About the University of Connecticut
The University of Connecticut (UConn), the flagship public university of the State of Connecticut, seeks nominations and applications for the next associate vice president for the Office of Institutional Equity.
Founded in 1881, the University spans 4,109 acres at its main campus and four regional campuses, and an additional 209 acres at the UConn Health Center in Farmington. The main campus, located in Storrs, Connecticut, enrolls over 32,000 students. The State of Connecticut has invested over $4 billion to renew, rebuild and enhance University facilities, and UConn is ranked by U.S. News & World Report as one of the top 25 public universities in the nation. The institution is in the midst of a profound period of growth and development and is firm in its standing as one of the finest public universities in the United States.
The associate vice president (AVP) reports to the president of UConn with a dotted line report to the executive vice president for health affairs at UConn Health. The AVP provides administrative and program leadership for the Office of Institutional Equity, which ensures the University’s commitment and responsibility to foster equitable and inclusive working and learning environments.
This is an opportunity for an experienced institutional equity professional to assist in the development of innovative, legally justifiable programs and initiatives designed to improve diversity, inclusion, climate and retention within an institution that has been on an impressive trajectory.
The ideal candidate will have a minimum of five years of experience overseeing an institutional equity portfolio within a higher education setting including conducting and overseeing investigations of claims of discrimination and harassment, overseeing Title IX compliance and AA/EEO compliance efforts, overseeing training and education efforts, and supervising professional staff.
Candidates will have a demonstrated ability to work collaboratively and effectively in a shared governance environment and build productive relationships with a broad range of constituents. Candidates should also have experience in strategic planning, budget development, and staff supervision with a record of demonstrated integrity, professionalism, good judgment, and commitment to transparent leadership, including commitment to staff professional development and wellness. A juris doctor degree and experience working effectively in an academic medical center and a unionized environment are preferred.
This is a full-time management position. The University offers a competitive salary, outstanding benefits, and a highly desirable work environment. For additional information regarding benefits visit: https://hr.uconn.edu/benefits-beyond-pay/.
Major Responsibilities and Accountabilities
Advisor to President and Senior Administraton
- Serves as advisor to President and Senior Administration with authority and responsibility for the Storrs and Regional campuses and UConn Health EEO/AA compliance, providing leadership around equity compliance efforts across the institution.
- Directs implementation of equity compliance initiatives, programs, and projects.
- Provides strategic and programmatic direction to all campuses, including UConn Health, to ensure effective and consistent application of University wide-policies and initiatives relating to affirmative action and Works closely with the Vice President & Chief Diversity Officer and the Associate Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer to assist in the development of innovative, legally justifiable programs and initiatives designed to improve diversity, inclusion, climate and retention.
- Collaborates with many institutional offices in the design, implementation and monitoring of civil rights, social equity, multiculturalism, sexual harassment, and diversity training and compliance programs.
- Other duties and projects as assigned by the President.
Affirmative Action Officer and Affirmative Action Plan Compliance (i.e. Search Compliance)
Statutory Compliance (State and Federal)
- Serves as the University’s designated Affirmative Action Officer for Storrs, the Regional campuses, and UConn Health and as such, directs EEO/AA compliance services, including the preparation and implementation of the University’s state and federal affirmative action plans, internal analyses and reports.
- Serves as University liaison to the Connecticut Commission on Human Rights & Opportunities (CHRO) on University’s Affirmative Action Plan and to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and other relevant state and federal agencies on civil rights cases, compliance reviews, and audits.
- Provides periodic reports to the President, the Board of Trustees, the University Senate, the Deans Council, and other constituent groups regarding EEO/AA Compliance.
- When assigned by the President, serves as a legislative liaison on EEO/AA and other diversity compliance issues, including participating in the review of University responses to proposed statewide legislation and developing and providing testimony on the University’s behalf in related legislative hearings.
Internal University Compliance (including Search Compliance)
- Monitors institutional diversity goals as related to EEO/AA compliance requirements, including evaluation and approval of recruitment and retention efforts for senior executives, faculty and non-teaching professional staff.
- Develops, implements, and monitors institutional policies, procedures and practices to ensure compliance with equal employment opportunity and affirmative action regulations.
- Works closely with the Office of Human Resources to ensure the development and oversight of search policies and procedures for senior executives, faculty and non-teaching professional staff that the University’s employment search process is free from unlawful discrimination and is compliant with applicable affirmative action laws and regulations; evaluates and approves requests for exemptions to search policies and procedures.
- In collaboration with the Chief Diversity Officer and Chief Human Resources Officer, oversees the development of search support services; recruitment and search techniques that will enhance diversification; and maintains databases for searches and recruitment contacts.
Civil Rights Case Management – Discrimination and Discriminatory Harassment
- Receives, investigates, and resolves internal complaints of discrimination and discriminatory harassment; maintains database for complaints and produces internal reports and analyses across entire institution, including Storrs, Regionals, and UConn Health.
- Assists in the investigation of all pre-litigation external discrimination cases filed against the University, including against UConn Health with state and federal enforcement agencies (CHRO, EEOC, and Office of Civil Rights (OCR)).
- Recommends remedial action or discipline to mitigate the effects of discriminatory conduct, where found, and consults with Human Resources and the General Counsel’s Office to ensure that appropriate disciplinary and personnel actions are taken when investigative results find that discriminatory conduct has been substantiated.
- Manages and/or coordinates centralized state and federally mandated training (diversity and sexual harassment prevention) for all University employees; coordinates other education programs on an ongoing basis regarding civil rights and diversity, intergroup relations, conflict resolution and discrimination case management.
Title IX Coordinator, ADA Coordinator
Serves as the institution’s statutory compliance coordinator with regard to designated federal non-discrimination laws, including but not limited to Title IX of the Educational Amendments of 1972, the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, the Age Discrimination Act of 1975, and Section 1557 of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act for Storrs, all Regionals, and UConn Health.
- As Title IX Coordinator, coordinates the University’s response to reports of sexual assault and sexual harassment, including serving as the Chair of the University’s Title IX Committee.
- Working closely in partnership with a wide range of University constituencies, including students, staff, faculty, community members, administration and public safety, serves as the University’s senior administrator with overall responsibility for providing vision and leadership around Title IX compliance efforts across the Institution (all campuses, including UConn Health).
- Working closely with upper level administration and Human Resources, manages Title IX investigations and institutional response where Respondent (alleged perpetrator) is a University employee, contractor or vendor.
- Generates and analyzes sexual assault reports and institutional response to sexual assault reports in order to determine campus trends and provide leadership on ameliorative and preventative measures, including campus-wide training and education initiatives.
- Works closely with upper level campus administrators and University counsel to ensure Clery Act compliance with respect to sexual assault reporting.
Americans with Disabilities Act/Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act
- Serving as the University’s ADA Coordinator and Section 504 Coordinator, ensures institutional compliance with the ADA and other disabilities regulations (state and federal).
- Oversees the institution’s interactive accommodations process with respect to all requests for accommodations, including Storrs, all Regionals, and UConn Health.
- Responsible for training of campus community regarding the Americans with Disabilities Act, including ensuring that the University is following best practices as articulated by courts in the Second Circuit and Connecticut, as well as Congressional guidance under the 2009 Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act (ADAAA).
- Works closely with campus community members involved in ADA Compliance, including serving as a Co-Chair of the Institution’s ADA Committee, to ensure institution-wide compliance with the ADA.
- Serves as the Designated Person pursuant to OCR regulations for the purposes of student appeals of ADA accommodations process (Title II of the ADA, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act).
- Provides administrative and program leadership for the Office of Institutional Equity, including Storrs, Regionals and UConn Health.
- Hires, trains, supervises and evaluates the performance of Unclassified and Classified staff, graduate students, law student externs, and student interns; ensures diversity of staff; provides opportunities for professional development of staff; determines staffing needs and priorities. Manages the budget and determines budgetary needs and priorities for the Office of Institutional Equity.
- Advanced degree and a minimum of 5 years professional experience overseeing an institutional equity portfolio within a higher education setting, including conducting and overseeing investigations of claims of discrimination and harassment, overseeing Title IX compliance, overseeing AA/EEO compliance efforts, overseeing training and education efforts, and supervising professional staff
- Demonstrated understanding of the principles of employment discrimination, equal opportunity, affirmative action, Title IX and other relevant compliance laws and regulations in the higher education setting
- Experience supervising impartial investigations of claims of discrimination, harassment and retaliation pursuant to Title VII and related statutes and regulations in a timely, appropriate, responsive and effective manner consistent with established institutional policy and procedures
- Excellent listening and communication skills, oral and written
- Successful experience in strategic planning, budget development, and staff supervision with a record of demonstrated integrity, professionalism, good judgment, and commitment to transparent leadership, including commitment to staff professional development and wellness
- Experience overseeing the design and delivery of effective compliance-based training programs on civil rights topics for students, staff and faculty
- Demonstrated ability to work collaboratively and effectively in a shared governance environment, building productive relationships with a broad range of constituents
- Successful record of collaboration and partnerships with the external stakeholders and the larger community
- Evidence of a commitment to diversity and inclusion through active participation and engagement in initiatives promoting equity and inclusion
- Demonstrated strong organizational skills, including but not limited to simultaneously managing multiple complex projects, cases, committees and deadlines while also maintaining appropriately timely response to electronic mail messages, calendar requests and other similar types of correspondence
- Juris Doctorate
- Experience overseeing an institutional equity portfolio in an academic medical center setting
- Recent experience having served in the role of Title IX Coordinator in the higher education setting
- Demonstrated experience drafting university-wide policies and related procedures regarding discrimination, harassment and institutional accessibility, with a record of successful collaboration with a wide range of stakeholders with sometimes divergent views and interests
- Experience drafting and/or directly overseeing the preparation of state and/or federal Affirmative Action Plans
- Skilled public speaker and trainer, including demonstrated experience with designing and delivering dynamic and effective training programs and concise briefings for executive-level administrators and academic leadership, external stakeholders, media, and public officials
- Experience working effectively in a unionized environment
How to Apply
All 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 full consideration, applicant materials should be received by April 9, 2021. Application materials should be submitted at https://www.wittkieffer.com/position/22244-associate-vice-president-for-the-office-of-institutional-equity/.
Nominations and inquiries can be directed to:
Charlene Aguilar, Christine Pendleton and Lauren Bruce-Stets UConnAVPOIE@wittkieffer.com
The University of Connecticut is committed to building and supporting a multicultural and diverse community of students, faculty and staff. The diversity of students, faculty and staff continues to increase, as does the number of honors students, valedictorians and salutatorians who consistently make UConn their top choice. More than 100 research centers and institutes serve the University’s teaching, research, diversity, and outreach missions, leading to UConn’s ranking as one of the nation’s top research universities. UConn’s faculty and staff are the critical link to fostering and expanding our vibrant, multicultural and diverse University community. As an Affirmative Action/Equal Employment Opportunity employer, UConn encourages applications from women, veterans, people with disabilities and members of traditionally underrepresented populations.