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Changes on the Horizon for CDOs in Higher Education

Wednesday, August 31, 2011
A recent national survey conducted by Witt/Kieffer finds that reporting relationships vary widely among CDOs; 36 percent report to the president and 69 percent say their presidents are engaged in their institution’s diversity strategic planning processes and initiatives. Results also show that while opportunities exist for CDOs, large turnover could lead to major changes in the role – half of CDOs in higher education plan to leave their position within three years.
Forty-three (43) percent of survey respondents are the first to hold the CDO title at their respective institutions. Oliver Tomlin, Witt/Kieffer vice president in the firm’s higher education executive search practice, finds this to be in line with his own findings. “We expect a consistent trend in institutions hiring CDOs for inaugural positions, especially in private and faith-based institutions,” Tomlin says. Those that work in the diversity field tend to stay in the field; 41 percent report that they have at least 15 years of experience, and another 25 percent report 11-15 years of experience.
The full report can be found here and the survey results were recently featured in an Inside Higher Ed article, which you can find here. For more information, please contact Lucy Leske, vice president and education practice co-leader, at 508-680-1268 or Oliver Tomlin, vice president, at 215-568-2160.

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