OU holds search for new Chief Diversity Officer

A new title with a new face


Mary Mitchell

The office of the chief diversity officer is located in Wilson Hall.

On Sept. 6 2016, Oakland University launched a national search for a new chief diversity officer (CDO). This officer will replace the current senior adviser to the president for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion.

The position has a new title to match the national standard. CDOs can be found at other schools Oakland’s size, so Oakland is working to meet that standard. Even though there is a name change, the CDO will play many of the same roles the senior adviser does.

“The primary focus of my job is to provide strategic leadership in the areas of diversity, equity and inclusion,” said Patricia Dolly, senior adviser to the president for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. “I work very closely with the chief human resources person, but also with students.”

Dolly said her job includes making sure every voice on campus is heard and making sure students and faculty feel welcome on campus.

Dolly is retiring this year, so the new CDO position will be opening up. She will be helping in the search for the new CDO as a search committee member.

Though the job will be similar to the previous position, there will be a few changes.

“It’s kind of like what I have been doing, but in a much more formal way,” Dolly said.

“If you look around the country, the position of chief diversity officer is really the trend and the standard. So it will pull OU in line with other institutions this size.”

The CDO will work closely with University Human Resources to achieve higher recruitment and retention of both staff and students. Dolly said that her job focused more on advising the president about how the school can improve in the areas of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion.

Libby C. Ciliberti, the chief human resources officer, is leading the search for the position.

Ciliberti said that the job has been posted on OU’s site, as well as several education academic journals and career sites. She wants to keep the job posted for at least 30 days before starting to recruit and interview candidates.

Applicants are expected to have at least a master’s degree, leadership skills and at least 10 years of experience in diversity or a related field.

They will also be held to the 12 standards for the position set by the National Association of Diversity Officers in Higher Education.

These include having understanding of different cultures and politics, having the ability to respond well to bias and being able to conduct campus climate research, or gather and gauge campus perspectives.

Once OU has candidates to look at, a committee made up of members of different parts of the campus community will make the final decision.

This committee will include Glenn McIntosh, vice president for Student Affairs; Graeme Harper, dean of the Honors College; Grace Wojcik, coordinator of the Gender and Sexuality Center and Anders Engnell, vice president of OU Student Songress.

OU is hoping this diverse group of people will be able to pick the best person to lead diversity initiatives on OU’s campus.