Assistant Dean, Inclusive Excellence

Columbia University Climate School   New york, NY   Full-time     Education
Posted on May 2, 2024
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Position Summary

The Columbia Climate School embraces inclusive excellence as central to our mission and success. We are committed to developing an inclusive, welcoming, equitable, and diverse workplace and learning environment for our faculty, researchers, staff, and students. We recognize we have an important opportunity as the first new School at Columbia in more than 25 years to build a School with inclusive excellence built into its foundation. Given the breadth of this task, the Assistant Dean will be a capacity builder, working with other leaders at the School in executing research-driven efforts that advance inclusive excellence, while spearheading strategic initiatives at scale that help accelerate the School’s progress.

The Assistant Dean for Inclusive Excellence will conceptualize, develop, and implement cohesive Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Anti-bias (DEIA) strategic initiatives across the various centers and programs to build capacity to support the academic, professional, and personal success of all individuals within the School. In close partnership with students, staff, Climate School leadership, faculty, and colleagues across the University, these efforts will extend previous initiatives and focus on cultivating a culture of belonging for students, researchers, faculty, and staff members. The Assistant Dean will work in partnership with Climate School leaders to integrate DEIA across the School’s different functions, including degree and non-degree education, research, administration, and impact-oriented activities. The Assistant Dean reports to the Senior Associate Dean of Finance and Administration and Faculty Lead and will serve as a key leader at the Climate School. In addition, the Assistant Dean will serve as an important partner in Academic and Student Affairs, providing strategic direction and advisement in DEIA work across the school to support inclusive excellence.


  • Create a cohesive strategic vision for inclusive excellence in the Climate School and planning process to achieve this vision, which may include the creation of working groups, committees, or focus groups.
  • Leverage existing DEIA plans, work, and efforts to create a shared cohesive vision for the future of DEIA in the Climate School.
  • Partner with the School’s administrative leaders to identify and execute key priorities and build capacity for inclusive excellence across the School; work with Climate School senior leadership to support shared accountability across the School.
  • Use a data-driven approach to create an action-oriented framework to address DEIA concerns across the School.
  • Institutionalize coordination, support, monitoring and evaluation for DEIA efforts across the Climate School.
  • Facilitate a shared vision and a deeply intersectional approach to the delivery of DEIA within the School by partnering with multiple stakeholder groups.
  • Facilitate the continued development of an open, inclusive, and welcoming culture across all campuses and fieldwork, for everyone from students, scientists, and faculty to campus visitors and external partners, regardless of race, gender orientation, physical ability, or economic background.
  • In coordination with Academic Affairs, Faculty Affairs, and Climate School leadership, develop a strategy for institutional partnership that help advance inclusive excellence efforts; coordinate representation and participation across the School.
  • Develop implementation plans, reports, and guidance documents for other Climate School leaders, in partnership and collaboration with colleagues.

Programming & Training

  • Develop strategic programs and initiatives at scale that create a sense of belonging across the entire Climate School community, helping to advance the academic mission and priorities of the School.
  • Serve as a collaborative partner who empowers and coordinates action in support of inclusive excellence across Climate School activities, programs and centers.
  • Catalyze institutional dialogue, pose critical questions, and create safe spaces for goal driven dialogue on topics such as race, sexual orientation, ability, gender identity, and religion.
  • Coordinate and facilitate a strategy for scalable capacity-building efforts, including facilitating DEIA trainings, dialogues, and learning opportunities for all staff, faculty, researchers, and students.

Academic Services

  • Provide strategic and administrative leadership to design and align programs and services that support the academic and social emotional needs of underserved students across the School.
  • Cultivate resources and services for international students, First-Generation students and other underserved populations.
  • Create linkages with partner program schools, student groups across campus, and central DEIA offices.
  • Create opportunities to deeply engage students in diversity and inclusion programming.
  • Drive efforts for inclusive academic content that is culturally sustaining and relevant to underserved students, including support for faculty and lecturers (curriculum, trainings, etc.).

Hiring, Retention and Promotion

  • Partner with the Faculty, faculty affairs team, and human resources unit to ensure DEIA is a critical part of the process in all School hires, particularly academic appointments.
  • Partner with human resources to ensure that all staff have the knowledge, tools, resources, and support they need to be conscious thought partners in the creation of an equitable school culture.
  • Make critical investments in the team and ensure that the principles of justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion are embedded in the organizational culture and structure.

Minimum Qualifications

  • Bachelor’s degree required, advanced degree is usually required or strongly desirable. Seven to nine years of progressively responsible diversity and inclusion-related management experience in an academic or related environment.
  • Demonstrated leadership in designing and implementing strategic initiatives around diversity, equity, and inclusion and anti-bias that foster an engaging and dynamic workplace and student learning environment.
  • Expertise in translating a vision and strategy into a practical plan with concrete methods of implementation and measurable outcomes.
  • Deep understanding of, sensitivity to, and appreciation for the experiences of marginalized people including but not limited to: women, Black people, Indigenous people, people of color, LGBTQ+ identified people; people who experience religious discrimination, and people with disabilities.
  • Personal commitment to self-evaluation/self-reflection and learning more about identities and the systems and influences of power, privilege, and oppression; commitment to advocating for similar self-evaluation and learning, among others.
  • Genuine interest in empowering others and the ability to connect diverse constituencies one-on-one and in groups with warmth and openness; ability to identify and implement innovative approaches to engage underrepresented and marginalized students.
  • Understanding of the national trends and issues related to diversity, equity, and inclusion in higher education, knowledge of successful retention strategies for students of color.
  • Ability to develop partnership and trust across a variety of constituencies, disciplines and contexts.

Equal Opportunity Employer / Disability / Veteran

Columbia University is committed to the hiring of qualified local residents.