  • ability to engage in discussions regarding equity and compliance in a way that is empathetic and expansive;
  • ability to maintain the highest standards of ethics and integrity;
  • a professional demeanor, good sense of humor, highly organized and disciplined, and able to relate easily to a wide range of groups;
  • a deep understanding of issues of equity and compliance and how these impact an entire campus community;
  • a demonstrated commitment to a strong collaborative style and the capacity to build bridges to other departments, faculty, students, and the community;
  • the ability to anticipate and address challenges proactively, with systems-level thinking and working toward institutional change, rather than simply reacting to them or focusing on individual remedies to issues as they present themselves.

Institution & Location

Divisional Leadership

Ame Lambert, Vice President for Global Diversity and Inclusion

Vice President Ame Lambert joined Portland State in the summer of 2020. She is a critical organization developer and change leader with almost two decades of experience in justice and equity work. A passionate advocate for the thriving of minoritized students and employees and an interdisciplinary educator on issues related to justice and equity, Dr. Lambert has a track record of successfully advancing systems, cultural, and programmatic change that have resulted in measurable impact of diversity, retention, and climate.

Divisional Initiatives

Since her arrival, Dr. Lambert has been working to identify critical priorities for Portland State University and serve as a partner to the president and executive leadership of the University. Dr. Lambert led stakeholders from across campus in the planning of the Time to Act summit on October 30, 2020. The day-long summit attracted more than 500 participants. Five task forces organized according to the Inclusive Excellence framework and Daryl Smith’s framework for fostering diversity and inclusion. These frameworks serve as the brain trust of the summit, grounding in prior diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives at Portland State. The task forces are each charged with advancing three recommendations that will have the greatest impact over the next three years, using seed funding from the three-year, $1.5 million racial justice fund established by President Percy in June 2020. These recommendations were presented to the campus community in February 2021.

Recognizing the unparalleled opportunity, the division of global diversity and Inclusion has to lean into intersectional racial justice work, supporting the success of minoritized students and employees and embedding equity into campus operations, Dr. Lambert has started the process of creating a common identity for the Division. The assistant vice president will have the opportunity to deepen and further this work.

Institutional Background

Over the last 75 years, Portland State has developed from a temporary extension center to its position today as a nationally recognized urban research university, the largest and most diverse in Oregon. The institution was first established as the Vanport Extension Center in June 1946 to satisfy the demand for higher education in Portland for returning World War II veterans. Following the Vanport Flood of 1948, the College became known as “the college that wouldn’t die” for refusing to close after the flood. In 1952, the School moved to downtown Portland and occupied the vacated building of Lincoln High School on SW Broadway Street. In 1955, the School changed its name to Portland State College to mark its maturation into a four-year degree-granting institution, continuing to grow with graduate programs added in 1961 and doctoral programs added in 1968. The institution was granted university status by the Oregon Legislature in 1969, becoming Portland State University.


In recent years, PSU programs have attracted national attention. When PSU replaced its traditional undergraduate general education distribution system and adopted a new interdisciplinary program, University Studies, in 1994, it received national press, and institutions all over the country visited the PSU campus. For the ninth consecutive year, U.S. News & World Report has recognized University Studies and on multiple occasions has listed it as a “Program to Look For.” PSU programs continue to garner national recognition and rankings. The University has been named one of the top ten most innovative universities in the country (U.S. News and World Report 2017-2018) and as a Community Engaged Institution by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. In 2019, Portland State was named as one of the top ten colleges that leads to student success. To see an up-to-date list of the outstanding PSU rankings and references by Princeton Review and other nationally respected organizations, please visit the following link: https://www.pdx.edu/portland-state-university-rankings.


PSU Today

Portland State University enrolls approximately 24,000 students—roughly 19,000 undergraduates and 5,000 graduate students. About 63 percent of students are full time and approximately 79 percent are residents of Oregon. The University employs approximately 5,513 employees, including 1,694 research and instructional faculty, 749 academic professionals and managers, 96 administrators, 597 staff, and 2,377 graduate assistants, student employees, and miscellaneous employees. The faculty and most of the staff including graduate assistants, are represented by various collective bargaining units. Collective bargaining plays a strong role in the university’s governance.

PSU employs adjunct faculty and researchers throughout its academic units who bring diversity and broad experience to their work at PSU. Adjuncts at PSU often teach the same courses as full-time faculty and teach a large share of the total credit hours.

PSU offers over 200 degree programs: 111 bachelor’s, 76 master’s, and 24 doctoral programs. Over the past 20 years, PSU has added doctoral programs and grown into the comprehensive urban research university operating today. Doctoral programs include community health, health systems policy, mathematics, biology, chemistry, computer science, applied psychology, engineering and technology management, mechanical engineering, and sociology.

PSU’s research funding has grown steadily from about $5M in 1990 to more than $55.2 million in 2020-2021. In addition, PSU’s Business Accelerator has fostered the growth of 38 businesses, 35 percent of which work directly with PSU’s faculty experts. Research synergies in areas such as medical devices and instrumentation, computer science, urban design and transportation, automation and artificial intelligence, and sustainability support private-sector innovation and improve the quality of life of all Oregonians while helping attract members of the “creative class” to Portland. Social work research and evaluation have led to significant changes in national and state policy relative to child welfare, disability services, and youth service integration.

PSU drives its academic agenda in accordance with the following mission statement:

  • We serve and sustain a vibrant urban region through our creativity, collective knowledge, and expertise.
  • We are dedicated to collaborative learning, innovative research, sustainability, and community engagement.
  • We educate a diverse community of lifelong learners.
  • Our research and teaching have global impact.

Entering its 28th year, the University Studies (UNST) general education program is a nationally recognized four-year program designed to provide students a well-balanced educational foundation, which helps them become successful, thoughtful, analytical thinkers. The program provides learning environments and opportunities known to enhance learning, satisfaction, and retention for all students. PSU’s four-year general education program is required of all students, with the exception of those enrolled in Liberal Studies or the Honors Program. University Studies begins with Freshman Inquiry, a year-long course introducing students to different modes of inquiry and providing them with the tools to succeed in advanced studies and their majors. At the sophomore level, students choose three different Sophomore Inquiry courses, each of which leads into a thematically linked, interdisciplinary cluster of courses at the upper-division level. Finally, all students are required to complete a capstone course which consists of teams of students from different majors working together to complete a project addressing a real problem in the Portland metropolitan community.

Institutional Leadership

Stephen Percy, President

Now in his fourth decade as an educator and leader, PSU President Stephen Percy has dedicated his career to fostering vibrant connections between universities and the communities they serve.

An expert in public policy, administrative ethics, and urban politics, Dr. Percy is known for his ability to advance civic engagement and create innovative solutions by linking the skills and capacity of universities to the knowledge and energy of communities.  He believes in using collaborative, interdisciplinary applied research to facilitate university-community partnerships that solve problems and improve the quality of life.

Passionate about promoting educational access for all students, President Percy has worked extensively with diverse, urban-serving universities, including the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and the University of Baltimore, where he was founding dean of the College of Public Affairs. He joined PSU to lead the College of Urban & Public Affairs in 2014, was appointed PSU’s interim president in 2019 and named president in 2020.

President Percy has authored two books about disability rights and civil rights and co-authored four books and the textbook “American Government: The Political Game.” At PSU, Percy led several campus-wide initiatives, including the planning process that resulted in priorities and goals for PSU from 2016-2020.

As PSU gets ready to celebrate its 75th anniversary, Percy and his leadership team are taking a close look at how the University can expand and deliver upon its access mission by building anti-racist practices and policies.



Benefits Overview

Benefits Overview

The following benefits are available to Portland State University employees.

  • Health Insurance
  • Dental Insurance
  • Vision Insurance
  • Retirement Plans
  • Supplemental Retirement Options
  • Flexible Spending Accounts
  • Leave Options
  • Tuition Benefits
  • Discounts

For more information: https://www.pdx.edu/human-resources/benefits-overview


Application & Nomination

Application and Nomination

Review of applications will begin immediately and continue until the position is filled. To apply for this position please click on the Apply button, complete the brief application process, and upload your resume and position-specific cover letter. Nominations for this position may be emailed to Quincy Martin III at qm3@spelmanjohnson.com. Applicants needing reasonable accommodation to participate in the application process should contact Spelman Johnson at 413-529-2895.

Visit the Portland State University website at http://www.pdx.edu.

Portland State University supports equal opportunity in admissions, education, employment, housing, and use of facilities by prohibiting discrimination in those areas based on age, color, disability, marital status, national origin, race, religion or creed, sex or gender, gender identity or gender expression, sexual orientation, veteran status, or any other basis in law. This policy implements state and federal laws.