The Office of the Provost will host two in-person presentations featuring candidates being considered for the University of Michigan’s next chief diversity officer and vice provost for equity and inclusion.

Each candidate, whom a search advisory committee has determined to be strongly qualified, will share their interest in the position and what they bring to the role, and will discuss their experience in DEI leadership.

The first session will start at 11:45 a.m. April 12 and the second will begin at noon April 14. There will be time at the end of each session for questions from those in attendance.

Those within the U-M community who are interested in attending one or both of the presentations must register in advance by noon April 11.

For the purposes of discretion, registrants will be emailed pertinent details about the candidates — including their name, CV, and the location of the presentation — 24 hours in advance of the event. The location capacity for each presentation is 140 people.

While on campus, the candidates also will meet with senior leadership, executive officers, key stakeholders, central administrators, deans, unit directors and staff within the Office of Diversity Equity and Inclusion and others engaged in DEI work.

A 17-member advisory committee has worked with the executive search firm Spelman Johnson on the national search. The committee is chaired by Ketra Armstrong, University Diversity and Social Transformation Professor, professor of sports management and director of diversity equity and inclusion in the School of Kinesiology; and professor of women’s and gender studies in LSA.

“The search committee evaluated a very impressive group of applicants,” Armstrong said. “We look forward to having these two candidates join us for further discussions.”

Robert Sellers, who has served as chief diversity officer and vice provost for equity and inclusion since 2016, will step down from the role and return to LSA’s Department of Psychology as a tenured faculty member.

“The university’s work on diversity, equity and inclusion has made important progress under Rob Sellers’ leadership,” said Susan M. Collins, provost and executive vice president for academic affairs. “We look forward to the opportunity to learn from these candidates about how they would carry this critical work forward.”

The search for the next VPEI-CDO comes at a pivotal time as the university evaluates DEI 1.0 — U-M’s initial diversity, equity and inclusion five-year strategic plan — at the unit and university level. The process will be followed by a yearlong, cross-campus engagement period for the university’s next DEI strategic plan, DEI 2.0.

The VPEI-CDO is a senior leadership role that serves at the helm of the Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, which includes the Office of Academic Multicultural Affairs, Center for Educational Outreach, Wolverine Pathways, ODEI business support team, DEI development team, and the evaluation and assessment team.

The position reports directly to the provost, serves as a member of the provost’s leadership team, and is involved in areas of academic affairs including faculty recruitment and retention, tenure and promotion, and faculty development.

The VPEI-CDO also meets regularly with the president and serves as the principal adviser to the president on DEI issues, providing overall leadership for these efforts.

This article originally appeared in the April 7, 2022 edition of The University Record