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The Chief Diversity Officer: Strategy Structure, and Change Management

Damon A. Williams, Katrina C. Wade-Golden, Mark A. Emmert
Publication Date:
Stylus Publishing, LLC
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This volume addresses the role of chief diversity officers as coordinating and integrating diversity leaders in higher education and other sectors.

Having established in a companion volume the parameters for an effective diversity strategy, the authors address such questions as: What is a chief diversity officer? How might we create dynamic chief diversity officer infrastructures? What models of CDO structure exist in the academy? What misperceptions often confound the work of officers and the institutions they work within? What key competencies are necessary to lead as a CDO? How does the CDO role compare across higher education, non-profit, and corporate sectors? And how might the role serve as an important contributor to a collaborative vision for change and transformation in the academy?

This book begins by delineating the evolution of the chief diversity officer role in the academy. Drawing on extensive qualitative and quantitative research on CDOs conducted for the purposes of this volume, it describes how the scope and responsibilities are variously defined at the organizations where the position has been created, and offers insights into the complexities and challenges of the role.

On the basis of this data and the literature on organizational design and change management, the authors define the requisite skills, knowledge and background to be effective, review the alternative organizational and governance structures under which CDOs operate, and in so doing present the Chief Diversity Officer Development Framework as a basis for recruiting candidates, for structuring the position to succeed, and for providing prospective and incumbent CDOs with a realistic sense of the scope of the role.

This title is also available in a set with its companion volume, Strategic Diversity Leadership.


Damon A. Williams is the Associate Vice Chancellor, Vice Provost and Chief Diversity Officer at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a clinical member of the faculty in the Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis. He leads a dedicated CDO division and has worked with over 200 organizations interested in developing cutting-edge strategic diversity capabilities. His professional focus is in the areas of strategic planning, leadership development, chief diversity officer design, establishing dedicated diversity infrastructures, change management, youth development, program evaluation, and assessing diversity outcomes.

Visit the author's YouTube Channel for videos, keynotes, and author presentations.

Katrina C. Wade-Golden is Assistant Director and Senior Research Scientist in the Office of Academic Multicultural Initiatives at the University of Michigan. She provides leadership to the Michigan Study of the Undergraduate Student Experience and other research designed to explore the relationship between the collegiate experience and the educational outcomes of students. She has worked with hundreds of institutions with a particular focus on helping them to develop diversity assessment and evaluation projects designed to document the educational implications of diversity in higher education.

Mark A. Emmert President, National Collegiate Athletic Association
This book was adopted by:
Columbia University
D'Youville College
Farmingdale State College (SUNY)
Massasoit Community College - Brockton
SUNY College at Old Westbury
University of Central Florida- Main Campus
University of Toledo
Whitworth University

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Table of Contents

INTRODUCTION: The Chief Diversity Officer: Strategy, Structure, and Change Management

PART ONE: Defining, Designing, and Optimizing the Role of the Chief Diversity Officer
1. Emergence, Definition, and Evolution of the Chief Diversity Officer
2. Running the Triangle Offense: The Integrative Leadership Role of the Chief Diversity Officer
3. The Chief Diversity Officer Development Framework: A Tool to Aid Design
4. More Than Symbolic Leadership: The Critical Role of Vertical Structure

PART TWO: The Strategic Diversity Leadership Movement
5. The Strategic Diversity Leadership Movement
6. Strategic Diversity Leadership: Activating Change and Transformation in Higher Education
7. Best Practices for Improving Faculty Diversity Recruitment and Retention
8. The First 100 Days and Beyond: Guidance for New Chief Diversity Officers and Institutional Leadership
9. Higher Education and Corporate Chief Diversity Officers: A Preliminary Comparison