Please send all nominations, inquiries, and expressions of interest in confidence and electronically to:
Shelly Weiss Storbeck, Managing Partner
Tammarah Townes, Managing Associate
Carly Rose DiGiovanni, Associate
Applications submitted through PioneerJobs will NOT be considered.
The University of Denver (DU), a private institution dedicated to the public good, invites nominations and applications for the position of Executive Director of Equal Opportunity and Title IX Coordinator.
The University of Denver seeks a strategic thinker and a collaborative team member who can build relationships across an institution, is trustworthy and approachable, and strives to serve as a valued and reliable resource to students, faculty, staff, and administration. In this newly created position, now reporting directly to Chancellor Jeremy Haefner, the Executive Director (ED) will bring a strong working knowledge of both the current and emerging regulatory environment in higher education, as well as national issues and trends as they relate to equal opportunity and Title IX regulations. In addition to bringing procedural acumen on equal opportunity and Title IX requirements, this individual will bring strong team management and leadership skills to the role. The new ED will possess a demonstrated track record of developing and supporting team members, as well as working effectively across constituencies of students, faculty, staff, and senior leadership in higher education. The University seeks a highly relational leader with expertise in organization and analysis, communication, and collaboration. This critical hire will be well positioned to help the University of Denver remain true to its core mission and values.
The Executive Director will lead the Office of Equal Opportunity and serve as Title IX Coordinator and, in collaboration with campus partners, will foster an environment of equal opportunity and equity for students, faculty, and staff in all aspects of educational programming and employment. As the Title IX Coordinator, the ED will provide leadership and guidance in support of the University’s goal of creating and maintaining an academic and work environment where students, faculty and staff can thrive free from gender-based discrimination, harassment, and violence. The Executive Director is responsible for the oversight of the University’s compliance efforts regarding equal opportunity, Title IX, and affirmative action; design and delivery of instructive compliance 2 materials; provision of training programs; development, implementation, and monitoring of appropriate policies and procedures; and the prompt investigation and resolution of complaints.
The University of Denver: An Overview
Founded in 1864, the University of Denver is an independent, doctoral-granting research university with high research activity. The University of Denver is ranked among the nation’s top 100 universities, with many of its professional schools and programs ranked in the top 20 by U.S. News & World Report. Located in the thriving city of Denver, at the foot of the awe-inspiring Rocky Mountains, the University enrolls just under 13,000 students in its distinguished undergraduate liberal arts and sciences, graduate, and professional programs, including the Sturm College of Law. Roughly 40 percent of the University’s undergraduate students come from Colorado, and the rest are from across the United States as well as more than 80 other countries. The institution’s scholar applicant pool has increased dramatically in recent years due to programs that foster global awareness, the DU culture that values inclusivity, and an emphasis on experiential learning.
The University has gained national and international prominence for its creative, twenty-first century approach to holistic, student-centered learning, problem-based scholarship, and dedication to the public good through local, national, and international partnerships. Chancellor Haefner brings more than three decades of leadership experience in higher education to DU. At its core, DU is an international, research-driven teaching institution focused on preparing students for lives of purpose and confronting the great issues of our time.
The University of Denver is located on a 125-acre campus less than 30 minutes from downtown. Through the Denver Advantage, the University aims to integrate and engage the campus with its surrounding neighborhood, open the doors of campus to the City of Denver, and foster a greater sense of belonging for the DU community. The beautiful campus, with sweeping views of the Denver skyline and the Rocky Mountains, is also designated as an arboretum. In 2019, Business Insider ranked Denver second in its list of “50 Best Places to Live in America Right Now,” and U.S. News & World Report has rated Colorado as the nation’s top economy for the past three years.
Over the past ten years, the percentage of underrepresented students at DU increased by 8 percentage points, from 17 percent in fall 2010 to 25 percent in fall 2019. An additional 6 percent of students are international students. Twenty percent of appointed faculty members are domestic persons of color, and 2 percent are international. DU designed new hiring guidelines and retention efforts to support an increasingly diverse faculty and staff. The University has approximately 3,318 employees, comprising 1,853 staff, 763 appointed faculty, 264 non-appointed hourly staff, and 663 adjunct faculty, making DU Denver’s second-largest non-retail employer. Of faculty, 49 percent identify as women, and 20 percent identify as persons of color. Of staff, 64 percent identify as women, and 26 percent identify as persons of color.
The University’s academic programs are led by 12 academic deans. Each program features cutting edge curricula, professor-led courses and access to the latest tools and technology. The 12:1 student-to-faculty ratio and small class sizes allow personalized instruction as well as multiple opportunities for research, exploration, and holistic student development. Ninety percent of fulltime appointed faculty members have earned the highest degree in their fields. DU faculty often collaborate on scholarly inquiry and pedagogical reflection with peer faculty and students from other disciplines, divisions, schools, colleges across campus and community partners. These 3 efforts—and many others like them—deepen the University’s intellectual portfolio and expand the opportunities available for its faculty and students.
Ranked 13th for most NCAA Division I championships, DU’s student athletes carry a rich history of success. The ski team has the most national titles of any in the U.S., and the men’s ice hockey team's eight national titles rank second among all NCAA programs. Student-athletes achieve academically above the national average, with an average GPA of 3.407. DU has a 94 percent graduation rate for student-athletes for the 2019–2020 school year.
DU also has an active and engaged Greek life on campus. The University hosts 20 fraternities and sororities which provide undergraduates and alumni with values-based opportunities for lifelong friendship, leadership development, scholarship enhancement, and social interaction. The fraternity and sorority students are scholars, athletes, and campus leaders; they are positively contributing to—and benefiting from—the DU collegiate experience. Currently, 22 percent of DU students are involved with fraternities and sororities, and many of those students also hold positions in the highly engaged Undergraduate Student Government, the University of Denver Programs Board (DUPB), Student Media Board, and many other organizations across campus.
Diversity and Inclusive Excellence
DU is dedicated to broadening diversity and fostering inclusive excellence. Three senior administrators in the Chancellor’s cabinet have direct accountability in areas of inclusive excellence: the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs and Inclusive Excellence; the Vice Chancellor for Human Resources and Inclusive Community; and the Vice Chancellor for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. These roles all contribute to overarching thought leadership for diversity matters on campus. The Vice Chancellor for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion will play a strong role as the chief officer for diversity at DU, and their close partnership and coordination with the Executive Director will be especially critical to advancing these efforts at the institution.
DU is committed to recruiting and retaining a diverse community and promotes the full participation and inclusion of all its members. The University embraces a distinctive philosophy that employs senior leadership as catalysts in a concerted effort to recruit all members of the University community—students, faculty, staff, and administrators—in the implementation of comprehensive plans for diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging. The Executive Director will be a key partner in supporting and upholding these efforts at DU.
There has been an increased focus on issues of diversity, equity, and inclusion at DU in recent years. DU’s IRISE 2.0 research incubator is just one example of that commitment. The new Executive Director will have a demonstrated knowledge of—and commitment to—intersectional issues of diversity, equity, and inclusion in the broadest sense. This includes experience serving communities dealing with subjects related to gender equity, racial inequities, LGBTQ+ discrimination, disability advocacy, as well as serving other marginalized communities, both traditionally and non-traditionally represented. Success in this new role will include strong servant leadership aimed at re-envisioning how DU advances issues of inclusive excellence in support of its broad community.
The Role of the Executive Director
The Executive Director will serve as the leading authority and central resource for all University constituencies on issues related to equal opportunity and Title IX, including coordinating and managing compliance and reporting efforts. Reporting directly to the Chancellor, the ED plays a key role in institutional efforts to build and sustain a safe, gender-equitable campus climate—free from discrimination and harassment—for all members of the University community. The Executive Director will be supported within the Office of Equal Opportunity and Title IX by an Associate Director of Equal Opportunity/ADA Coordinator, a Deputy Title IX Coordinator (currently interim), and three investigators (two of whom are in situ, with a third to be hired). This individual will work closely and collaboratively with partners across campus, including the Senior Vice Chancellor and Chief of Staff, Human Resources and Inclusive Community, the Office of General Counsel, the Center for Advocacy, Prevention, and Education (CAPE), the Provost and the Deans, Student Life, Student Rights & Responsibilities, Graduate Studies, Campus Safety, and Athletics & Recreation.
The next ED will have responsibility to assist with the following goals:
- Develop, implement, and coordinate campus-based strategic efforts at the highest level aimed at the prevention of harassment, sexual violence, and other forms of sex/ genderbased or race-based discrimination;
- Provide leadership on EO and Title IX compliance efforts and serve as a central resource for all members of the University community;
- Coordinate the prompt, effective, and equitable intake, investigation, and timely resolution of all complaints of sex/gender or racial discrimination;
- Oversee ongoing training, education, and consultation on EO, Title IX, and Title VII for all students, faculty, and staff, with specialized training for investigators, campus safety personnel, appellate officers, and others as required;
- Provide individualized guidance and communication to complainants, respondents, and survivors of sexual violence and sex/gender or racial discrimination;
- Submit annual reports on the volume, nature, and disposition of filed complaints, data collection, climate assessment, and pattern monitoring;
- Supervise and contribute to the creation of DU’s affirmative action plan and disseminate plan data to promote diversity; and,
- Serve as the principal contact for government inquiries pursuant to EO and Title IX, with the support of the Office of General Counsel and the Chancellor.
Opportunities and Challenges
The next Executive Director will arrive at a transformational time. This person will undoubtedly benefit from the leadership of Chancellor Jeremy Haefner, who is deeply committed to maintaining a safe, equitable campus environment for all members of the University community. In addition, the ED will join a hardworking and dedicated team that is ready to support the University’s community at the highest level. Finally, the student body at DU is highly active and engaged, as are the parents and families of students. This environment presents an opportunity for the new ED to engage meaningfully with all constituencies across the University.
Some of the top priorities for DU’s next Executive Director, EO and Title IX Coordinator include:
- Sustaining new procedures based on final Title IX regulations: The University will have implemented the new Title IX regulations prior to the arrival of the new Executive Director. As the Title IX Coordinator, the ED will be responsible for the sustained implementation of the new procedures resulting from the regulations.
- Working within a new role and reporting structure: Previously, the roles of Director of Equal Opportunity and Title IX Coordinator were separated. In this newly elevated, coordinated position, the roles have been combined, and reporting is now centralized under one position. Additionally, this role now reports directly to the Chancellor (previous reporting was through the Vice Chancellor for Human Resources and Inclusive Community), and the senior leadership is deeply and uniformly committed to the success of the new ED and the Office of EO and Title IX. The new ED will be responsible for effectively communicating these new reporting structures and procedures to the community. The Executive Director will have the ability to balance, strategize, and prioritize more effectively within this new structure.
- Building trust among constituencies: The new Executive Director will work to engender an environment of trust and confidence among the constituencies served, especially among the student population. The University’s students are highly engaged, presenting a unique opportunity for communication and support from the Office of EO and Title IX. The ED will promote the prompt resolution of all complaints, and they will work with their team to produce timely, thorough, and transparent communication about all procedures and policies throughout the complaint process. The ED will also proactively implement systems and resources to facilitate safety for students, faculty, and staff. Finally, the Executive Director will bring consistency to the role and build confidence in the ability of the office to serve the entire DU community equitably.
- Fostering partnerships across the University: The Executive Director will work closely with the Vice Chancellor for Human Resources and Inclusive Community (currently Interim), the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs and Inclusive Excellence (soon to be named), and the Vice Chancellor for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (search launching fall 2020), as well as other leaders across the University on issues related to equal opportunity and Title IX. Though there is no official reporting relationship with these roles, there are deep connections in their portfolios. The ED will bring a strong relational ability to the role to help strengthen these connections in support of the University community.
Desired Qualities and Qualifications
The ideal candidate will bring a highly experienced, expansive working knowledge of the current and emerging regulatory environments in higher education, as well as a deep and broad awareness of national issues and trends as they relate to equal opportunity, Title IX, and Title VII regulations. The new ED will also possess a broad understanding of the procedures and policies around investigations of discrimination complaints in higher education. At a minimum, a Master’s degree is required for this role. A JD is preferred, but not required. In addition, the individual must have significant administrative experience, preferably at an institution appropriate to the size and complexity of the University of Denver.
The new Executive Director will possess many of the following qualities and experiences:
- Commitment to advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion: The new ED will have a demonstrated knowledge of—and commitment to—intersectional issues of diversity, equity, and inclusion in the broadest sense. A well-established mindfulness of the needs of minoritized communities and individuals will be incredibly important. The ED will be committed to fostering a culture of community and inclusive excellence that is ever evolving.
- High level of organization: Managing EO and Title IX for the entire University represents a substantial workload. The ED should exhibit exceptional skills in the areas of communication and collaboration, team building and support, management, leadership, and organizational prioritization and analysis.
- Experience in higher education: The new Executive Director will bring extensive experience in EO and Title IX in an academic environment. The ED will be well versed in communicating with and supporting students and faculty as well as staff and administration. An understanding of the nuances of the higher education environment, as it pertains to issues of EO and Title IX, will bolster the strategic position of the ED.
- Relational leadership: The ED will demonstrate strength in working with individuals as well as working with and across groups. The Executive Director will have robust experience building consensus among and across constituencies. The ED will be highly culturally competent with strong professional experience in social justice and civil and human rights issues. The right candidate will bring a deep understanding of the needs of underrepresented and underserved communities in higher education.
- Strong mentoring and training abilities: The ED will be highly experienced in effectively training and educating individuals and communities on issues related to EO and Title IX. The ideal candidate will be an adept servant leader with a strong capacity for management, coaching, and unity-building. Characteristically, the ED will be collaborative, communicative, approachable, nimble, and entrepreneurial. Relationally, the ED will display both sympathetic and empathetic attributes as a self-directed leader with an even temperament.
Information for Candidates
This position is anticipated to begin in the fall of 2020. Please send all nominations, inquiries, and expressions of interest in confidence and electronically to:
Shelly Weiss Storbeck, Managing Partner
Tammarah Townes, Managing Associate
Carly Rose DiGiovanni, Associate
The University of Denver is committed to enhancing the diversity of its faculty and staff. We are an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment regardless of age, race, color, national origin, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability, military/ veteran status or any other status protected by law.
All offers of employment are based upon satisfactory completion of a criminal history background check.