Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs and Inclusive Excellence

Apply now Job no: 492978
Work type: Staff Full-Time
Location: Denver, CO
Categories: Academic Administration, Student Affairs / Services

                                           To ensure full consideration, inquiries, nominations, and applications should be                                             submitted electronically, in confidence, by Monday, March 9, 2020 to:

Applications submitted through PioneerJobs will NOT be considered.

The University of Denver: An Overview

Founded in 1864, the University of Denver is an independent, doctoral-granting university with high research activity. The University has become increasingly known, nationally and internationally, for its creative, 21st-century approaches to problem-based scholarship, as well as its holistic, student-centered approach to learning and its dedication to the public good through local, national and international partnerships. The University plays an integral role in the cultural, social, economic and educational vibrancy of the fast-growing city and region it calls home.

The University of Denver is located on a 125-acre campus less than 30 minutes from downtown. During the past 20 years, the University has invested more than $852 million in renovating, modernizing and growing its campus and is currently constructing three new buildings set to open in 2020: The Burwell Center for Career Achievement, the Dimond Family Residential Village, and a new student-focused Community Commons. These three new buildings represent the first phase of the Denver Advantage Campus Framework Plan, an ambitious and innovative vision for the physical future of DU. Through the Denver Advantage, the University aims to integrate the campus and its surrounding neighborhood, open the doors of campus to the city of Denver, and foster a great sense of belonging for the DU community. 

Other buildings constructed on campus in the past 25 years include the Daniel Felix Ritchie School of Engineering and Computer Science, the Anna & John J. Sie International Relations Complex the Ritchie Center for Sports and Wellness, the Newman Center for the Performing Arts, the Chambers Center for the Advancement of Women, Olin Hall, the Ricketson Law Building, Ruffatto Hall (Morgridge College of Education), the Daniels College of Business, the Joy Burns Center and the Anderson Academic Commons, as well as two new residence halls.

The Strategic Plan: DU IMPACT 2025

The University of Denver has a bold and courageous vision for higher education in the 21st century. The University is creating substantial changes that will have an enormous impact on our students, the research of our faculty, the community and beyond, framed by the strategic plan DU IMPACT 2025. DU will continue to innovate around our strengths in teaching, learning, and discovery. The faculty and students will accelerate the ways research can be used to address society’s most vexing problems. Chancellor Jeremy Haefner has introduced five strategic imperatives that will accelerate DU’s progress toward the goals of DU IMPACT 2025.

Chancellor Haefner’s five strategic imperatives are:

  1. Ensure a sustainable future for the next generation
  2. Create a unique, global, 4D student experience, emphasizing a holistic approach to learning and student success
  3. Cultivate an exceptionally diverse, inclusive, equitable and welcoming community
  4. Define and model a global, engaged research university
  5. Ensure a signature portfolio of academic programs

Academic Profile

U.S. News and World Report lists the University of Denver among the nation’s top 100 universities. The Carnegie Classifications identify DU as a “Doctoral University: High Research Activity.” The University enrolls about 13,000 students from all regions of the United States and 80 foreign countries in its distinguished undergraduate liberal arts and science and graduate and professional programs. The University’s academic programs are led by twelve 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. There are more than 700 full-time appointed faculty members, of which 90 percent have earned the highest degree in their fields. DU faculty often collaborate on scholarly inquiry and pedagogical reflection with faculty and students from other disciplines, divisions, schools, colleges across campus and community partners. These efforts—and many others like them—deepen the University’s intellectual portfolio and expand the opportunities available for its faculty and students.

Student Life

In fall 2019, there were 5,808 undergraduates and 7,241 graduate students. Six percent of students are international, 60 percent of students are female, and nearly a quarter identify as a domestic minority. DU students display great ethnic, cultural, and spiritual diversity. What binds them together is a commitment to scholarly excellence, attention and access to professors and an insatiable curiosity and drive to make a difference in the world. Students work closely with faculty, staff, peers, members of the broader Denver/Rocky Mountain area, and international communities on projects, research and fieldwork. They work across disciplines to discover new perspectives and approaches to problem-solving. To prepare students for the challenges of productive citizenship, the University of Denver offers rigorous programs that emphasize critical thinking, innovative problem solving, ethical leadership and global engagement. When students leave DU, they are ready to make a difference in organizations and communities around the world.


The University has total annually budgeted revenues of $480 million and total endowment assets in excess of $800 million as of December 31, 2019. In FY 2019, the University raised $86.5 million in voluntary giving commitments. FY 2019 sponsored research expenditures exceeded $36 million. The University’s research partnerships with corporations include Lockheed Martin, United Launch Alliance, DePuy, Arrow Electronics, DaVita, Ball Corporation and others.

The University has 4,583 employees, comprised of 1,599 appointed staff, 701 appointed faculty, 264 non-appointed hourly staff, 578 adjunct faculty and 1,441 student employees. Forty-eight percent of faculty are women, and 19 percent identify as persons of color. Sixty-four percent of staff are women, and 22 percent identify as persons of color.


There are more than 140,000 active alumni worldwide. Notable DU alumni include former U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice; former U.S. Army Chief of Staff General George W. Casey Jr.; former U.S. Secretary of the Interior Gale Norton; former Time Magazine Editor at Large David von Drehle; former New York Times editorial page editor Andrew Rosenthal; Olympic gold medalist Michelle Kwan; Prosecutor of the Special Court of Sierra Leone Brenda J. Hollis; Hockey Hall of Fame Member Craig Patrick; Speaker of the Colorado House of Representatives Crisanta Duran; CEO of Reynolds American Debra Crew; former Chief Strategy Officer of Snapchat Imran Khan; Chairman of Cox Enterprises Jim Kennedy and Peter Coors, chairman of the board of Molson Coors.

Diversity and Inclusive Excellence

DU shows a demonstrated commitment to 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, who provide overarching thought leadership for diversity, equity and inclusion on campus.

DU is fully committed to recruiting and retaining a diverse community and promotes the full participation and prosperity of all of 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, staff, faculty and administrators—in the implementation of comprehensive plans for diversity and inclusion. DU’s IRISE research incubator is just one example of that commitment. The Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs and Inclusive Excellence will be a key partner with the other cabinet members in these efforts, providing council for University-wide recruitment, retention and support of students, faculty and staff from diverse backgrounds.

Since 2010, DU has seen a 55 percent increase in domestic students of color, from 18 to 25 percent of the student body; another six percent are international students from over 80 countries around the globe. Nineteen percent of appointed faculty members are domestic persons of color, and two percent are international. New hiring guidelines and retention efforts are designed to support an increasingly diverse set of faculty and staff members.

About the Chancellor

Dr. Jeremy Haefner is the University of Denver’s 19th chancellor, and he brings to DU over three decades of leadership experience in higher education. Since 2014, the University has made substantial strides toward implementing the goals of its strategic plan, DU IMPACT 2025. Named chancellor by the University of Denver Board of Trustees in 2019, Dr. Haefner seeks to continue and build upon the DU community’s momentum. Chancellor Haefner strongly believes DU is an institution uniquely able to serve students as they prepare for successful careers and meaningful lives—today and into the future. In DU’s faculty, he sees limitless potential and talent and knows their research will further the creation of knowledge and serve the public good. As chancellor, Dr. Haefner energetically supports the University’s commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusive excellence, and he will continue to build on DU’s long legacy of fearless innovation and ethical leadership.

Previously, Chancellor Haefner served as DU’s provost and executive vice chancellor. He has also served in other leadership positions such as provost and senior vice president for academic affairs at Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) and, at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs, as dean of engineering and applied science, associate vice chancellor for research and dean of the graduate school. He has also held fellowships with the American Council on Education, the National Learning Infrastructure Institute, and the University of Murcia in Spain.

As a mathematician, Chancellor Haefner studies integral representation and module theory, and his research has been supported by the National Security Agency, the National Science Foundation, the Air Force Office of Scientific Research, and the government of Spain. He graduated from the University of Iowa with a B.A. in mathematics and has a Ph.D. and an M.A. in mathematics from the University of Wisconsin.

Chancellor Haefner’s enthusiasm for using technology as a learning tool led him to receive the inaugural President’s Faculty Excellence Award for Advancing Teaching and Learning through Technology (1998) from the University of Colorado System and the inaugural Innovations in Teaching with Technology (1998) from the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs.

Chancellor Haefner and his wife, Maurin, have three adult children and reside in Denver, Colorado.

Student Affairs and Inclusive Excellence

Student Affairs is the centralized hub for student resources and activities at the University of Denver. The division of Student Affairs and Inclusive Excellence (formerly Campus Life and Inclusive Excellence) focuses on the importance of the campus environment for all members of the community; supports student, living, learning, thriving and success; and ensures that inclusive excellence is the heart of the mission and embedded in the educational and communal practices at DU.

The mission of the division is to provide students with the support and skills needed to become empowered citizens who positively impact the communities they are a part of now, and in the future. This is done by challenging students to:

  • Reflect on their values and identities;
  • Recognize their strengths and acknowledge areas for further growth;
  • Understand the importance of needing support and seeking it;
  • Cultivate their passions; and
  • Foster the public good.

Partnering with student programs across the University and with the offices of diversity, equity, and inclusion in many of the administrative units, the division of Student Affairs and Inclusive Excellence will include: Access and Transitions programs, Community and Residential Education (Housing & Residential Education, Office of Student Engagement & Fraternity and Sorority Life, and the Student Union/Community Commons), Cultural Center and Spiritual Life, Discoveries Orientation, Disability Services Program, the Learning Effectiveness Program, Inclusion & Equity Education, Parent & Family Engagement, Student Rights & Responsibilities, Student Outreach & Support, the Health & Counseling Center, the Center for Advocacy, Prevention and Empowerment (C.A.P.E.), Health Promotion, Collegiate Recovery Community, and Veterans Services, which, in collaboration with University partners, fosters an inclusive environment that welcomes, supports, and celebrates the University of Denver's exceptional students, faculty, and staff. Each of these offices supports the student experience by providing unique programs, services, and facilities designed to foster student development and help students find their purpose.

The division of Student Affairs and Inclusive Excellence will continue to advance diversity, equity and inclusion in support of the University's vision to be a great private university dedicated to the public good. Over the last several years, there has been progress in implementing Inclusive Excellence with many deans, administrators, faculty, staff, students, and alumni making significant contributions to the effort. Much progress has been made particularly in embedding diversity into the University's processes, systems, mission statements, and other structural dimensions. Clearly the University is at the next stage of expanding its commitment to and support of inclusive excellence. The Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs and Inclusive Excellence will partner with leaders in the Provost’s Office, the Vice Chancellor for the Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, the Vice Chancellor for Human Resources and Inclusive Community, and leaders across campus to continue to promote diversity and inclusion in all academic and administrative units.

The Role and Responsibilities of the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs and Inclusive Excellence

Reporting to the Chancellor, the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs and Inclusive Excellence (“Vice Chancellor”) will provide visionary leadership and be instrumental in helping to weave the student and campus experience into the University’s long-term strategic planning efforts. The Vice Chancellor will staff the Board of Trustees Campus Life and Student Success Committee, serve as a member of the Chancellor's cabinet, oversee the Division of Student Affairs and Inclusive Excellence, and work closely with student services in the graduate and professional schools. They will manage a budget of approximately $43 million in revenue and $30 million in expenses with a staff of approximately 109 full-time employees and approximately 250 part-time employees including student workers.

They will work closely with the Chancellor and the Provost, as well as key stakeholders, to create new programs, continue to shape the culture and reach out to the Denver community and beyond to create an educational experience of leadership, innovation, and service to the public good for all students. They will work closely with leadership throughout campus to embed diversity, equity and inclusion in the student experience.

Central partnerships for the Vice Chancellor will be with the Provost and Deans, as well as University’s academic degree-granting programs. These are headed by the Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor working with the twelve academic Deans. They include: the College of Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences; the Division of Natural Sciences and Mathematics; the Josef Korbel School of International Studies; the Daniel Felix Ritchie School of Engineering and Computer Science; the Morgridge College of Education; University Libraries; the Daniels College of Business; the Colorado Women’s College; the Graduate School of Professional Psychology; the Graduate School of Social Work; University College; and, the Sturm College of Law. Seven of those programs offer undergraduate degrees, and all but two offer graduate degrees.

The Vice Chancellor will also collaborate closely with the Vice Provost for Academic Affairs. Academic Affairs supports cocurricular innovation, academic rigor, and experiential and community-engaged learning in the following university-wide programs: the Center for Community Engagement & Service Learning (CCESL), the Pioneer Leadership Program, the Living & Learning Communities, the University Honors Program, Boettcher Scholars, the Undergraduate Research Center, the University Writing Program, and the University Common Curriculum.

The Vice Chancellor will work in partnership with the Vice Chancellor for Enrollment to assist students making the transition to the University and ensuring their persistence to graduation. The Enrollment division, which consists of the offices of Undergraduate Admission and Financial Aid, seeks to enroll a diverse, ethical and intellectually vibrant student body that can be successful at the University of Denver.

The Vice Chancellor will also work closely with the Vice Chancellor of Advancement and have a strong partnership with Career & Professional Development collaborating with the 4 Dimensional student experience. The University’s strategic plan and comprehensive campaign will include a major focus on student life and support for student success, and the next Vice Chancellor will provide key leadership and support for advancement opportunities related to the student experience.

Opportunities and Challenges for the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs and Inclusive Excellence

The University of Denver desires to continue providing excellent services to its students, and also to become a 21st century leader in redesigning a holistic educational experience for its students and an inclusive community for everyone. The Vice Chancellor will be in a unique position to support and shape this vision. They will continue to enhance the student experience and student support through the implementation of new initiatives that reflect the intellectual vibrancy, creativity, and strength of the DU student body, as well as its increasing diversity.

In summary, the next Vice Chancellor will have the opportunity to:

  • Provide strategic leadership in expanding the diverse and inclusive environment of DU, developing a bold and cohesive vision for student life and inclusion across campus and working collaboratively alongside faculty, staff, students, and administrators to implement University-wide initiatives;
  • Develop innovative and unifying strategies to strengthen the student experience for undergraduate, graduate, and professional students, affording all students the opportunity to develop and reach their personal goals;
  • Work with academic leadership across the institution to successfully weave together student life, diversity and inclusion, and the academic experience in accordance with the University’s strategic planning efforts and long-term vision;
  • Build a strong campus climate that reflects increasing diversity and strength of the DU student body and ensures support and success for students of diverse backgrounds; and,
  • Coordinate compliance of student-related policies across all units with state and federal regulations in a consistent manner.

Desired Qualifications and Characteristics for Candidates

The preferred candidate for this position will be highly energetic, creative, and collaborative. They must possess a track record of successful administrative leadership in a student-oriented environment and a strong commitment to diversity and inclusion. They will also have a passion for the mission and culture of DU and a commitment to providing undergraduate, graduate, and professional students with an outstanding DU experience.

In addition, the ideal candidate will possess the following characteristics and qualifications:

  • Substantial experience working in higher education;
  • Demonstrated ability in leading large and complex initiatives to successful completion;
  • Strong budgetary and personnel management experience;
  • Experience working across a wide range of constituencies with a high degree of diplomacy (e.g. students, faculty, administrative colleagues, parents, community residents, alumni, trustees, etc.);
  • Ability to be bold and innovative;
  • Exceptional interpersonal and communication skills;
  • Experience in crisis management, responding to unexpected events with diplomacy and sophistication to the press and university community;
  • Intrinsically collaborative style of leadership;
  • Proven strategic leadership ability and experience working effectively with multiple stakeholder groups including the board of trustees and senior leadership team;
  • Strong analytic skills, with demonstrated ability to establish data‐driven metrics;
  • A proven commitment to promoting and advancing diversity and inclusion;
  • An understanding of emerging issues related to student life, diversity and inclusion, including best-practices and compliance issues and the ability to address these issues as they emerge;
  • Genuine passion for working with and supporting students in their academic and personal development;
  • A holistic view of the student experience;
  • A high degree of accessibility and openness to students;
  • An ability to maintain the highest levels of confidentiality; and,
  • Excellent judgment and discretion.


A bachelor’s degree is required, an advanced degree is strongly preferred.

Nominations and Applications

The priority deadline for the submission of applications is Monday, March 9, 2020.  Applications should include 1) a detailed resume and 2) a letter of interest that addresses the responsibilities and requirements described above, as well as the applicant’s motivation to apply. 

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.

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