The Opportunity

The Alamo Colleges District is seeking an experienced and compelling leader to serve as the inaugural chief diversity, equity and inclusion officer. This individual will have an exceptional opportunity to build a collaborative integrated diversity, equity and inclusion model across a large and complex district comprised of five colleges. Enrolling more than 90,000 students annually, the Alamo Colleges District serves an eight county region in beautiful central and south Texas. The five independently accredited community colleges – St. Philip’s (established in 1898), San Antonio (established in 1925), Palo Alto (established in 1985), Northwest Vista (established in 1995), and Northeast Lakeview (established in 2007) – offer outstanding, award winning academic and leadership programs that are increasing student achievement in creative and exciting ways. The five colleges offer a vast array of programs and two-year degrees, empowering its diverse communities for success. A recent $450 million capital improvement project has allowed the Alamo Colleges District to create some of the preeminent facilities for teaching and learning in the country. Three of the Alamo Colleges have been named as 2021 Most Promising Places to Work in Community Colleges in the nation by Diverse: Issues in Higher Education magazine. The Aspen Institute’s College Excellence Program recently announced that Alamo Colleges – San Antonio College is the winner of the 2021 Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence, the nation’s signature recognition of high achievement and performance among America’s community colleges.

 

 

The Position

Role of the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Officer for Alamo Colleges District

Reporting to the chancellor of Alamo Colleges District, this inaugural chief diversity, equity, and inclusion officer (CDEIO) leads the development and implementation of proactive diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) initiatives, in alignment with the strategic plan, to achieve equity and inclusion in student access and outcomes. The CDEIO will work across the college district to cultivate a climate that is welcoming, inclusive, and respectful; empowering the district’s diverse communities for success and collaborating with campus partners to ensure a working and learning environment that is free from discrimination, intolerance, and harassment.

The CDEIO will develop and lead the Alamo Colleges District Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, and oversee the development of a unifying strategic vision for DEI and the concrete steps, counsel, advocacy, points of connection, and communication needed to achieve that vision. The CDEIO will create an inventory of existing DEI resources and initiatives in an effort to identify strengths, gaps, and opportunities, and work to bring these initiatives together into a cogent, powerful whole. The person in this role will guide the implementation of an overarching DEI strategic plan, in collaboration with all internal partners including senior academic and administrative leadership, faculty, staff, and students, and a diverse array of external partners and communities; establish and maintain a culture of assessment and evaluation in relation to DEI; and, expand pathways for assessing, understanding, and improving the Alamo Colleges District climate.

The CDEIO will serve as an ambassador for the college district and demonstrate a commitment to DEI externally in the Alamo Colleges District service area and beyond and, work collaboratively to build a comprehensive effort that supports the work of the Alamo Colleges District DEI Council, College Councils, the Equity-Minded Faculty Task Force, and other DEI efforts and experts across the college district. The CDEIO will collaborate to provide training programs for faculty, staff, and students to enhance inclusivity and civility, in collaboration and alignment with college, student success, academic success, and human resources leadership; jointly develop strategies for addressing the recruitment and retention challenges impacting diversity; and, drive intersectional approaches to create holistic and inclusive DEI programs and policies.

Additional roles and responsibilities of the CDEIO will include the following:

  • convene the Alamo Colleges District DEI Council and work with College DEI Councils to facilitate alignment, share best practices, and support their planning and implementation efforts to include strategic actions that lead to an antiracist organization and promote equity and inclusion;
  • collaborate with senior academic and administrative leaders to establish key performance indicators (KPIs), create requisite tools to measure progress (i.e., data dashboard, logic model), and a system of shared accountability for achievement of Alamo College District DEI goals;
  • partner with the office of institutional research and analysis to collect, interpret, and disseminate all data related to the campus climate;
  • promote greater awareness of DEI resources and activities, working with the associate vice chancellor of communications and engagement, to develop Alamo College District’s brand for DEI efforts and assure regular communication throughout the college-district regarding DEI activity and resources;
  • collaborate with the Faculty Development Advisory Board, Faculty Development Fellows and departments for Faculty Development and Professional Development to catalyze efforts to diversify classroom content and incorporate inclusive classroom practices;
  • provide expertise to administrative and academic units regarding transparent and inclusive processes for recruiting and retaining a diverse student body, faculty, and staff and for selecting unit leaders, speakers, and award recipients;
  • ensure broad adoption of college policies and commitments to DEI goals, accountabilities, metrics, activities, and accomplishments through program implementation, personal influence and effective communication with all constituencies of the Alamo Colleges District community;
  • serve as a thought leader to shape public discussion on DEI locally, within Texas, and nationally;

Development of the CDEIO Role

On June 22, 2020, the Alamo Colleges District announced its statement on diversity, equity, and inclusion. The statement was supported by the Alamo Colleges District chairperson, chancellor, and each college president to “double-down” on its commitments and expedite its journey toward more diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) within the district and community to propel its most marginalized students to success. As a result of this effort, Alamo Colleges District seeks to establish an office of equity to act as a support for the work of the equity councils and task forces, to elevate equity in organizational partnerships, and to implement programming to create spaces to celebrate and create a more equitable and inclusive community. The office will be led by the inaugural chief, diversity, equity, and inclusion officer (CDEIO) with the goal of significantly expanding DEI efforts for the Alamo Colleges District.

Opportunities, Priorities and Measures of Success for the New CDEIO

Priorities, challenges, and opportunities for the chief diversity, equity, and inclusion officer to exercise leadership and impact positive change in the Alamo Colleges District community have been articulated by stakeholders as follows:

  • Institutional leadership is progressive and is committed to supporting diversity, inclusion, and the goals of the position. In this effort, the new CDEIO will need to be strategic in outlining early, mid-range, and long-term goals.
  • Alamo Colleges District is highly decentralized. The CDEIO will need to build collegial relationships and work collaboratively across campuses, diligently engaging institutional leaders and campus stakeholders in dialogue about how to better support underrepresented populations as they become active and engaged members of the Alamo Colleges District community.
  • While numerous departments and offices on campus are doing outstanding work and are highly committed to diversity efforts, these initiatives could be better coordinated and leveraged more effectively. It is hoped that the new CDEIO will help bring units together to discuss diversity efforts and, more importantly, share ideas and resources to develop a more comprehensive and collaborative approach to supporting diversity and inclusion at Alamo Colleges District.
  • The CDEIO will establish a “best practices” environment in which dialogue about diversity is normalized, and help create an atmosphere in which it is safe to explore concepts such as inclusion, privilege, bias, inequity, institutional and social racism, gender and gender identity, religious diversity and faith journeys, micro aggressions, personal stories, and other experiences with diversity.
  • The CDEIO will develop mechanisms to assess and evaluate programs and services. As part of this effort, the CDEIO will establish systems that survey and measure Alamo Colleges District’s diversity goals across all aspects of the district, and use that data to establish future goals, improvement opportunities, and strategic plans that will keep Alamo Colleges District moving toward its commitment to diversity and inclusion.
  • Alamo Colleges District recognizes that, as a new position, the work of the CDEIO is dynamic and will continue to evolve over the next few years. This process will require patience, forward-thinking action, creativity, and flexibility, as well as high emotional intelligence, as the CDEIO may need to challenge the Alamo Colleges District community and facilitate change. The CDEIO will be building an identity for the position and for the organization.
  • It will be important for the CDEIO to work collaboratively with academic and student success offices, diligently engaging institutional leaders and campus stakeholders in dialog about how to better support underrepresented students as they matriculate to the institution, as they become active and engaged members of the community, and as they persist to graduation.
  • The CDEIO will be expected to engage faculty in dialog about curriculum development and student learning styles as related to diversity, as well as how faculty can be stronger opinion leaders on campus in this arena. The CDEIO must also help faculty develop ways to actively engage underrepresented students in projects and creative learning opportunities as a way to help support retention efforts.
  • The CDEIO is joining a strong and collegial cabinet; all members are respected and experienced leaders in their own right. The chancellor and all cabinet colleagues seek a thought leader and partner to engage with them on moving Alamo Colleges District towards becoming an actively antiracist, equitable, and inclusive community.

At an appropriate interval after joining Alamo Colleges District, the items listed below will initially define success for the new CDEIO:

  • The CDEIO will maintain a proactive, highly visible, well-respected, and established leadership presence throughout the district that is credible, collegial, and highly effective. Further, institutional stakeholders will have responded favorably to the new CDEIO with a high level of satisfaction.
  • The CDEIO is regarded as a knowledgeable and resourceful leader who understands and values collaboration and operates with appropriate political acumen and dexterity.
  • The CDEIO has maintained an overall positive reputation for possessing a service mindset, is a quick problem solver, thought leader, and is viewed as a partner and team player by other key administrators and institutional stakeholders.
  • There is evidence of greater awareness and a broad, intersectional understanding of DEI throughout the entire Alamo Colleges District community.
  • The CDEIO has leveraged the existing expertise within the district community, has nurtured and helped the various units to fulfill their respective DEI plans and has drawn on the energy and momentum of those plans to elevate the work at the district level.
  • The CDEIO has initiated evidence-based efforts, and accompanying systems of assessment and accountability, which demonstrate that Alamo Colleges District is investing its human, intellectual, and fiscal resources in a manner that advances the district’s articulated goals for diversity, representation, equity, inclusion and sense of belonging.

Qualifications and Characteristics of the New CDEIO

Candidates must possess a master’s degree with a minimum of seven years of progressively responsible experience related to the collaborative development and implementation of diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives and strategies designed to achieve equity and inclusion in student access and outcomes. Qualified candidates possessing a doctoral degree, terminal degree, or a strong combination of advanced education and relevant experience in higher education are strongly encouraged to apply. Candidates must demonstrate a proven record of successful leadership in planning, developing, and implementing the evaluation and alignment of diversity strategies designed to strengthen and improve an equitable and inclusive learning environment. Specific experience with data analytics and measurement is required. Specific experience in a minority-serving institution/organization/community is desired. The successful candidate must demonstrate skills facilitating dialogue with, and among, students, faculty, and staff to nurture an environment of inclusiveness, collegiality, shared inquiry, shared responsibility, and collective accomplishment. Desired qualities also include experience collaboratively developing and implementing a shared strategic vision across a complex and decentralized institution to drive organizational change; strong interpersonal skills; excellent verbal and written communication skills; and, knowledge of national and regional trends in higher education around diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Alamo Colleges District stakeholders also indicated that the following experience, skills, and attributes would be attractive in a successful candidate:

  • demonstrated deep passion for the work of DEI, and also able to serve as a change agent who can capture the hearts and minds of the campus community and get them excited about the possibilities of this moment;
  • accomplished strategist, administrator, convener, and community builder who has significant experience and a track record of successfully advancing DEI in higher education or mission-driven organizations;
  • comfortable with the many dimensions of identity and will be adept at fostering dialogue with multiple constituencies, building coalitions, and achieving results through influence and collaboration;
  • a strong record for partnering well in complex environments with a demonstrated ability to utilize data and analytics as important tools in measuring success;
  • able to approach challenges with systems-level thinking to work toward institutional change rather than individual remedies;
  • able to mobilize a network of enlivened stakeholders across the college district to support and claim shared ownership in this effort, and not take on the mantle of driving change alone;
  • a keen understanding of the emerging and historical issues around diversity, equity, and inclusion in higher education and an ability to help others understand these perspectives;
  • a deep and intersectional understanding of the dynamics of difference, privilege, and power;
  • the ability to inspire others and build strong relationships of trust and shared purpose with faculty, students, staff, and leadership on campus as well as with alumni and regional community members;
  • in-depth knowledge of theory and practice with regard to diversity, equity, and inclusion, and an understanding of the large and small inequities and systemic practices that have inhibited progress;
  • adept at collaborating with others who have varying perceptions of diversity, equity, and inclusion with sensitivity to multicultural variances;
  • evidence of intentional and strategic relationship oriented consensus building skills to work within and across institutional boundaries to achieve DEI goals;
  • demonstrated ability to communicate with empathy, directness, flexibility, and responsiveness and work effectively with people whose personal experiences, values and worldviews arise from differences of culture and circumstances;
  • evidence of in-depth understanding of the nature of organizational behavior and change that is both transformative and tactical;
  • the ability to work in an environment of shifting priorities and tight timelines.

Institution & Location

Overview of the Alamo Colleges District

As its namesake, Alamo Colleges District has their own inspirational impact on society. From an origin as a community college district in 1945 through decades of change and expansion, the district has fought to make higher education accessible and affordable for all. Today, five colleges fulfill this promise with a vast array of courses and two-year degrees. The recent $450 million capital improvement project has allowed the district to create some of the best facilities for teaching and learning in the country. The district colleges’ credits transfer to four-year universities for those pursuing advanced degrees and workforce development programs help individuals build new careers and meet the needs of businesses. The Alamo Colleges District students are 62 percent Hispanic, 57 percent are women, 53 percent of economically disadvantaged, 70 percent receive financial aid, and 81 percent attend part-time.

Alamo Colleges Vision

The Alamo Colleges will be the best in the nation in Student Success and Performance Excellence.

Alamo Colleges Mission

Empowering our diverse communities for success.

Values

The members of Alamo Colleges are committed to building individual and collective character through the following set of shared values in order to fulfill our mission and vision.

  • Students First
  • Respect for All
  • Community-Engaged
  • Collaboration
  • Can-Do Spirit
  • Data-Informed

Strategic Plan

The Alamo Colleges District Strategic Plan: Our Voices, Our Vision, Our Plan is a result of facilitated conversations and workshops that brought together 1,300 employees, students, and community members to dream big and shape the future of the Alamo Colleges District.

That work, in addition to a number of work sessions that allowed for shared voices at the table, led to the co-development of the plan and nine Big Ideas for Breakthrough Innovations:

Student Success

  • One-Day Enrollment
  • Free College Plus
  • Free Instructional Materials

Principle-centered Leadership

  • Creating Higher Education Leaders
  • Leadership Development Innovation
  • Program-Based Learning

Performance Excellence

  • Merit Pay, Recognition and Employee Appreciation – establishing equity across all employee classifications
  • Robust Path to Career: credential to career
  • Alamo Anytime (A different kind of AA: A degree in 12 steps or less)

The Alamo Colleges District Leadership

Mike Flores, Chancellor

Dr. Mike Flores assumed the role of chancellor of the Alamo Colleges District in 2018, after unanimous vote by the Alamo Colleges District Board of Trustees. With more than 20 years of service to the Alamo Colleges District, Dr. Flores possesses the distinction of being the first Hispanic chancellor in the district’s history.

During his first year as chancellor, Dr. Flores led the Alamo Colleges District and its five colleges in celebrating the recognition as the only community college system in the nation to be awarded the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award, the nation’s highest presidential honor for performance excellence through innovation, improvement and visionary leadership.

With this evident commitment to performance excellence, Flores encouraged sharing ideas and engagement at all levels by hosting College Conversations at all five of the district’s colleges and district support operations to shape a new strategic plan with the input from over 1,300 students, faculty, and staff to serve as a roadmap for transforming higher education in San Antonio.

Flores’ vision for the Alamo Colleges District – eliminating poverty through education – is based on his personal experience as a child of migrant farmworkers who pursued education to gain economic and social mobility. Through his leadership, the Alamo Colleges District has launched AlamoPROMISE, a tuition-free college program for graduating high school students in Bexar County and one of the most significant initiatives implemented in the region.

As a leader, Flores supports empowering students for success through high-impact teaching and learning practices, including academic advising, early access to college through high school programs and experiential learning opportunities through apprenticeships, internships, and volunteer experiences. Aligned with the vision for eliminating poverty, Flores has supported the launch of Student Advocacy Centers at each of the district’s five colleges and reduced tuition for students enrolled fully online.

While president at Palo Alto College, Flores established new degree and certificate programs in high-wage, high-demand career areas; seven early college high school partnerships; the college’s first Center for Mexican-American studies; and an honors program. He also led Palo Alto College to become a 2019 top ten finalist and Rising Star recipient of the 2019 Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence, a 2016 Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award nominee, and the winner of the 2015 Texas Award for Performance Excellence.

He is nationally known as a former coach for Achieving the Dream and as a fellow for the American Council on Education, Aspen Pahara Institute, and the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities. He conducted postgraduate studies at the Harvard University Institute for Educational Management and is in demand as a speaker at national higher education conferences.

Flores has worked with numerous community-based organizations in San Antonio, Houston, and Chicago. He also serves as a board member for the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities, UP Partnership, Conservancy, San Antonio Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, United Way San Antonio, and the World Affairs Council.

Flores was born in Del Rio, Texas, and is a graduate of Holmes High School in San Antonio’s Northside Independent School District. He holds a Ph.D. in Educational Administration from the University of Texas at Austin, a master’s in Political Science from Illinois State University, and a bachelor’s in political science from the University of Texas at San Antonio. He lives in central San Antonio with his wife Martha, a talented creative director and entrepreneur, and their daughters, Mara Zoe and Mia Ximena.

About San Antonio, Texas

San Antonio, city, seat (1837) of Bexar county, south-central Texas is situated at the headwaters of the San Antonio River on the Balcones Escarpment, about 80 miles southwest of Austin. The second most-populous city in Texas, it is the focus of a metropolitan area that includes Alamo Heights, Castle Hills, Converse, Kirby, Leon Valley, Live Oak, Schertz, Terrell Hills, Universal City, and Windcrest.

Spanish explorers first visited the site, then a camp of the Payaya Indians, in 1691. San Antonio was founded May 1, 1718, when a Spanish expedition from Mexico established the Mission San Antonio de Valero. In 1731 settlers from the Canary Islands laid out the town of San Fernando de Béxar. San Fernando de Béxar functioned as provincial capital from 1773 to 1824, but in subsequent years its political authority waned. By 1837, when it became a county seat of the Republic of Texas, it had been renamed San Antonio. The city quickly became the commercial hub of the Southwest. The arrival of the first railroad in 1877 brought migrants from the American South, and Mexican immigrants settled there after the start of the Mexican Revolution in 1910.

San Antonio was a major military center during World Wars I and II, a factor that continued to dominate its economy in subsequent decades. In 1968, a world’s exposition, known as HemisFair, was held there to commemorate the city’s 250th anniversary and to celebrate its cultural ties with Latin America. In 1981 Henry Cisneros was elected the city’s first Hispanic mayor since the mid-19th century. In 2001 Ed Garza was elected the city’s second modern-era Hispanic mayor and was in office until 2005.

San Antonio’s character is a colorful blend of Mexican and Texan culture. It is 150 miles from the Mexican border at Laredo, on one of the most-traveled routes to Mexico. Much of its population is of Hispanic (mainly Mexican) descent, and many are Spanish-speaking or bilingual. It preserves much of its historical atmosphere and embraces its cultural diversity. Remains of 18th-century Spanish structures dot the city, contrasting with modern office buildings.

Military installations largely account for San Antonio’s rapid growth after 1940. Fort Sam Houston (1879), inside the city, is the headquarters of the U.S. Fifth Army and is the site of a national cemetery and the Academy of Health Sciences, the army’s basic school for medical personnel. Nearby are three U.S. Air Force bases: Lackland, Randolph, and Brooks. Randolph, in a suburban area to the northeast, is headquarters of the Air Education and Training Command. Brooks, in the southeastern part of the city, is the site of the School of Aerospace Medicine.

In addition to the military, major components of San Antonio’s economy are education, health care and medical research, business and financial services, and—most importantly—tourism. Manufacturers include aerospace equipment, textiles, semiconductors, industrial machinery, shoes and there are also oil refineries. Agricultural production in the area includes cattle, poultry, peanuts (groundnuts), sorghum, vegetables, and greenhouse plants. A large portion of trade between Mexico and the United States passes through the San Antonio area’s interstate highway system.

Benefits Overview

The Alamo Colleges District offers the following employee benefits:

  • Health Insurance
  • Vision Insurance
  • Dental Plans
  • Life Insurance
  • Retirement Plans
  • Tuition Assistance

For more information please visit: https://www.alamo.edu/about-us/offices-departments/departments/human-resources/

Application & 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 or Ellen Heffernan at eth@spelmanjohnson.com. Applicants needing reasonable accommodation to participate in the application process should contact Spelman Johnson at 413-529-2895.

Visit the Alamo Colleges District website at https://www.alamo.edu/

Alamo Colleges is committed to provide equal employment and educational opportunities for all qualified persons without regard to race, color, sex, pregnancy, religion, creed, national origin (including ancestry), citizenship status, physical or mental disability, age, marital status, sexual orientation, gender, transgender status, gender identity, gender expression, veteran or military status (including special disabled veteran, Vietnam-era veteran, or recently separated veteran), predisposing genetic characteristics, domestic violence victim status, any other protected category under applicable local, state or federal law, or persons who have opposed discrimination or participated in any complaint process on campus or before a government agency.