SRU taking “important step” in seeking candidates for new chief diversity officer role

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Slippery Rock University is hiring a chief diversity officer who will work collaboratively with campus and external communities to advance the SRU’s commitment to all aspects of global diversity and inclusion.

June 14, 2021

SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. — Slippery Rock University is conducting a search for the new role of chief diversity officer. The CDO will work collaboratively with campus and external communities to advance SRU's commitment to all aspects of global diversity and inclusion.

"As an institution, we're thrilled to be able to take this important step to advance SRU through diversity, equity, inclusion and social justice," said SRU President William Behre. "As a society, we are at an inflection point in these areas, and in order to address the substantial work that needs to be done during this momentous time in our history, we need a specific administrator to champion these efforts."

President Behre

   BEHRE

The chief diversity office will serve on the President's Cabinet, an executive appointment that is unprecedented for SRU, which previously employed diversity officers but not at the cabinet level. Most recently, Terrence Mitchell served as a special assistant to the president for diversity and inclusion. Mitchell, who is the chief diversity and inclusion officer at Edinboro University, worked in tandem with Edinboro and SRU since July 2020. Mitchell will continue his role serving Edinboro but also take on responsibilities at other institutions in Pennsylvania's State System of Higher Education. His last day working with SRU is June 30.

Behre said that it is time for SRU to take the next step and have a leader concentrating on diversity, solely for the University.

"There's a lot of extraordinary work going on at SRU right now around diversity, but what we need is someone who can help highlight that work, be a thought leader in this area and coordinate the efforts so that they are most impactful," Behre said. "I compare the role to that of a choir director. There are a lot of sections that make up our campus community and we need someone to make them 'sing' together in concert and harmonize their voices."

Reporting directly to Behre, the CDO will help shape the culture of the institution by recommending best practices and decisions related to diversity, inclusion and campus climate. The CDO will develop and lead the implementation of the University's Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Strategic Plan and collaborate with and guide divisional leaders on everything from matters of student diversity and inclusion to management search processes.

Interested candidates are able to submit a cover letter and resume only to the University's contracted search firm, RPA Inc., at SlipperyRockCDO@rpainc.org. The review of candidates will begin on July 16. More information about the position is available on the job posting.

More information about employment, diversity and social justice at SRU are available on the University's website.

MEDIA CONTACT: Justin Zackal | 724.738.4854 |  justin.zackal@sru.edu