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Univ. announces finalist for Diversity Officer

The university has announced three candidates as the finalists for the Chief Diversity Officer and Vice President for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion position, according to an email sent out on Nov. 23 by Carol Fierke, Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs. The current Interim Chief Diversity Officer and Vice President for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion is David Fryson. 

Fierke wrote that the search for an individual to fill the exposition is nearly complete and wrote on behalf of the administration that they are hopeful that the new person in this position will be able to start in the spring 2022 semester. The names of the final three candidates have not been disclosed to the public at the time of publication due to the candidates wish to remain anonymous outside of the Brandeis community, according to the Chief DIversity Officer and Vice President for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Search Finalist page.

The search committee, which is co-chaired by Fierke and Herleen Singh (WGS), recommended they select six semi-finalists from the 40 individuals who applied for the position, wrote Fierke. The six semi-finalists were selected by the candidates and after meeting with the search committee the pool was narrowed down to the three finalists, wrote Fierke.  

The three finalists selected by the search committee will now be interviewed by members of stakeholder groups in person, wrote Fierke. There will also be an open Zoom session for all members of the Brandeis community to meet the candidates. Candidate 1 will have their zoom session on Tuesday, Nov. 20 from 1 to 2 p.m. EST. Candidate 2 will have their zoom session on Thursday, Dec. 2 from 1 to 2 p.m. EST.  Candidate 3 will have their zoom session on Monday, Dec. 6 from 1 to 2 p.m. EST, according to the email. 

Community members can send questions ahead of time via an online google form, wrote Fierke, questions can also be asked during the session. Community members may also provide feedback regarding the candidates after each of the sessions. 

“Participation and feedback from the entire Brandeis community is crucial to the search process,” Fierke wrote in her email, “I hope you will join these Zoom sessions to get to know the candidates and then share your thoughts and impressions about them.” 

The sessions are a way for the candidates to get to know the Brandeis community, according to Fierke. During the sessions, the candidates will present a short presentation regarding their background and their reason for pursuing work with diversity, equity and inclusion. Community members will also learn what each finalist has done which makes them feel prepared to fill in their role and well as learn their visions for what diversity, equity and inclusion in higher education means to them. Though, according to the university page, a bulk of the time during the sessions will be focused on community member questions. 

Students can register for each Zoom session on a secure page provided by Fierke. On the same page community members may submit their questions if they want to. One business day prior to each of the candidate’s sessions, candidate materials will be posted to the webpage for community members to view. Feedback forms for each candidate will be posted after their session has taken place. For those who are not able to attend at the set times due to conflicts will be able to access recordings, according to Fierke. Community members will also have access to each of the candidates resumes to review them.

Candidate materials were asked to be sent in by Nov. 5, 2021, according to the university’s search page. The search committee is made up of 17 members including: four undergraduate students, one graduate students, one member of the Board of Trustees, one alumni representative, as well as multiple members of the faculty and administration. The consultants to the committee include Fryson and Anita Hill (AAAS/LGLS/HS/WGSL). An executive recruiting firm was hired to help with this process, WittKiefer— a group focused on executive search

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