Posted: April 19, 2022
Summary of Position
The University of Minnesota Law School is hiring an Assistant Dean of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. This is a new position envisioned as a key leadership role at the Law School, reporting directly to the Dean and serving as a critical member of the Law School’s senior leadership team. This position will collaborate closely with the Dean, other law school and university leaders, students, faculty, and staff to develop and advance the Law School’s strategic actions to forward progress in diversity, equity, and inclusion.
In October 2021, the Law School’s Racial Equity & Justice Committee, composed of students, faculty, senior leadership, and staff, released an Accountability Report to provide transparency about the Law School’s efforts to advance DEI and racial justice, and offer recommendations to continue moving forward. Students strongly advocated for the creation of a position for an Assistant Dean for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, and there is broad enthusiasm among faculty and staff at the Law School for the mission that person will undertake. The person chosen will lead and align this critical work, with a focus on leading support for a diverse student community; directing strategic initiatives in diversity, equity, and inclusion; supporting recruitment efforts for a diverse student community; and leading educational programming and training to advance the Law School’s goals.
The Assistant Dean will be a skilled and experienced professional, with expertise in diversity, equity, and inclusion best practices in leading schools across the nation, and a thoughtful eye for partnership opportunities to advance this work across the Law School, the University, and beyond. They will be adept at encouraging broad community-building, engagement, and accountability, acknowledging that this work cannot fall to one person.
Lead Support for a Diverse Student Community - 35%
- Lead support to strengthen a sense of community and belonging among an increasingly diverse student community at the Law School.
- Collaborate and partner with student-facing offices, including Student Affairs, the Career Center, and Academic & Bar Support, as well as with senior leadership, faculty, student affinity groups, and alumni, to shape strategy and coordinate school-wide efforts to foster a welcoming and inclusive learning environment.
- Serve as a primary liaison between students, faculty, staff, and senior leadership on student issues and needs related to diversity, equity, and inclusion, including facilitating responses, guidance, and decisions on critical issues and concerns.
- Serve as a strategic advisor and counsel to the Dean and as a critical member of the senior leadership team on issues related to diversity, equity, and inclusion, including bringing a DEI lens to institutional decision making.
- Develop and build on the Law School’s existing programs and initiatives to advance equity and foster a welcoming, inclusive, and representative learning and working environment.
- Further strengthen a Law School culture of open dialogue, recognition and affirmation of differing views and experiences, and deep respect for others.
- Partner with the Assistant Dean of Students, the Director of Student Affairs, the Senior Coordinator of Diversity & Student Programs, and the Recruiting & Diversity Coordinator in the Career Center to align work and needs.
Direct Strategic Initiatives in Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion - 25%
- Direct and lead collaborative efforts to build and strengthen strategic initiatives around diversity, equity, inclusion, and engagement as part of the Law School’s strategic plan and as recommended in the Racial Equity & Justice Accountability Report.
- Guide a comprehensive and integrated approach to diversity, equity, and inclusion work, synchronizing and leveraging current efforts and initiatives and introducing new concrete actions to move the Law School forward in this crucial area.
- Partner with key stakeholders, including student affinity groups, department leads, faculty, and alumni, to identify needs and to advance individual department DEI goals and Law School institutional goals. Strategically facilitate and engage faculty, students, and staff in initiatives.
- Coordinate on diversity initiatives with both the Law School and University, including leading the Law School’s Racial Equity & Justice Committee and Diversity & Belonging Affinity Council, representing the Law School on the University’s DEI Systemwide Leadership Collective, and partnering with the University’s Office for Equity and Diversity, including the Gender and Sexuality Center for Queer and Trans Life, the Disability Resource Center, and the Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action Office.
- Develop partnerships, both internally and externally, to build initiatives that advance the Law School’s goals in diversity, equity, and inclusion.
- Positively represent the Law School’s ongoing efforts promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion to outside stakeholders
- Benchmark, analyze, and report on progress toward diversity, equity, and inclusion goals. Collect and analyze data, information, and stakeholder input to inform decision-making and make recommendations.
- Serve as an expert resource on diversity, equity, and inclusion issues and trends in legal education and legal practice.
Support Recruitment Efforts for a Diverse Law School Community - 20%
- Support the recruitment and retention of a diverse faculty, staff, and student body in collaboration with Admissions, Human Resources, and other stakeholders at the University and Law School.
- Engage in occasional travel to represent the Law School and assist the Admissions team in student recruiting.
- Identify policies and practices that support the recruitment and retention of diverse senior leadership, faculty, staff, and students, reducing implicit bias and hiring and recruitment barriers.
- Lead processes to embed the values of diversity and inclusion in the selection, training, support, and advancement of faculty, staff, and students at all levels, collaborating on efforts to ensure that the principles of justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion are embedded in the organizational culture and structure.
Lead Educational Programming and Training to Advance Diversity, Equity, and inclusion - 20%
- Plan and coordinate educational programming and training for all law school constituencies to advance diversity, equity, and inclusion goals, including community-wide climate and culture programming intended to foster an equitable, supportive, respectful, and professional environment at the Law School.
- Serve as a resource to faculty to help them integrate diversity, equity, and inclusion principles and topics into the classroom and learning environment, including in doctrinal classes, law clinics, and legal skills courses.
- Examine the Law School and University’s existing diversity, equity, and inclusion education and training infrastructure and strategize to increase access, broaden content, deepen engagement, and ensure cross-University cohesion in service of the student experience.
- Collaborate with senior leadership, faculty, and student affinity groups to establish priorities for programming, identify unmet needs, and ensure continuity and consistency in educational opportunities on diversity, equity, and inclusion. Leverage University resources and experts, and engage outside resources when needed.
- Lead program development needs, including orientation, curriculum development, student and peer leader training, staff and faculty training, and other training and classroom needs related to inclusive classrooms, hiring practices, and development of staff and faculty.
- An advanced degree and a minimum of 5 years of experience in advancing DEI goals; or an equivalent combination of education and experience.
- Track record of leadership in advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion in a law school, the legal profession, college or university administration, or a related field.
- Demonstrated commitment to building and sustaining relationships.
- Capacity to effectively communicate and work collaboratively with staff, faculty, and students and at all levels.
- Excellent interpersonal, cross-cultural, and public communication skills; leadership, problem-solving, and consensus-building capacity; knowledge about universities, faculty governance, academic freedom, and the academic setting; counseling and advising expertise; professional judgment and discretion.
- Ability and experience in analyzing data and surveys, producing narrative and data reports and presentations, and developing tools to measure progress towards programmatic goals.
- 5 to 10 years of experience in developing and implementing institutional diversity programs and leading diversity activities, or an equivalent combination of relevant education and/or experience.
- An in-depth knowledge of principles, practices, and theories in diversity, inclusion, and equity.
About the Department
One of the Country's top public law schools, the University of Minnesota Law School is a leader in preparing students to solve the complex social, economic and business issues of our time. Our exceptional faculty, innovative curriculum and unmatched clinical and experiential learning opportunities equip students for the demands of the 21st century.
We are distinguished by a rare collegial culture that emphasizes teamwork, problem solving, leadership and persuasion. Students learn to think analytically, to identify the core element of a complex problem and to develop real-world solutions—skills that are essential beyond law school for all fields of employment. Public service is at our core. Our students embrace it, our faculty and staff reinforce it, and our community benefits from it.
How to Apply
Apply through University of Minnesota Employment website, Job ID 347262.