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Vice President for Community Belonging and Chief Diversity Officer

Job no: 499775
Work type: Regular
Location: Malibu Campus
Categories: Director/Executive/Management

Pepperdine University seeks a collaborative, strategic, results-oriented, energetic, and faithful Christian leader to join our community as Vice President for Community Belonging and Chief Diversity Officer (VP of Community Belonging). This inaugural position will be a member of the senior administrative team, reporting to and advising the president. He or she will serve on the University Steering Team and lead the University Diversity Council; partnering with existing work related to diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging; intentionally building relationships with students, staff, and faculty across the university; and joining with them to identify and execute new initiatives. Pepperdine is in the midst of a strategic planning process, and the inaugural VP of Community Belonging will play a key role in implementing and advancing the university’s aspirational goals related to diversity, inclusion, and belonging. He or she will join a leadership team that values collegiality, collaboration, and transparency. 

As a Christian university, Pepperdine cherishes the sacred dignity of every human being; celebrates diversity as a true representation of God’s love and creative expression; and seeks to foster a deep sense of belonging with the understanding that a diverse community enriches their learning, scholarship, and leadership. Pepperdine seeks a leader who shares these values, supports the larger mission of the University, is a committed follower of Jesus Christ, and has a vibrant history of active involvement in a community of faith. The ideal candidate will be able to articulate and frame a clear and compelling vision of community belonging grounded in Christian faith and witness and will be cognizant of the best scholarship and practices in the field. This position is an exciting opportunity to shape a leadership role in accordance with the university’s mission and institutional needs and priorities. More broadly, the selected candidate will harness and curate thought leadership on issues related to diversity and community belonging from the Pepperdine community and beyond and will catalyze relevant conversation both within and outside the global church. Although this position will be full-time within the university administration, should a candidate have credentials and scholarly achievement warranting a tenured appointment, the possibility of tenure will be considered at the time of appointment. 


  • As a member of the senior leadership team and in collaboration with students, staff, and faculty, as well as boards and alumni as relevant, the VP of Community Belonging will:
  • Further the university’s Christian mission by living the precepts of the Christian faith in a sincere and genuine manner, exemplifying Christian leadership.
  • Recognize the student as the heart of the educational enterprise, centering work on this core principle.
  • Advise the president about matters related to diversity and community belonging.
  • Articulate and frame a clear and compelling vision of diversity and community belonging grounded in Christian faith and witness and will be cognizant of the best scholarship and practices in the field.
  • Develop a university-wide office/center for diversity and community belonging that serves as a resource for and supports efforts and initiatives across the university.
  • Harness and curate thought leadership on issues related to diversity and community belonging from the Pepperdine community and beyond and catalyze relevant conversation both within and outside the global church.
  • Engage in strategic planning and carry out goals related to diversity and community belonging in the university mission, vision, and strategic plan.
  • Lead conversations about diversity and community belonging within the university community and, as appropriate, in the local, state, and national levels and in higher education.
  • Plan, initiate, facilitate, and assess processes of institutional and organizational change to increase institutional capacity related to diversity and community belonging.
  • Work with university senior administration and stakeholder in evaluating, identifying, and when appropriate, recommending revision to institutional policies, procedures, and practices in order to advance access and success of students, staff, and faculty who belong to marginalized groups, consistent with the university’s Christian mission.
  • Promote a diverse community by partnering with the five schools and human resources to recruit and retain students, faculty, and staff from a broad range of backgrounds and experiences.
  • Promote inclusive excellence in teaching, learning, research, creativity, and scholarship in the curriculum and within co-curricular programming.
  • Lead university-wide efforts to increase a sense of belonging for underrepresented groups within the university’s diverse students, faculty, and staff by fostering a welcoming, inclusive climate through mentoring and education related to diversity and bias; response to activism; campus climate assessments; and protocols to address bias incidents.
  • Regularly review and report on internal and national data and on relevant scholarship to inform diversity and community belonging efforts.
  • Oversee evaluation and assessment of efforts related to diversity and community belonging by initiating climate surveys, focus groups, and other evaluative instruments.
  • Ensure implementation of and compliance with pertinent legal and regulatory requirements of the university.
  • Partner with Pepperdine’s Integrated Marketing and Communication team and the President’s Office to assist in ongoing and crisis communication related to diversity and community belonging.
  • Serve as a member of the University Steering Team and lead the University Diversity Council.
  • Engage with the Board of Regents, as appropriate, as well as alumni boards and the advance team.
  • Hire, manager, mentor, and retain staff reporting to the VP of Community Belonging. Develop a collaborative and professional team culture, in which relationship building, participation, respect, transparency, and excellence are fostered.
  • Develop and successfully manage an area budget.
  • Other duties as assigned.
  • Uphold university mission through work performed.

The above information has been designed to indicate the general nature and level of work performed by employees within this classification. It is not designed to contain or be interpreted as a comprehensive inventory of all duties, responsibilities, and qualifications required of employees assigned to this job.

Skills and Qualifications

Required: Integrates Christian faith with professional work, drawing upon a mature, authentic Christian faith and deeply-rooted theological commitments; Understands the field of diversity, equity, and inclusion in higher education; Demonstrates a deep understanding of diversity-related research-based practices; Articulates a clear, comprehensive, and complex understanding of diversity and community belonging; Employs strong oral and written skills and communicates productively with stakeholders across the institution and to the broader community; Advocates and persuades effectively and diplomatically using storytelling and research; Demonstrates a commitment to fairness and transparency in communication; Listens carefully to a wide range of perspectives within the community and values colleagues who hold different views; Demonstrates experience in conflict resolution; Collaborates well and intentionally with a broad range of individuals and groups; Takes the initiative to connect and build relationships with students, student groups, and other constituencies across all five schools; Strives to understand and enter into the institution’s history and culture so that efforts in the area of diversity and belonging become part of the fabric of the community; Understands contemporary discourse and issues, pedagogical practices, curricular development, fundraising practices and principles, research methods, student development theory and practice, hiring, and assessment; Demonstrates strong understanding of federal, state, and local legislation related to harassment and protected-class discrimination, including the Equal Employment Opportunity Act of 1972, Title IX of the Educational Amendments Act of 1972, and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990; In word, deed, and professionalism, represents the highest ideals of integrity, competence, diplomacy, judgement, tact, and discretion

Preferred: PhD or terminal degree; Substantial leadership or administrative experience, ideally in a university or other not-for-profit organization; Significant diversity-related work in higher education; Relevant teaching, research, or program administration; Demonstrated success in creating and administering relevant policies, initiatives, and educational programming; Record of successful collaboration and team-building with a broad range of stakeholders; Oversight of budget

Qualified individuals should be able to articulate a strong commitment to diversity, and have the ability to work effectively with individuals from different backgrounds.

Offers of employment are contingent upon successful completion of a criminal, education, and employment screening. Qualified individuals with criminal histories will be considered for employment in compliance with applicable laws.

This is a regular, exempt, 40 hour per week position.

Salary: Commensurate with experience.

Please direct all nominations, applications, and inquiries to Carter Baldwin Executive Search Firm. Candidates should review the full details and application requirements here

Advertised: Pacific Daylight Time
Applications close:

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