University of Colorado Denver - Vice Chancellor for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

CO, Denver

The University of Colorado Denver (CU Denver) seeks an experienced and inspiring leader to serve as its next vice chancellor for diversity, equity and inclusion (VCDEI).

Part of the University of Colorado System, CU Denver is a comprehensive urban research institution in metropolitan Denver. With eight schools and colleges, the university is home to more than 14,000 students and 1,138 faculty members and offers 110 degree programs both in-person and online.

Reporting directly to Chancellor Michelle Marks, who joined the CU Denver community on July 1, 2020, the new vice chancellor will direct the university’s strategic initiatives for diversity, equity, and inclusion and serve as an active member of the chancellor’s cabinet. Chancellor Marks spent her first ten days in office dedicated to an extensive listening tour specifically focused on understanding issues of equity and racial justice affecting the CU Denver community. Chancellor Marks has made a formal Commitment for Action inspired by community ideas, experiences and expertise at the university. The actions, which include establishing an equity task force, are set on a schedule that will have both immediate and long-term impact on the CU Denver community.

Located in the heart of downtown, CU Denver combines innovative research and accessible education with the advantages that only a dynamic urban environment such as Denver can provide. As the university approaches its 50th anniversary in 2023 and pursues federal designation as a Hispanic-Serving Institution (HSI), there is great opportunity for the new vice chancellor to have a strong impact. The campus community is eager to embrace a new leader who will build upon the university’s strengths; position the campus as a place that brings people into the conversation around diversity, equity and inclusion; and achieves progress along a number of dimensions, creating a more just, equitable and belonging climate at CU Denver.    

The VCDEI has immediate opportunity to drive and develop initiatives that will create meaningful change on the campus. This leader will be expected to finalize a diversity, equity and inclusion strategic plan and lead its implementation; partner with units across the campus to enhance diversity, equity and inclusion and build community; lead the Office of Diversity and Inclusion and establish a system of accountability using data and reporting; and proactively engage in resource development to support diversity initiatives.

CU Denver seeks a dynamic, collaborative and nimble leader whose style builds trust with the campus community. It is worth noting that this is not a status quo position: The expectation is that the VCDEI will lead an effort that is campus-wide and effective, and that brings the institution to a very different place. The new vice chancellor will bring a proven record of accomplishment in advancing diversity and will lead with integrity and honesty. The ideal candidate will bring a significant background in diversity leadership with demonstrated experience influencing and improving organizational culture. Candidates should have a clear understanding of project management processes and an ability to work in a collaborative, mission driven environment with diverse internal and external audiences. Experience facilitating nuanced conversations around diversity issues and the First Amendment is highly desired. A Ph.D. or other terminal degree is preferred.  

WittKieffer is assisting CU Denver in this recruitment. Applications, nominations and inquiries are invited. Applications should include, as separate documents, a CV or resume and a letter of interest addressing the themes in the leadership profile. For fullest consideration, candidate materials should be received by December 4, 2020. Application materials should be submitted using the Apply button below.

Nominations and inquiries can be directed to the university’s consultants, Charlene Aguilar, Christine Pendleton and Robin Mamlet at

University of Colorado Denver | Anschutz Medical Campus is committed to recruiting and supporting a diverse student body, faculty and administrative staff. The university strives to promote a culture of inclusiveness, respect, communication and understanding. We encourage applications from women, ethnic minorities, persons with disabilities and all veterans. The University of Colorado is committed to diversity and equality in education and employment.