Feedback Sought for New Chief Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Officer

We are currently seeking input to inform the interview panels screening candidates for the Chief Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Officer position. The position is no longer accepting applicants (read the vacancy announcement), but this stakeholder feedback will be used to develop interview questions and evaluate candidates. The survey will be open until December 2, 2019.

Respond to the community survey

Background and Process

When approving the Fiscal Year 2020 Budget, the School Board approved a new position – a “Chief Diversity Officer.”  During the process of developing a job description, the title was changed to reflect the overall work in the area of Diversity, Equity and Inclusive practices. The Officer will report directly to the Superintendent and sit on the cabinet with Assistant Superintendents.

The Officer is charged with strategic planning related to reviewing practices for equitable implementation, developing a mechanism for equity audits, and developing a training program for staff across the division.  As part of this planning, the Officer may develop a request for additional resources to effectively carry out the work outlined in the plan.

The position was advertised throughout the month of October.  Screening and interviewing of applicants is underway throughout November.  The proposed timeline is as follows:

October 2019 Advertise the position widely to generate a strong applicant pool.
November 2019 A community input survey will be launched mid-November related to the work of the position and desired qualities in the Officer.  Several rounds of interviews will occur, including a round with the Executive Leadership Team, a round with members of advisory committees, central office staff, students and representatives of employee groups, and a final round with the Superintendent and selected leaders.
December 2019 Assuming an excellent candidate is found, recommend appointment for the School Board for consideration at their December 19 meeting.
January 2020 Chief Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Officer begins work with APS.

Frequently asked questions:

What are the qualities you seek in the Chief Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Officer?
The job description lists the ability to perform tasks such as strategic planning, policy analysis, training, leading discussions and forums, lead initiatives, and collaborate with principals and department leaders. Strong communication and presentation skills will be critical for this position.

How will this role align with the Office of Equity and Excellence?
The Officer will sit on the Superintendent’s cabinet and report directly to the Superintendent. The Office of Equity and Excellence is part of the Department of Teaching and Learning. Equity and Excellence provides instructional leadership through coordinators that work in schools directly with teachers and students. The Officer will work systemwide and focus on policies, procedures and practices. At times, there will be collaboration between them, but the Officer will focus on issues around diversity, equity and inclusion at a systemic level.

How will the candidate be selected?
With all leadership positions, APS Human Resources office convenes several rounds of panel interviews for the position. Each round will have a different group of stakeholders participating in order to provide feedback to the Superintendent about the candidates. The Superintendent will review the feedback and make a decision about who she will interview and eventually recommend to the School Board for appointment.

How can the community get involved or provide input?
This survey (posted Nov. 14) will be open for two weeks. Community members, families, staff, and students may provide input related to the desired characteristics and possible areas of focus for the Officer. One round of interviews will include members of selected advisory committees.