Employment at ArtCenter

Presidents Office

Vice President and Chief Diversity Officer (VPCDO)

ArtCenter College of Design (ArtCenter) invites applications and nominations for the inaugural role of Vice President and Chief Diversity Officer (VPCDO). Reporting to President Lorne Buchman, the VPCDO will be a member of the Executive Cabinet and will be a strategic partner with the President, College administrators, campus community, trustees and external partners to understand, foster and enhance the College’s vision, strategic goals and integrated goals related to diversity, equity and inclusion. The VPCDO will lead the Center for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in Art and Design, which is envisioned to advance diversity, equity and inclusion at ArtCenter. The Center will not only be a model among peer institutions but also transform the disciplines and industries in which ArtCenter graduates work.

The Center for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in Art and Design (The Center) was developed to involve students, alumni, faculty, staff and trustees, as well as the communities with which ArtCenter engages externally, in robust research, exhibitions, symposia, lectures and curricular expansion on issues of diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) in art and design. The College envisions The Center as an entity that will create and support collaborative and transformative activities in the service of the College’s values that are designed to break new ground through practice, scholarship and pedagogy. In addition, The Center will work with all other offices and departments at the College to ensure that DEI programs, practices and policies for faculty, staff and students are aligned with the College’s strategic plan, values and mission.

This is an exciting opportunity for an experienced diversity professional who appreciates and has knowledge of the fields of art and design. The ideal candidate will possess a terminal degree and bring experience in organizational assessment and development; curriculum development; recruitment and retention program development for faculty, staff and students; and community engagement in DEI efforts.

Procedure for Candidacy

Inquiries, nominations and applications are invited. Review of applications until the position is filled. For fullest consideration, applicant materials should be received by August 10, 2018.

Candidates should provide a curriculum vitae, a letter of application that addresses the responsibilities and requirements described in the Leadership Statement, and the names and contact information of five professional references. References will not be contacted without prior knowledge and approval of candidates. These materials should be sent electronically via e-mail to the ArtCenter College of Design’s consultants Charlene Aguilar, Khalilah Lawson and Christine J. Pendleton at ArtCenterVPCDO@wittkieffer.com
Documents that must be mailed may be sent to Witt/Kieffer, c/o ArtCenter College of Design, 2015 Spring Road, Suite 510, Oak Brook, IL 60523. The consultants can be reached by telephone at (630) 575-3706.

Opportunities and Expectations for Leadership

ArtCenter seeks to be a leader in the conversation around DEI in art and design, both among peer institutions and with the public at large. As such, the VPCDO will be asked to address the following critical leadership issues, among others:

Create a shared vision and definition of diversity on the campuses: The VPCDO is expected-–in close collaboration with the ArtCenter community-–to formulate and articulate a vision around DEI and to provide leadership, concrete steps, counsel, advocacy and a point of connection and communication for all aspects of the College in achieving that vision.

Launch the Center for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in Art and Design: ArtCenter envisions The Center as an entity that will create and support collaborative and transformative activities that are designed to break new ground through practice, scholarship and pedagogy. The VPCDO will build an administrative and programmatic infrastructure addressing DEI issues in art and design that serves faculty, staff, students, the community and industry partners. Examples of potential activities include program development and implementation, organizing public forums and symposia, facilitating training and community outreach.

Partner with constituencies across the campus to enhance diversity, equity and inclusion, and to build community: The VPCDO will develop a strong, passionate voice for the work of DEI at ArtCenter. The incumbent will play a key role in the deliberations of senior leadership and will work with departments across the College to encourage creativity and innovation in programming, pedagogy, recruitment, retention and training. Through building these relationships the VPCDO will also advance aspects of the College’s work in order to create an equitable community where people’s creativity may thrive. 


Who succeeds at ArtCenter? The smart, creative person who can play with ideas and work with groups to tap their collective wisdom finds success here. Candidates should also be respectful of the community, have the ability to collaborate and work with various stakeholders internally and externally. The ideal candidate will have a successful track record of integrating and advancing diversity, equity and inclusion into the fabric of an institution or organization.

Additionally, candidates should have the following professional qualifications and personal characteristics:

  • A broad and contemporary understanding of diversity, equity and inclusion issues and how those translate in the fields of art and design.
  • A Master’s degree from an accredited college or university; terminal degree preferred.
  • Eight or more years of relevant experience working in diversity-related positions, preferably in an institution of higher education and/or in an art and design environment.
  • Knowledge of human resources functions such as recruitment and selection, professional development, training, employee relations and policy administration.
  • Demonstrated knowledge of federal, state and local laws and regulations related to anti-discrimination, including Equal Employment Opportunity Act of 1972, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Title IX of the Educational Amendments Act of 1972, the Jeanne Clery Act of 1990, the Violence Against Women Act of 1994, the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, all as amended.
  • Knowledge of contemporary discourses, issues, pedagogical practices, curricular development, fund-raising practices and principles, research methods, student development theory and practice, survey development and best practices for DEI programs, initiatives, practices and policies.

Essential Functions

  • Serve as the President’s advisor on DEI matters and make recommendations to the President on DEI programs that impact the College community and the diversity initiatives addressed in the strategic plan.
  • Work with members of the Executive Cabinet to ensure that admissions practices, the Center for the Student Experience (Student Affairs), Human Resources and Academic Affairs activities are implemented with DEI as a core function of the College’s values to eliminate discrimination, harassment and retaliation in educational and employment programs and practices.
  • Serve as a strategic partner with College administrators for a variety of outreach efforts to create a diverse student body—examples include fund-raising activities, community outreach inside and outside of the College, student recruitment programs, scholarship opportunities for underserved students, bridge programs and programming and support services for first-generation students to create pathways to enter ArtCenter.
  • Provide innovative programs in and with low-income communities, communities of color, and other marginalized or under-represented communities that engage the College in advocacy and social innovation projects (Designmatters) and that provide cutting-edge thinking and advocacy for cultural equity.
  • Work with the Provost to formulate and implement policies to affirm ArtCenter’s commitment to an equitable and creative learning environment to ensure compliance with accreditation standards and to showcase international best practices that promote and celebrate diversity in industries within the fields of art and design.
  • Work with the Provost and educational leadership on DEI matters in policies and programs that focus on curriculum development, academic and co-curricular programming, including coordinating guest speakers, lecturers and community leaders where relevant to enhance the educational experience; create fellowships that recruit a diverse group of faculty and guest artists and designers to deepen the conversation of DEI in art and design regarding pedagogy, career preparation and curricular content.
  • Serve as a global resource through exhibitions, seminars, colloquia (both within ArtCenter and the larger community) that focus on pertinent questions of DEI in the fields of art and design.
  • Work with faculty and chairs to conduct research and/or create specialized courses in a variety of departments to support learning through diverse cultural perspectives in order to establish a concentration for students interested in deepening work in the area.
  • Work with the Vice President of Human Resources to ensure compliance with a variety of laws related to DEI such as the Equal Employment Opportunity Act (EEO), Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Title IX of the Educational Amendments Act of 1972, Age Discrimination in Employment Act, Americans with Disabilities Act, all as amended, and any other applicable laws.
  • Work with academic affairs and human resources to develop strategies to promote DEI in faculty and staff hiring and compensation practices.
  • Develop and deliver training on DEI programs, including bias, sensitivity and cultural competency; coordinate these activities in partnership with Human Resources, Academic Affairs, and Student Affairs.
  • Serve on or designate a representative to serve on the Council on Diversity and Inclusion (Council); work with Council members to develop DEI programs, initiatives and activities designed to foster a climate of respect, tolerance and civility, such as community dialogues and forums, coordinating events and guest speakers; work with the Council to shape the College’s definitions of diversity and inclusion and to develop the College’s value statement on diversity and inclusion.
  • Develop and implement climate surveys and partner with Human Resources, Academic Affairs and Student Affairs, to execute them; communicate the results to the Executive Cabinet, campus community and other stakeholders; provide leadership for improvements and programs based on the findings.
  • Serve as a resource and/or regularly attend meetings to engage in conversations about DEI with various College shared governance groups such as Chairs Council, ArtCenter Student Government, Staff Council, Faculty Council, etc., in order to factor input into DEI programs, activities and initiatives; consult, upon request, with students, faculty and staff on learning and working productively and effectively in a diverse community; make presentations to the Board of Trustees as directed by the President.
  • Maintain current knowledge of EEO/diversity laws, rules, regulations and best practices in order to advance DEI efforts.
  • Conduct periodic reviews to measure success of DEI programs and activities; report findings to the President, Executive Cabinet, campus community, Board of Trustees and other stakeholders.
  • Manage DEI budget and make recommendations to the President for any additional budgetary resources.

ArtCenter College of Design is committed to excellence through the establishment of a diverse faculty and staff that best represents our student body and its surrounding communities. The College considers qualified applicants for employment without regard to race, color, religion, national origin, age, gender, gender identity/expression, sexual orientation, genetic information, medical condition, marital status, veteran status, or disability. Applicants who wish to request an accommodation for a disability may contact the Human Resources Department at (626) 396-2270.