Seeking A Transformational, Collaborative, Inclusive, and Experienced Leader
Western Washington University is seeking an Executive Director of the Office of Civil Rights and Title IX Compliance. This senior level leadership role supports the vision of the Office and the University to advance a safe and inclusive campus climate, respect equal opportunity in the selection and advancement of all qualified applicants and employees, and uphold applicable civil rights laws. The University seeks an Executive Director to provide leadership and guidance to the Western community as it fulfills this vision and the University’s broader commitments to access, equity, inclusion, and justice. Reporting to the President, the Executive Director must be an excellent communicator, collaborator, leader, manager, and strategic thinker, and must possess the education and experience to understand the legal and human aspects of the areas within the jurisdiction of the Office.
The Office of Civil Rights and Title IX Compliance is responsible for overseeing compliance with civil rights and affirmative action laws, regulations and policies related to race, color, creed, religion, national origin, citizenship, sex, gender identity and expression, age, marital status, sexual orientation, disability, and status as a disabled or other protected veteran. The Office is the institutional point of contact for federal and state agencies for equal opportunity and affirmative action compliance inquiries and compliance confirmation and is responsible for responding to external agency complaints and investigations.
The University is seeking an experienced leader who will actively engage their team in enhancing the priorities of the Office, and ultimately the University. The Executive Director must be prepared to attend to the internal operations of the Office and possess the skills to manage change, evaluate processes and the technology to facilitate them, and foster a team approach to the work of the staff. Together, they will strive to serve all current and prospective members of the community by fostering and supporting a climate of respect and care through fair and equitable practices. The successful candidate will be able to demonstrate strong transformational leadership, a commitment to effective collaboration, the ability to build trust across campus, and the experience and skills to inspire, motivate, and communicate with Office staff and other campus partners, including students, faculty, and staff. The Executive Director must understand, value, and support groups of diverse backgrounds, identities, and experiences to ensure that the services are inclusive and meet the needs of all community members.
The Executive Director serves in a full-time, 12-month capacity and reports directly to the President, with a dotted reporting line to the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs. The Executive Director is responsible for coordinating and implementing the responsibilities of the Office of Civil Rights and Title IX Compliance. The Executive Director works closely with the President, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, Vice President for Enrollment and Student Services, Director of Internal Audit, and other administrative leaders to provide an equitable, diverse, and inclusive learning, living and work environment for all members of the Western community. The Executive Director leads and proactively influences university-wide Title IX planning, monitoring, reporting and grievance procedures, and education and prevention efforts. The Executive Director communicates with local law enforcement and government agencies to ensure that cases and reports are handled in an appropriate and timely manner, and coordinates with local victim advocacy organizations and service providers.
Responsibilities of the Office of Civil Rights and Title IX Compliance:
- Administer and oversee the University’s Equal Opportunity policies and procedures in all aspects of employment and education, ensuring compliance across the University with federal and state civil rights and affirmative action laws and regulations, including Titles VI and VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), and the Washington Law Against Discrimination.
- Develop, revise, and implement initiatives while overseeing standards and practices to improve Western’s recruitment and retention of a diverse faculty, staff, and administration.
- Collaborate with other institutions, agencies, and subject matter experts to ensure Western’s knowledge, fluency, and culture surrounding civil rights, affirmative action, and Title IX are reflective of best practices.
- Direct and manage the University’s programs, services, and resources related to protection of civil rights, Title IX compliance and compliance with affirmative action regulations.
- Administer technical guidance and grievance procedures to ensure Western’s compliance with civil rights and affirmative action laws.
- Administer Title IX guidance and grievance procedures to the university community in a trauma-informed way and coordinate provision of resources and support for individuals who experience sexual harassment, sexual assault, relationship violence, and sex discrimination.
- Provide technical guidance to the university about obligations under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and grievance procedures for individuals who experience discrimination on the basis of disability.
- Serve as institutional subject matter expert for civil rights and Title IX complaints, including interpretation of laws and agency guidance. Provide oversight and direction for investigations into alleged discrimination and harassment, and allegations of sexual misconduct. Collaborate with University Administration regarding corrective actions as appropriate or necessary.
- Deliver civil rights compliance education and training programs for the Western community.
- Ensure that the University meets federal, state, and (internal) university data collection and reporting requirements related to EEO, affirmative action, ADA, and Title IX.
- Develop and implement ongoing campus-wide climate surveys and, in collaboration with campus colleagues, advance recommendations to address barriers to inclusive achievement identified in such surveys.
- Advanced degree in a relevant field addressing the legal, education, administrative, or management responsibilities.
- Minimum of ten (10) years progressive experience in duties and responsibilities specified, including supervisory experience.
- Advanced knowledge and experience interpreting and applying civil rights, equal employment opportunity, affirmative action, and Title IX laws and regulations.
- Knowledge of higher education policies and practices and experience in promoting principles and practices of diversity, equity, and inclusion.
- Understanding of, sensitivity to, and respect for the diverse academic, socio-economic, racial, ethnic, religious, and cultural backgrounds, disabilities, gender identities, and sexual orientations of students, faculty, and staff.
- Strong interpersonal and communication skills, including demonstrated ability to build trusting working relationships with people from a wide range of constituencies in a diverse university community to ensure successful outcomes.
- Strong presentation, training, and facilitation skills with the ability to engage students, faculty, staff, and administrators with varying degrees of experience in examining and addressing issues of civil rights, equity, and justice.
- Excellent project and time management skills, to ensure that multiple investigations and other work duties are completed in a timely manner.
- Flexibility, adaptability, and capacity to work in a dynamic work environment.
- Demonstrated experience in effectively supervising, developing, and mentoring assigned staff.
- A PhD or other terminal degree in a relevant field or a JD.
- Administrative experience in higher education.
- Demonstrated knowledge of/experience in Title IX regulations as they apply to NCAA rules, policies, and practices regarding gender equity in intercollegiate athletics.
- Fluency in a second language.
Keeling & Associates is pleased to support Western Washington University in this search process. Applications should include a resume and a cover letter addressing your interest in and qualifications for the position. Application materials must be sent, preferably as PDFs, to recruiting@KeelingAssociates.com with the subject heading “WWU Executive Director OCR/Title IX.” Candidates are encouraged to submit materials by September 17, 2020, and all materials received by that date will receive full consideration. The search will continue until an appointment is made.
Confidential inquiries and nominations should be addressed to the K&A senior consultant leading this search, Dr. Jan Walbert, at jwalbert@KeelingAssociates.com.
About the University:
As the third largest university in the State of Washington, Western Washington University enrolls approximately 16,000 students, 95 percent of whom are undergraduates, in more than 160 academic programs at the Bellingham campus and eight satellite locations around the Puget Sound area.
The University’s 2018-2025 Strategic Plan articulates four basic values of the Western community:
- Commitment to student success, critical thought, creativity, and sustainability
- Commitment to equity and justice, and respect for the rights and dignity of others
- Pursuit of excellence, in an environment characterized by principles of shared governance, academic freedom and effective engagement
- Integrity, responsibility and accountability in all our work
The University’s primary goals to advance the Strategic Plan include:
- Western will foster a caring and supportive environment where all members are respected and treated fairly, and
- Western will pursue justice and equity in its policies, practices, and impacts.
Established in 1893, Western is one of the top public, master’s degree-granting universities in the nation. Western is the highest-ranking public, master’s granting university in the Pacific Northwest and No. 2 in the West, according to U.S. News & World Report college rankings.
Western provides an active student-centered learning environment with a liberal arts and sciences foundation and a full array of co-curricular, internship, research, creative, and service learning opportunities. There is a widely shared vision that Western will be a higher education leader in a culturally responsive 21st-century learning environment, applying its critical strengths to societal issues as well as creating a welcoming community for a diversity of people, ideas, and programs. To that end, Western has embraced a style that is collegial, transparent, and timely in its engagement and communication with on- and off-campus stakeholders.
The main campus of Western Washington University is located on 212 picturesque acres in Bellingham, Washington, a city of 88,500 people. Bellingham is located in the far northwest corner of the U.S. with access to major metropolitan areas, with Seattle, Washington 90 miles to its south, and Vancouver, British Columbia 50 miles to its north. Nestled in the foothills of the Cascade Mountains and overlooking Bellingham Bay and the San Juan Islands, Bellingham is nationally recognized for its high quality of life, outdoor adventure, and environmental stewardship. To learn more about Bellingham, visit either https://www.bellingham.org or https://www.downtownbellingham.com/home.
Western Washington University (WWU) is an equal opportunity and affirmative action employer committed to assembling a diverse, broadly trained faculty and staff. Women, minorities, people with disabilities and veterans are strongly encouraged to apply. In compliance with applicable laws and in furtherance of its commitment to fostering an environment that welcomes and embraces diversity, WWU does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, creed, religion, national origin, sex (including pregnancy and parenting status), disability, age, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, marital status or genetic information in its programs or activities, including employment, admissions, and educational programs. See WWU’s Policy on Ensuring Equal Opportunity and Prohibiting Discrimination and Retaliation. Inquiries may be directed to the Vice Provost for Equal Opportunity and Employment Diversity, Title IX and ADA Coordinator, Equal Opportunity Office, Western Washington University, Old Main 345 (MS 9021), 516 High Street, Bellingham, WA 98225; 360.650.3307 (voice) or 711 (Washington Relay); firstname.lastname@example.org
WWU is committed to providing reasonable accommodations to qualified individuals with disabilities upon request. To request this document in an alternate format or to request an accommodation, please contact Human Resources Disability Services, 360.650.3774 or 711 (Washington Relay).
Annual Security and Fire Safety Report: This report is provided pursuant to the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act (“The Clery Act”). It includes statistics for the previous three calendar years concerning reported crimes that occurred on Western’s campus; in certain off-campus buildings or property owned or controlled by Western; and on public property within, or immediately adjacent to and accessible from, the campus. The report also includes institutional policies concerning campus security, such as policies concerning alcohol and drug use, crime prevention, the reporting of crimes, sexual assault, and other matters. You can obtain a copy of this report in printed or alternate formats by contacting the Office of the Vice President for Enrollment and Student Services at email@example.com. The report can be found at: Annual Security and Fire Safety Report.
All new employees must comply with the immunization policy and show employment eligibility verification as required by the U.S. Citizen and Immigration Service before beginning work at WWU. A thorough background check will be conducted on all new hires.