RESPONSIBILITIES OF THE POSITION
Reporting to the associate vice chancellor of student affairs, the director of the office of identity, equity, and engagement is responsible for providing leadership and strategic direction for a diverse, comprehensive offering of educational programming and resources focused on equity and identity. The director also provides leadership in designing and implementing unit programs and initiatives that enhance services for students with marginalized identities related to race and ethnicity, sex and gender, culture and heritage, and social justice advocacy and support. The director provides leadership and management of area resources, including staffing, space management, and budgets. The director also serves as a student affairs representative on divisional and university committees to share their expertise in the areas of identity, equity, and justice. They are responsible for providing leadership and strategic direction for the identity, equity, and engagement staff and vision of a diverse, comprehensive offering of educational programming and resources focused on multiculturalism, equity, and identity development.
Duties and responsibilities as outlined in the institutional position summary include:
Supervision & Management
- Recruit, hire, orient, train, and evaluate professional and student staff.
- Supervise one associate director, four assistant directors, one program coordinator, and three graduate assistants.
- Total supervision includes an additional six undergraduate student interns, two undergraduate office assistants, and 35 undergraduate peer mentors.
Program, Education, and Training Development
- Coordinate a broad array of student-focused education, training, and programming efforts in the areas of race and ethnicity, sex and gender, culture and heritage, religion and spirituality, and social justice.
- Oversee initiatives that support student identity development, community engagement, student organization advocacy, student leadership, and career development.
- Investigate and implement national best practices for diversity, equity, inclusion, and cultural competency programming.
- Develop and maintain relationships with external constituents to connect students with community programs and resources.
- Lead and oversee strategic planning, assessment, and reporting of programmatic initiatives.
Administration & Resource Management
- Oversee identity-based resource spaces, including the office of identity, equity, and engagement suite, as well as the lavender lounge.
- Provide leadership for the office of identity, equity, and engagement assessment.
- Manage budget development and oversight.
- Provide leadership and supervision for event contracting processes.
- Provide leadership for developing and implementing internal policies and procedures and for unit adherence to university policies and procedures.
- Provide leadership for marketing and promotion of the unit.
- Develop resources to expand support and programming opportunities.
- Serve on committees and represent the department at all university functions.
- Provide support and leadership for departmental and divisional initiatives such as EXPLORE, admitted student days, staff development, and other programs and events as assigned by the associate vice chancellor.
Student Engagement Leadership
- Serve as a member of the senior leadership team for student engagement.
- Serve as subject matter expert within student engagement on the principles of identity development, equity, and engagement of marginalized students.
QUALIFICATIONS AND CHARACTERISTICS OF THE SUCCESSFUL CANDIDATE
A master’s degree in higher education, student personnel, counseling, or a related field and a minimum of five or more years of progressive responsibility, including leading a team and supervisory experience in a higher education setting, is required. Other requirements include: demonstrated ability to lead a diverse staff; experience in advising, counseling, program development, global education, or a related field; leadership in an educational setting, with the ability to serve as an effective advocate for student success; ability to manage a diverse set of teams, programs, and responsibilities; exceptional organizational and communication skills; advanced administrative skills in budgeting, assessment, and strategic planning; program planning and event management experience; demonstrated experience serving as an advocate and coalition-builder for diverse communities and the ability to navigate politics and political ecosystems.
Preferred Knowledge, Skills & Experience
- Knowledge and practice of student development theory, counseling and advising practice, and issues related to higher education and marginalized student populations.
- Experience as a team player—able to work effectively with others, including in programmatic and operational areas.
- Experience working with student organizations, program planning and implementation, training design, and student development program delivery.
- Willingness and flexibility to work with students and staff in unstructured situations, including night and weekend work.
- Ability to build collaborative relationships with students, university faculty/staff, and external constituents.
- Ability to organize, implement, and evaluate programs as well as to synthesize a variety of needs to promote common purposes.
- Ability to design, implement, and analyze assessment efforts.
- Excellent written and verbal communication skills.=
In addition to the qualifications stated above, key stakeholders identified the following capabilities and attributes of a successful candidate:
- Excellent communication skills
- Strong advocacy skills
- Strategic planner
- Change management experience
- Trusted leader
- Critical thinker
- Crisis management skills
- Background in supervising and developing staff
HISTORY OF THE POSITION
Office of Identity, Equity, And Engagement
On July 1, 2018, the division of student affairs went through a structural realignment. As a part of the realignment, the multicultural resource center, student advising for freshmen excellence, religious and spiritual life, and Latinx student services combined to create one unit under the dean of students office. The staff and ideals of student identity development transformed these offices into identity, equity, and engagement (IEE) with a new mission, vision, values, and programming. At the time, the university did not have a formal chief diversity officer or office of diversity and inclusion, and the IEE staff were often called upon to fulfill the functions of that role.
In 2020, Chancellor Sharon Gaber appointed a faculty member to establish the office of diversity and inclusion and welcomed the first chief diversity officer in 2021. With this change, the office of identity, equity, and engagement is refocusing on providing students with an affirming and equitable environment committed to fostering a campus community that celebrates and supports the expansion of identities through holistic development, education, and intentional engagement.
Multicultural Resource Center
The multicultural resource center started with the vision of a former University of North Carolina, Charlotte (UNC Charlotte) student, Joseph Toomer. As senior class president, Toomer often thought about the legacy students left to their alma mater. In 1996, Toomer developed a proposal to educate others in the campus community about the need for a warm and inviting place for people of diverse backgrounds. He rallied the support of student leaders, student organizations, and from university staff and faculty who, in turn, made the idea a reality. For twenty-two years, the multicultural resource center stood as a reminder that one person can make a difference.
Director, Office of Identity, Equity, and Engagement History
During this current period of change, the office of identity, equity, and engagement director position has been vacant (i.e., absent a permanent director) for over a year. The director within the student engagement unit who has filled the interim role will return to their area upon filling this position. The staff has worked to envision their role and purpose within the institutional and divisional structure and is now ready to welcome new leadership. As a part of this ongoing visioning, the director will work with the staff and associate vice chancellor to determine the best staffing structure to accomplish the goals of the organization, including refocusing and hiring vacant positions being held for this purpose.
OPPORTUNITIES AND CHALLENGES OF THE ROLE
Change Management: The director will be courageous in advancing new ideas, thinking outside the box, and leading the student affairs division to address challenges with creativity, purposeful collaborations, and futuristic thinking.
Purpose of the Office: It will be necessary for the successful candidate to communicate the purpose of the office within the university and build upon existing relationships with significant partner offices and committees. It will be essential for the new director to highlight the area’s goals to illustrate how their office works collaboratively with the office of diversity and inclusion.
Collaboration: The director will forge significant partnerships with the university diversity, equity, and inclusion council, athletics diversity and inclusion committee, student engagement leadership team, and all division staff through a defined strategic plan, student engagement, programming initiatives, and training programs.
Amplify and Build Upon the Work of the Division: The division of student affairs has contributed significant work in identity, equity, and engagement to students in past initiatives. The director can continue this commitment and build upon that work with solid collaborations, programs, and relationships.
Strategic Planning: The director must demonstrate a leadership style that is credible and collegial while being highly effective. The director is expected to develop the strategic plan and direct the area focusing on students’ academic success and sense of belonging and engagement.
Trust and Confidence of Students: The director will be charged with relationship-building with students. The director must promote a culture of accessibility, transparency, and accountability through policy, communication, and practice.
Training and Content Expertise: The director will be charged with the coordination of education, training, and programming in the areas of multicultural initiatives, student identity development, community engagement, student organization advocacy, and student leadership development. They must provide content expertise, best practices, and current trend analysis as they develop these initiatives.
Advocate: The director will champion and advocate for marginalized students while motivating other staff to understand the purpose of that advocacy. They will promote policies and practices that uphold equity and a greater sense of belonging and engagement among the student population.
Location: The location will be desirable for many candidates since it offers proximity to both urban and suburban living. Cost of living could be a factor for some depending upon their preferred housing costs and commute. There are excellent opportunities for job relocation for candidates with partners and many strong local school systems for those candidates with school-aged children.
MEASURES OF SUCCESS
The items listed below will define the director’s success throughout the first year of employment:
- The director is a visible and engaged leader throughout campus, building bridges between students and the programs that serve them.
- The director has assessed the impact of programs and services.
- The director has analyzed, contributed to, and defined plans incorporating best practices for the division and the campus moving forward.
- The director has expanded the professional development, training, and mentoring of staff within the department.
- The director is an essential team leader and collaborator with staff and students working towards achieving division and institutional goals.
OVERVIEW OF THE OFFICE OF IDENTITY, EQUITY, AND ENGAGEMENT
The office of identity, equity, and engagement educates, develops, and engages students regarding their various intersecting identities (gender identity, socioeconomic status, race, ethnicity, religion, sexual identity, etc.); with a mission to provide students an affirming and equitable environment committed to fostering a campus community that celebrates and supports the expansion of identities.
STUDENT AFFAIRS OVERVIEW
The division of student affairs staff are committed to personal, educational, mental, and physical success for UNCC students. Treating students, and all the identities they bring with them, with care and respect is paramount.
The University of North Carolina at Charlotte is the state’s urban research university and a driving force of growth, discovery, and innovation for the metro Carolinas. Founded in 1946, the university is now home to more than 30,000 students, including approximately 6,000 master’s and doctoral degree candidates. The campus sits on 1,000 wooded acres just eight miles from Uptown Charlotte, which was recently rated the number one “Most Up and Coming City in America” by Yelp. Classified as a Doctoral and Research Intensive institution, UNC Charlotte is the largest university in the Charlotte region and the second largest of 17 constituent members of the University of North Carolina System.
The Student Body
Total enrollment: 30,448
African American: 16%
Two or more races: 5%
Race unknown: 2%
At UNC Charlotte, the practice of inclusive excellence is inseparable from the university’s academic and institutional mission. It is central as an educational institution to ensure that each member of the community has full opportunity to access and thrive at UNC Charlotte. The well-being of the university hinges upon diversity, equity, and inclusion, which are keys to individuals flourishing and reaching their full potential, the pursuit of educational excellence, and the advancement and dissemination of knowledge.
Sharon L. Gaber, Chancellor
Sharon L. Gaber, PhD, serves as the fifth chancellor of the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. Since Gaber arrived as chancellor in 2020, the university has embarked on “Shaping What’s Next,” a bold ten-year strategic plan that articulates a new vision as a globally recognized top-tier research university. The university was recognized for its innovative response to the global COVID-19 pandemic, receiving a 2021 Excellence and Innovation Award from the American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU).
In 2022, Gaber received the Career Mastered Distinguished Leadership Award and was named to The Charlotte Business Journal’s inaugural “Power 100” list, as one of the top ten leaders who will drive Charlotte’s next stage of growth. She has also been named to Business North Carolina’s “Power List for 2021 and 2022.”
Kevin W. Bailey, Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs
Kevin W. Bailey, PhD, is a highly regarded educator who began his career in student affairs at UNC Charlotte in 1990 and returned to campus as vice chancellor for student affairs in 2017.
In his current role, Bailey provides leadership for student success initiatives focused on the broad themes of health and well-being, on- and off-campus living partnerships, student advocacy and compliance, student facility management, program assessment, and student engagement. He has worked to support campus programs addressing food insecurity, emergency housing, financial literacy, and equity and justice training for staff while building cross-divisional partnerships with the divisions of academic and business affairs. Bailey also serves as the chief student advocate, providing advice and counsel to various undergraduate and graduate student leaders and working to ensure that a diversity of student perspectives are considered in the university-wide governance structure, policy development, and strategic change process.
Bailey obtained his doctorate of philosophy in higher education administration from Bowling Green State University. He also holds a master of arts in student affairs in higher education and a bachelor of science in management information systems. He is an active leader in the professional association of Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education (NASPA). In 2018, he chaired the 100th-anniversary NASPA conference held in Philadelphia. In 2019, Indiana University of Pennsylvania recognized Bailey with its highest honor, the distinguished alumni award.
Karen Shaffer, Associate Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs
Karen Shaffer serves as the associate vice chancellor for student affairs, supporting the division in the work of student engagement and divisional staff development. Before joining UNC Charlotte, Shaffer worked with student organizations, student governance, programming boards, student unions, leadership, and community engagement at the University of Virginia and California State University, Fresno. She holds a master’s degree in college student personnel from Southern Illinois University, Carbondale, and a bachelor’s degree in English from the University of Illinois at Chicago.
UNC Charlotte offers comprehensive benefits programs, including holidays and leave, discounts and perks, and work-life and wellness information. For more information on the benefits offered, see here.
Review of applications will begin immediately and continue until the position is filled. A resume with an accompanying cover letter may be submitted via the Spelman Johnson website at www.spelmanjohnson.com/open-positions. Nominations for this position and questions about the status of the search may be emailed to Laura Puckett-Boler at firstname.lastname@example.org. Applicants needing reasonable accommodation to participate in the application process should contact Spelman Johnson at 413-529-2895 or email email@example.com.
Public Salary Range: $88,000- $90,000
Visit the UNC Charlotte website at www.charlotte.edu
and the Student Affairs website at studentaffairs.charlotte.edu.
The University of North Carolina at Charlotte is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity employer and an ADVANCE Institution that strives to create an academic climate in which the dignity of all individuals is respected and maintained. Women, minorities, veterans, and individuals with disabilities are encouraged to apply. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, protected veteran status, disability, gender identity, or sexual orientation. All applicants are subject to a criminal background check.