Chicago, IL

Director of Diversity Equity & Inclusion (DEI), The University of Chicago Laboratory Schools

The Organization

The University of Chicago Laboratory Schools Director of Diversity Equity & Inclusion (DEI) position, to begin July 2021, is a senior administrative position that reports to the Director, Laboratory Schools. The Director of DEI is a member of the School’s senior administrative team and leads the Schools’ efforts to honor diversity, one of the core values articulated in the mission statement, by developing and implementing programming and policies that support diversity, equity, and inclusion. Working in collaboration with administrators across the Schools, the Director of DEI will establish consistent and comprehensive diversity programming and services, partnering with faculty, staff, students, parents, and board members in support of diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts. The successful candidate will have broad school or other relevant experience and a proven record of success in leading diversity efforts at other institutions. Furthermore, this person will be conversant with a range of models for building cultural competence within institutions and will be prepared to guide this community in developing the best model for the Laboratory Schools.


  • Provide strategic leadership toward final development, implementation, and ongoing evaluation of the adopted Diversity Action Plan.
  • In collaboration with academic administration and faculty assess and support the development of diversity, equity, and inclusion program, both in content and delivery, providing ongoing programming that engages students, their families, faculty, and staff in the area of diversity, equity, and inclusion and related topics.
  • Participate in recruitment and retention efforts to attract, develop, motivate and retain a diverse faculty and staff.
  • Develop and support a range of professional development experiences in diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging to meet the learning needs of faculty and staff.
  • Partner with the admissions team to help identify, recruit and retain a diverse student body.
  • Create, support, and network with the various diversity, equity, and inclusion-related groups within the school’s internal and external communities while utilizing University resources.
  • In coordination with academic leaders, support and develop student diversity leadership.
  • Partner with the University of Chicago on broader campus diversity initiatives.
  • Develop a messaging strategy and create engaging diversity-related content to share across channels with internal and external audiences.
  • Build deep relationships with students, families, faculty and staff to foster a culture of community. Emanate optimism, solve problems collaboratively, reflect on how actions impact others, create an engaging and inclusive school culture, and share in the united pursuit of Lab’s mission.
  • Ensure the quality of the Schools’ K-12 curriculum and all programs related to learning and counseling strategic vision or diversity, equity and inclusion efforts. Provide for faculty professional development and work with teams to establish best practices and course of action
  • Manages academic teams and its work in a non-traditional reporting environment. Lead successfully in a complex system, building effective structures, procedures and methods of communication, and defining roles and responsibilities clearly.
  • Manage a team of eight DEI coordinators across the schools to ensure DEI programming is consistent and developmentally appropriate across the divisions
  • Partner with the Board and Parent Association DEI committees to ensure the strategic DEI goals for the school are realized
  • Performs other related work as needed.


  • Ability to be agile and flexible.
  • Ability to interact with a diverse group of faculty, staff, students, and parents.
  • Knowledge of diversity, equity, and inclusion issues, and dynamics in the classroom and in developing healthy, supportive relationships with all students.
  • Strong knowledge of the subject matter.
  • Strong verbal and written communication skills.
  • Knowledge of instructional methodologies.
  • Analytical skills.
  • Problem-solving skills.
  • Decision-making skills.
  • Attention to detail.
  • Organizational skills.
  • Computational skills.
  • Creative.
  • Strong interpersonal skills.
  • Ability to work independently and as part of a team.
  • Ability to manage stressful situations.
  • Ability to maintain confidentiality.
  • Ability to work on multiple projects simultaneously, set priorities, and meet deadlines.
  • Capacity to think strategically
  • The ability to successfully navigate and lead diverse and non-diverse communities are vital attributes.

Education, Experience, and Certifications:

  • Bachelor’s & Master’s degree preferred
  • 5-10 years of experience in the field of diversity, equity, and inclusion or equivalent
  • Significant experience in creating, implementing, managing, and assessing diversity programs
  • Experience leading, developing, and managing change management initiatives
  • Experience working in an independent school setting
  • Experience in data research and analysis
  • Conversant with a range of models for developing cultural competence in institutions
  • Demonstrate the ability to relate and interact with diverse populations

Technical Knowledge or Skills:

Ability to use standard productivity software (Microsoft Office, calendar/scheduling software, etc.).


  • Cover letter
  • Resume
  • Statement of Philosophy related to diversity, equity, & inclusion work in schools
  • Professional references

About the Unit:

The University of Chicago Laboratory Schools provides one of the world’s most outstanding pre-collegiate educational experiences. Because Lab is part of the University of Chicago, the importance of intellectual life—of thought and exploration—infuses all aspects of our curriculum, and students in every grade benefit from outstanding UChicago academicians and access to unmatched resources. John Dewey—one of the great minds in education—established the Schools in 1896 as a place to explore and implement his theories on childhood education.

Today’s students still benefit from his vision, and today’s Lab faculty are recognized as experienced leaders in their field.

Families who choose Lab care deeply about curiosity, inquiry, and creativity. Approximately 60 percent of Lab families are affiliated with the University, half live in Hyde Park, and the rest come from across Chicago, the suburbs, and northern Indiana. Lab’s student body reflects the diversity that is deeply valued by the Schools and its community; approximately half of our 2,000 students are people of color and families report speaking nearly 40 different languages in their homes.

The Laboratory Schools seek the finest employees—people who wish to inspire a love of learning in our students and join a vibrant learning community. We employ people with a wide range of skills and training, in many different disciplines. At Lab, we value learning experientially, exhibiting kindness, and honoring diversity. We seek employees who share a similar commitment to these values. Lab people are engaged and excited by our mission of igniting and nurturing an enduring spirit of scholarship, curiosity, creativity, and confidence in the youngest members of the University of Chicago’s academic community.

The Laboratory Schools is a great place to work and our connection to the University provides our faculty and staff with opportunities that would be nearly impossible to match in any other environment.

AA/EOE Statement:

The University of Chicago is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity/Disabled/Veterans Employer and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national or ethnic origin, age, status as an individual with a disability, protected veteran status, genetic information, or other protected classes under the law. For additional information please see the University’s Notice of Nondiscrimination

Andrew Watson, Search Consultant

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