Organization: California State University San Marcos

Location: San Marcos, CA

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About CSU San Marcos:

Founded in 1989, California State University San Marcos (CSUSM) is a new kind of university — the 20th campus to be established in the 23-campus CSU system. Today, more than 14,000 students attend a 304-acre, state-of-the-art main campus, which is nestled in the foothills of San Marcos, California (northern San Diego County). CSUSM is a dynamic, “community engaged” university dedicated to teaching future generations via hands-on experiences, cutting-edge science and computer labs, and relevant coursework with a global perspective.

California State University San Marcos focuses on the student as an active participant in the learning process. CSUSM students work closely with a faculty whose commitment to sustained excellence in teaching, research, and community partnership enhances student learning. The university offers rigorous undergraduate and graduate programs distinguished by exemplary teaching, innovative curricula, and the application of new technologies.

CSUSM provides a range of services that respond to the needs of a student body with diverse backgrounds, expanding student access to an excellent and affordable education. As a public university, CSUSM grounds its mission in the public trust, alignment with regional needs, and sustained enrichment of the intellectual, civic, economic, and cultural life of the region and state. California State University San Marcos is an academic community dedicated to the values of:

  • Intellectual Engagement: learning, teaching, discovery, and application of knowledge
  • Community: shared commitments to service, teamwork, and partnership
  • Integrity: respect, honesty, trust, fairness, academic freedom and responsibility
  • Innovation: creativity, openness to change, flexibility, responsiveness, and future focus
  • Inclusiveness: individual and cultural diversity, and multiple perspectives

What makes CSU San Marcos so special?

  • High quality, close instruction through our four colleges and Extended Learning programs
  • Accessible faculty — 100% of full-time faculty hold PhDs or the highest degree in their field
  • A technology-rich campus — the entire campus is equipped with high-speed Wi-Fi Internet access, and numerous “smart” classrooms offer advanced multimedia equipment as a teaching and learning tool
  • A fun campus — more than 100 student clubs and organizations, the Clarke Field House and an active Associated Students, Inc.
  • An expanding campus — construction on our new university student union is now completed. In addition, a state-of-the-art Social & Behavioral Sciences building, a parking structure, and a public safety building have been completed in the last two years.
  • A beautiful campus — 304 rolling acres nestled into the foothills above the City of San Marcos, and a short distance to the beaches of the Pacific Ocean and the Mexican border

Learn more about CSUSM by visiting their website here.

About President Karen S. Haynes, PH.D.:

Dr. Karen Haynes began her tenure as the third, and now longest serving, president of California State University San Marcos (CSUSM) in 2004. In the summer of 2016 she will become the senior president, and the first female senior president, in the 23 campus CSU system. She has served 30 years as an academic administrator and is in her 21st year as a university president, including 8½ years as president of the University of Houston Victoria.

At CSUSM, Dr. Haynes has overseen advances in serving traditionally under represented student populations – for the last three years, 52% of the university’s graduating students were first in their families to achieve a four year degree. The student population of CSUSM now mirrors the rich diversity of the region; over half the student body identifies as being a minority, and CSUSM serves the highest per capital numbers of both military affiliated and Native American students in the CSU system and more former foster youth per capita than any institution of higher education in the United States.

Dr. Haynes leads CSUSM with her eye continually trained on social transformation through access and education; increasing the educational attainment rate of students in the region; developing relevant degree programs that make CSUSM students in demand; and engaging with the community in unique and meaningful ways. She has overseen tremendous growth at CSUSM, with the opening of several new facilities, the addition of a Temecula campus, and the launching of relevant new academic programs and career certificates.

Dr. Haynes holds both a Doctorate in Social Work from the University of Texas in Austin and a Masters in Social Work from McGill University in Montreal. In 2014, the Social Work Degree Guide named Dr. Haynes the third most influential social worker in the United States.

Position Summary:

Reporting directly to the President, the Associate Vice President for Diversity, Educational Equity, Inclusion and Ombuds (AVP DEEIO) works collaboratively with the University executive council, faculty, staff, students and various campus units to advance the University’s diversity and inclusion strategic plan and initiatives. The AVP will provide counsel to the President and others on institutional matters relating to Diversity and Educational Equity, and demonstrate the University’s commitment to an inclusive community for all students, faculty, staff and community members. Through regular interaction with campus constituents, the AVP DEEIO will continuously assess achievement of university diversity and educational equity efforts and coordinate and assess the outcomes of various campus units to increase pathways of success for all students, faculty and staff, especially those from traditionally underrepresented populations.

The AVP DEEIO oversees the University Ombuds office with a primary function to provide confidential, neutral and informal assistance to constituents of the university; advocates for fairness in the resolution of concerns and critical situations; and supplements, but does not replace, the university’s existing resources for conflict resolution.

Key Responsibilities:


Acts as a change champion. Builds competence in others through effective coaching, performance management and mentoring. Provides clear direction. Leads courageously by addressing difficult issues. Supports and moves new initiatives forward. Facilitates an environment that motivates, empowers, and inspires commitment from employees. Demonstrates commitment to creating and sustaining a diverse and inclusive workforce. Creates and implements methods for improving individual and team performance. Builds effective teams committed to organizational goals. Fosters collaboration. Creates an environment in which employees are recognized for their accomplishments and contributions to the success of the team. Supports and encourages professional and career development for employees. Understands the university’s mission and vision and how the department/division work activities and goals support the mission. Identifies current and future challenges and proposes effective solutions. Determines, effectively allocates, and coordinates resources.

Strategic Planning

As a strategic partner, recommends, creates, and implements long and short term strategic plan goals and operational plans for Diversity and Educational Equity. Ensures that Diversity and Educational Equity goals align with and support the overall mission of the university. Motivates and encourages commitment to achievement of strategic plans. Effectively communicates the strategic initiatives. Accomplishes strategic goals for Diversity and Educational Equity.

University/Community Partnership

As a member of the campus community, the AVP DEEIO ensures a community focused strategy to support the university’s mission, identifying and anticipating community needs. The AVP builds effective strategic alliances internally and externally, collaborating with business partners and other stakeholders towards the achievement of departmental and university goals, consistent with the overall mission. Drawing on the collective strength, knowledge, and information of the community, they actively solicits and acts upon feedback, developing and implementing effective solutions to challenges as they arise. The AVP DEEIO will be an important campus leader, successful in negotiating through common ground and group consensus. The AVP works to find and take the necessary measures to solicit and influence internal and external support.

Functional Oversight/Management

  • Oversee the effective management of the Office of Diversity, Educational Equity and Inclusion.
  • Provides counsel to the President and other key leaders concerning issues of diversity and inclusiveness including campus climate, recruitment, retention and development of a diverse faculty, staff and students
  • Provides leadership in developing and advancing diversity and inclusion initiatives that further the University’s goals of diversity, inclusiveness and educational equity.
  • Reviews proposed institutional policies and practices and makes recommendations to the President on issues of inclusiveness and equity.
  • Coordinates or supports the work of campus units, student groups, and departments that advance social justice and foster multicultural and diversity awareness.
  • Develops and implements methods for assessing the success of diversity initiatives. Provide regular reports to the President and campus community on the success of the initiatives. Develop metrics to monitor, evaluate and report on progress toward diversity.
  • Stays abreast of current trends in diversity and campus community building, researches diversity best practices and recommends new policies or changes in programs.
  • Coordinates the University response to diversity concerns through the Bias Response Team.
  • Formulates, manages and monitors the goals and direction of the ombudsperson role. Provides confidential informal assistance for dispute resolution. Liaises with appropriate campus administrators to ensure collaboration, role clarification and communication in resolving complaints and conflicts.
  • Develops and conducts training programs on inclusiveness issues for faculty and staff.
  • Serves as liaison between the University, external diversity organizations and community groups concerned about educational opportunities for underrepresented students.
  • Strengthens relationships with diverse communities in CSUSM service region.
  • Collaborates with the directors of campus social justice centers and institutes.
  • Liaisons with formally recognized staff affinity groups including the African-American Faculty and Staff Association, Latin American Faculty and Staff Association, LGBT Faculty and Staff Association and Asian-American Faculty and Staff Association.

Core Competencies:

The Associate Vice President for Diversity, Educational Equity, Inclusion and Ombuds will be a strategic and innovative leader with an enthusiastic and entrepreneurial spirit. The AVP DEEIO will posses demonstrated knowledge of major diversity issues with a clear understanding of the importance of a diverse and inclusive environment in a public comprehensive university or similar setting, and will act as the campus spokesperson and clearinghouse for data and best practices. In addition to working with diverse populations, this person will have substantial leadership experience in developing programs for underrepresented populations, including sexual orientation, religious, veteran and military status, genetic, gender identity or expression issues, socioeconomic status, and identity intersections. The AVP DEEIO will have an unwavering commitment to diversity, inclusiveness and access in all areas of the university. The AVP will be trusted and respected by many and able to influence and bring together a number of constituencies around shared goals without necessarily having direct authority.

The ideal candidate will have the following core competencies:

Leadership / Vision: The AVP DEEIO will possess a commitment to CSUSM’s mission and goals as a student-centered university dedicated to teaching excellence and active learning with a university-first perspective and a customer focused strategy. The AVP will have experience establishing a clear and understandable vision for Educational Equity and Diversity, engaging the university community in the implementation of the vision and goals, and building the operational components to execute. Furthermore, they will have an accomplished record leading and enabling groups of people to face challenges and achieve effectual results in complex conditions. The AVP DEEIO will possess the keen ability to articulate a bold and coherent vision and transform programs to achieve shared goals. The AVP will be agile in ambiguous situations and capable of providing stability and inspiring confidence when faced with important and quickly changing circumstances. They will possess the ability to challenge the status quo yet employ a servant leadership approach towards collaborating within the university’s existing culture.

Management/Initiative/Continuous Improvement: The AVP DEEIO will have proven experience managing a complex organization and building and managing an effective world-class team dedicated to organizational goals and high performance. They will demonstrate fluency directing, supervising, motivating and inspiring others, measuring the performance of people, teams and organizations, and assessing performance and progress. This person will have demonstrated success applying quality management techniques of continuous improvement and employee involvement to assess and enhance services, promote campus culture and build teams. In addition, the AVP will have the ability to develop and support on-going learning and professional development for staff, managers and emerging leaders. The AVP DEEIO will initiate and support innovation with creativity, openness to change, flexibility, responsiveness, and future focus.

Conflict Resolution / Problem Resolution: The AVP DEEIO will convey a thorough understanding of what leads to conflict, the nature of conflict, and methods for resolution. They will have the proven ability to identify current and future challenges and propose and implement effective solutions making decisions with sound analytical ability, good judgment and strong operational focus. The AVP DEEIO will possess the aptitude to prioritize and handle concerns based on a sense of urgency and importance of the issues and will be skilled at negotiating and administering corrective action as appropriate in a collective bargaining environment. They will be a courageous leader with the capacity to address difficult situations while ensuring confidentiality around sensitive issues.

Communication: The AVP DEEIO will possess excellent verbal and written communication skills and the capacity to articulate complex issues with purpose to a variety of audiences. They will have an inspired ability to listen intently to a variety of constituent groups, synthesize input, make decisions, and share information broadly in order to build consensus and support for action with a clearly articulated vision. Furthermore, the AVP will utilize incisive persuasion and negotiation skills, to build community using accessible language to explain information, strategy and processes to individuals with differing levels of familiarity.

Strategic planning / Goal Setting: The AVP DEEIO will be a proven strategic thinker with the capacity and experience to support growth and/or change and implement long and short-term goals. They will have successful experience collaborating with multiple entities to plan and accomplish the objectives set forth in the university’s strategic master plan, including determining and coordinating resource allocations while coordinating a myriad of ongoing large and complex projects from conception to completion in a centralized and highly regulated environment. The AVP DEEIO will have successful experience determining and coordinating resource allocations and actively soliciting new funding to support diversity equity and inclusion activities.

The AVP DEEIO will have demonstrated success applying forward thinking and creative thought with high ethical standards to develop strategic vision. Furthermore, they will have the capacity to find solutions that result in prudent decisions, to promote mutual satisfaction and positive action, and to develop imaginative approaches to achieve individual, unit and institutional strategic initiatives.

Teamwork / Collaboration: The AVP DEEIO will be a natural collaborator with the ability to work effectively, and build and sustain strong alliances internally and externally with a broad range of individuals to bring the University community together around shared goals. They will have the capacity to recognize, understand, and appreciate different roles across the institution and to connect with and build bridges among various constituencies and work across divisions, identifying efficiencies and opportunities for the benefit of the university as a whole. They will be consultative, promoting open dialogue to identify and take advantage of best practices, synthesize divergent views and coalesce all constituencies around a shared view or plan. The AVP DEEIO will be proactive in partnering with others to address the human impact of change on campus members.

Additional Requirements:

  • The person holding this position is considered a “mandated reporter” under the California Child Abuse and Neglect Reporting Act and is required to comply with the requirements set forth in CSU Executive Order 1083 as a condition of employment.
  • This position is subject to a criminal background check based on meeting the following criteria: Control over campus business processes, either through functional roles or systems security; access to detailed personally identifiable information about students, faculty, staff, or alumni which might enable identity theft.
  • This position is a “designated position” in the California State University’s Conflict of Interest Code. The incumbent in this position is required to file Conflict of Interest forms subject to the regulations of the Fair Political Practices Commission.
  • This position is required to complete mandatory campus trainings including, but not limited to: Sexual Harassment Training; Information Security Awareness Training; Eliminate Sexual Violence Training; Conflict of Interest & Ethics training.
  • Knowledge of federal regulatory reporting requirements relating to equal opportunity and affirmative action policies.

California State University San Marcos is an Equal Opportunity Employer and does not discriminate against persons on the basis of race or ethnicity, religion, genetic information, national origin, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, gender expression, marital status, medical condition, age, disability, covered veteran’s status or other protected status.


California State University San Marcos has engaged Koya Leadership Partners to help in this hire. This search is being lead by Michelle Bonoan and Eboni Gates. Screening of complete applications will begin immediately and continue until the completion of the search process.

Please submit application materials here or email Michelle and Eboni at the following:

Michelle R.S. Bonoan
Managing Director

Eboni S. Gates
Senior Manager

About Koya Leadership Partners:

Koya Leadership Partners is a national retained executive search and human capital-consulting firm that works exclusively with nonprofits and social enterprises. We deliver measurable results, finding exceptionally talented people who truly fit the unique culture of our client organizations and ensuring that organizations have the resources and strategies to support them. For more information about Koya Leadership Partners, visit