The Opportunity

The University of Louisville cordially invites nominations, expressions of interest, and applications for the position of vice president for diversity and equity.

This vital leader will create and maintain a campus environment that reflects UofL’s mission, vision, and values as a premier anti-racist metropolitan research university.

The vice president for diversity and equity reports directly to President Neeli Bendapudi and serves as a member of the President’s Cabinet, Senior Leadership Team, and other key institutional committees.

The Position

Role of the Vice President for Diversity and Equity

The vice president for diversity and equity (VPDE or vice president) provides leadership to create and maintain a campus environment that reflects UofL’s mission, vision, and values as a premier anti-racist metropolitan research university. With the steadfast support of the president, provost, and other senior leaders, the VPDE will catalyze institutional change, particularly among students and staff, to ensure the university is fully living out its stated values to create inclusion and belonging for every member of the Cardinal family while driving closer to its Council on Postsecondary Education (CPE) Diversity Plan goals.

The vice president’s priorities include:

  1. Articulating a clear and common vision to create a diverse, equitable, and inclusion-oriented culture across the institution.
  1. Leading and advancing initiatives and partnerships with administrative and academic units to build stronger relationships among key constituencies.
  1. Leading efforts to assess the impact, effectiveness, and efficiency of current and proposed diversity and equity programs.

History of the Position

Dr. Mordean Taylor-Archer served as vice provost for diversity and international affairs for 18 years until her retirement from the university in June 2019. Taylor-Archer served as the university’s first chief diversity officer and championed diversity at the university and in the community. She was a strong advocate for UofL’s faculty, staff, and students, and left a legacy of continued momentum toward creating a fully diverse, equitable, and inclusive campus environment.

Following Taylor-Archer’s retirement, UofL separated the offices of diversity and international affairs and moved the diversity unit from the provost’s office to the president’s office. Dr. V. Faye Jones, a tenured professor of pediatrics and associate vice president for health affairs/diversity initiatives at the Louisville Health Sciences Center, was appointed interim senior associate vice president for diversity and equity and tasked with responsibility for driving strategy and outcomes for students, staff, and faculty as it relates to diversity and equity.

With assistance from Spelman Johnson, UofL is conducting an aggressive nationwide search for this key leadership position. The successful candidate will hold the title of vice president for diversity and equity.

 

Opportunities and Challenges

The vice president for diversity and equity will be expected to address the following opportunities and challenges, among others:

  • Working in close consultation with the entire Cardinal family, the VPDE is expected to formulate and implement a broadly vetted, efficient, and integrated strategic diversity plan that is proactive and ambitious while maintaining the flexibility required to respond to emerging trends, academic cycles, and the reality of evolving demographics at UofL along many dimensions of diversity. The VPDE will establish robust metrics to track progress in achieving goals that enhance institutional progress in diversity, equity, and inclusive excellence.
  • The VPDE will oversee and promote collaboration among reporting areas: Health Sciences Center Office of Diversity and Inclusion, LGBT Center (both on the Belknap Campus and Health Sciences Center), Cultural Center, Office of Diversity Education and Inclusive Excellence, Latinx & Indigenous Initiatives, Muhammad Ali Institute for Peace and Justice, and Women’s Center.
  • The VPDE will provide expertise to and consult with other groups, programs, and individuals—including deans, department chairs, and unit diversity committees—addressing issues of diversity, equity, and inclusion on the campuses. The VPDE will be expected to plan, guide, and advise the President and senior level administrators on diversity, equity, inclusion, social justice, and anti-racism matters both internally at the university and externally in our communities.
  • The VPDE will partner with the executive vice president and university provost to advance the commitment of DEI initiatives within the academic units and faculty.

 

 

  • The VPDE will oversee the recently completed Cultural and Equity Center, which houses the Cultural Center, Diversity Education and Inclusive Excellence, LGBT Center (Belknap Campus), Women’s Center and the Muhammad Ali Institute for Peace and Justice. The space, designed with students in mind, features a student lounge with work area and activity space, conference rooms, multipurpose rooms, training room, resource library, kitchen space, gender-neutral restroom and lactation room. The center adjoins a new, five-story residence hall that’s one of two modern dormitories.  Moving the Cultural Center’s operations to the new space means that its student success initiatives also have a new home. Those include the African American Male Initiative, Hispanic and Latinx Initiative, Porter Scholars, Casa Abierta-Latino Students Welcome, Early Arrival Program and the Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation.  Several student organizations will also have a presence there: Black Student Union, Black Diamond Choir, NAACP’s UofL chapter, Latin American and Hispanic Student Organization, Brothers United and the Society of Porter Scholars.
  • In the summer of 2020, President Neeli Bendapudi charged the Commission on Diversity and Racial Equality (CODRE) to lead a taskforce in bringing forth recommendations to guide UofL in becoming a premier anti-racist metropolitan research university. The VPDE will be instrumental in helping the president achieve this commitment.  The Cardinal Anti-Racism Agenda (CARA), now in the final stages of development, underscores the strategic vision of the university as a great place to learn, work and invest through celebration of the unique attributes every individual brings to the university community.  There will be six broad priority areas:  Culture, Policies, Practices and Procedures; Equity in Work, Compensation, Professional Development and Reward; Curriculum and Instruction; Images and Communication; Recruitment and Retention of Diverse Talent; and University and Community Relationships. Every unit throughout campus is laying groundwork to break down barriers and make changes that reflect our anti-racism goal.
  • The VPDE will represent UofL at various community, civic, and professional meetings and conferences.

Measures of Success

The VPDE will work directly with President Neeli Bendapudi to identify specific quantitative and qualitative measures of success and their timetables soon after joining the university.

The following are the general metrics for the position envisioned at this time:

  • Articulate a clear and common vision to create a diverse, equitable, and inclusion-oriented culture across the institution.
  • Lead and advance initiatives and partnering with administrative and academic units to build stronger relationships among key constituencies.
  • Lead efforts to assess the impact, effectiveness, and efficiency of current and proposed diversity and equity initiatives, policies, and programs.
  • Provide leadership to create and maintain a campus environment that reflects UofL’s mission, vision, and values as a premier anti-racist metropolitan research university.
  • Catalyze institutional change, particularly among students and staff, to ensure the university is fully living out its stated values to create inclusion and belonging for every member of the Cardinal family while driving us closer to our CPE Diversity Plan goals.

 

Qualifications

Qualifications and Characteristics

Minimum requirements include a master’s degree and at least seven years of diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) experience. Additional requirements include demonstrated experience driving DEI strategies; depth of knowledge and fluency in the principles and language of DEI, anti-racism, and inclusive excellence, with the ability to bring forth thought leadership internally and externally to effect positive change; and experience leading teams and influencing partners, peers, and constituents.

The successful candidate will bring many of the following skills and qualities:

  • Strong executive leadership and proven communication and conflict management skills needed to navigate socially and politically charged situations to resolve problems, build consensus, and reconcile competing interests.
  • Evidence of excellent judgment and a high degree of integrity.
  • Demonstrated ability to celebrate diversity, foster equity, and achieve inclusion.
  • Strong understanding of the emerging and historical issues around diversity, equity, and inclusion in higher education and an ability to help others understand these perspectives.
  • Experience with DEI facilitation and training development.
  • Expertise in coaching and counseling all levels of leadership.
  • Experience managing a significant budget and a large staff.
  • Experience seeking external funding, particularly through grant writing.
  • Ability to proactively engage, communicate with, and inspire constituents across campus to embrace an anti-racism agenda.
  • Demonstrated skills with collecting and using data to assess programs and increase shared accountability.
  • Ability to develop effective ongoing dialogue and collaboration with multiple and diverse constituents.
  • Strong implementer of ideas with the ability to understand, be comfortable with, and take managed risks.
  • Experience with traditional, nontraditional, international, first-generation, differently-abled, working, and commuter students in a higher education setting.
  • Active in state and national equity and diversity organizations.
  • An earned doctorate is strongly preferred; a strong publication record and diversity training certification would be a plus.

Institution & Location

Overview of the Office of Diversity and Equity

The mission of the Office of Diversity and Equity is to amplify the university’s diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts by working with campus partners to increase student and employee diversity, close the achievement gaps, and maintain a culturally responsive climate that supports diversity, equity, inclusion.

The office is comprised of the following units:

  • Health Sciences Center Office of Diversity and Inclusion
  • LGBT Center
    • Belknap Campus
    • Health Sciences Center
  • Cultural Center
  • Diversity Education and Inclusive Excellence
  • Muhammad Ali Institute for Peace and Justice
  • Women’s Center

Leadership

Faye Jones, MD, PhD, MSPH, Senior Associate Vice President for Diversity and Equity

Dr. V. Faye Jones is a tenured professor of pediatrics and joined The University of Louisville in 1990. In addition to her role in pediatrics she currently serves as the senior associate vice president for diversity and equity, associate vice president for health affairs/diversity initiatives, and vice chair of the Department of Pediatrics – Inclusive Excellence. With more than 30 years in medical experience Jones’s passion lies in creating a community where health equity is a reality. She is responsible for training our future pediatric providers as well as overseeing the integration of equitable and diverse health care standards throughout our campus.

Jones enjoys being quite active in the community serving in various roles both past and present for the Commission on Diversity and Racial Equality; Race Community and Child Welfare Steering Committee; Executive Committee on Foster Care, Adoption, and Kinship; Board member of the Family Scholar House; and is a past president of the Medical Staff Executive committee at Kosair Children’s Hospital. Additionally, Jones has authored or co-authored more than 71 publications.

A Kentucky native, Jones graduated from WKU with her BS in biology. She attended medical school and completed her residency at UofL before going on to obtain her MSPH and PhD in Epidemiology, both from UofL. Additionally she has completed a fellowship in Executive Leadership in Academic Medicine at Drexel University College of Medicine as well as completing the Healthcare Executive Diversity and Inclusion Certificate Program and the Academy for Innovative Higher Education Leadership, both at Georgetown University.

Jones enjoys spending her free time with her husband and their five children.

 

Institutional Overview

The University of Louisville (UofL) is a state-supported research university located in Kentucky’s largest metropolitan area. Established in 1798, UofL has a diverse student body of more than 23,000 and an operating budget exceeding $1.3 billion, with an endowment of $800 million (FY 2021). The university has three campuses. The 287-acre Belknap Campus is three miles from downtown Louisville and houses seven of the university’s 12 colleges and schools. The Health Sciences Center is situated in downtown Louisville’s medical complex and houses the university’s health-related programs, as well as the University of Louisville Hospital. The 243-acre Shelby Campus is located in eastern Jefferson County.

One of only 73 universities boasting both Community Engaged University and Research 1 – Very High Research Activity status from the Carnegie Foundation, UofL is growing as a pioneer in leading-edge research in areas ranging from medicine and engineering to social justice. Its student population, 38 percent Pell eligible and more than one-third first-generation students, competes with the nation’s best for prestigious national and international scholarships. Since 2003, UofL has produced more Fulbright scholarships than all other Kentucky public universities combined.

With a long-standing commitment to diversity as its foundation, UofL aspires to be the nation’s premier anti-racist metropolitan research university, celebrating diversity, fostering equity and inclusion, and ensuring a community of care through thought and action. The Education Trust has recognized UofL as one of the nation’s top three schools for providing access to African American and Latinx students, and the university is cited as one of America’s top 40 LGBTQ-friendly institutions by the Campus Pride Index.

Louisville Metro is a progressive community of nearly one million people with a robust economy; a vibrant arts scene; renowned parks, museums and attractions; a nationally ranked public school system; and a rich history infused with Southern hospitality.

The University of Louisville is a state-supported research university located in Kentucky’s largest metropolitan area. It was a municipally supported public institution for many decades prior to joining the university system in 1970. The University has three campuses. The 287-acre Belknap Campus is three miles from downtown Louisville and houses eight of the university’s 12 colleges and schools. The Health Sciences Center is situated in downtown Louisville’s medical complex and houses the university’s health-related programs and the University of Louisville Hospital. The 243-acre Shelby Campus is located in eastern Jefferson County.

Please download the institution and positon profile for detailed information about UofL and its commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Leadership

Neeli Bendapudi, President

Neeli Bendapudi is the 18th President of the University of Louisville. Selected by the UofL Board of Trustees in April 2018, Bendapudi came to Louisville from the University of Kansas where she served as Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor.

Since becoming President, Bendapudi has worked toward making the university a great place for students to learn, a great place for faculty and staff to work, and a great place for alumni and the community to invest. Under her leadership, the university will celebrate diversity, foster equity and strive for inclusion.

She earned her PhD in marketing from the University of Kansas and has teaching experience at Texas A&M University and The Ohio State University. Bendapudi returned to KU in 2011 to become the School of Business dean and H.D. Price Professor of Business. During her career, she has taught at the undergraduate, MBA, Executive MBA and PhD levels and received numerous college, university and national teaching awards.

Bendapudi specializes in the study of consumer behavior in service contexts. Her research deals with customers’ willingness and ability to maintain long-term relationships with firms and with the brands and employees that represent them. Her research has been published in the Journal of Academic Medicine, Harvard Business Review, Journal of Marketing (where she also served on the editorial board), Journal of Marketing Research, Journal of Retailing, Journal of Service Research, and in the proceedings of various national and international conferences. Her work has been featured by popular media outlets including The New York Times, CNBC, CNN, MSNBC, WebMD and Fox News Network.

Previously, she served as chief customer officer of the Huntington National Bank and was actively involved in business outreach through consulting and executive education programs.

A highly sought-after keynote speaker, she has addressed national and international audiences for many companies, trade groups and organizations.

Bendapudi sits on the Board of Directors of publicly held company Lancaster Colony Corporation and has sat on several non-profit organization boards, including MRIGlobal, an independent research institute. She is a former Leadership Foundation Fellow of the International Women’s Forum, one of a select group of women selected worldwide for this prestigious honor.

She is married to Venkat Bendapudi. Their daughter, Sirisha, is married to Kyle Ladd.

Benefits Overview

  • Medical
  • Prescription Drugs
  • Dental
  • Vision
  • Life Insurance
  • Flexible Spending Accounts
  • Short-term Disability
  • Long-term Disability
  • Retiree Health Benefits
  • Education Benefits
  • Life Events
  • Retirement Plans
  • Wellness

For more information: https://louisville.edu/hr/benefits

Application & Nomination

The University of Louisville has retained Spelman Johnson to assist with this search. Review of applications will begin immediately and will 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. Confidential inquiries and nominations should be directed to Jim Norfleet, Practice Leader and Senior Consultant, at jmn@spelmanjohnson.com. Applicants needing reasonable accommodation to participate in the application process should contact Spelman Johnson at 413-529-2895.

Visit the University of Louisville website at http://louisville.edu/.

The University of Louisville is an equal opportunity, affirmative action employer, and is committed to providing employment opportunities to all qualified applicants without regard to race, sex, age, color, national origin, ethnicity, creed, religion, disability, genetic information, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity and expression, marital status, pregnancy, or veteran status.