The University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health (SMPH) invites applications and nominations for the position of Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer.

The opportunity

This is a powerful opportunity to engage our school community in exploring our profound commitment to diversity and inclusion. The CDIO will foster alignment of our resources with our values and will advance our goal of creating an all-inclusive, welcoming, and supportive working and learning environment. They will guide and measure our progress while identifying ways to accelerate toward our ultimate vision.

The CDIO will intersect with all areas of the school, including clinical and basic science departments, centers and institutes, and central offices devoted to academic affairs, faculty development, research, education and training programs, human resources, and communications. This role will also provide expertise about how best to incorporate diversity, equity and inclusion mindsets and actions into the school’s organizational development, policies and contracts, and administrative and academic leadership. The CDIO will cultivate effective relationships with multiple units and key personnel across the school, including our statewide campuses involved in health profession education programs. This role will also interact closely with and the UW Health Chief Diversity Officer.

The CDIO will be charged with identifying impediments to advancing diversity, equity and inclusion in SMPH. The successful candidate will recommend and advocate for resources that will benefit diversity and inclusion programming, including programming outside of the CDIO’s direct reporting line. The incumbent will serve as a subject matter expert in areas such as social identity characteristics, inclusion, cultural competency, and influencing organizational culture. The CDIO will have authority and responsibility to create a unified, school-wide strategic framework in synergistic partnership with other institutional leaders to leverage existing efforts, identify gaps and opportunities, and develop new strategies to shape the school’s organizational culture in alignment with its mission and values.

SMPH mission, vision and commitment

The UW School of Medicine and Public Health strives to carry out its mission of advancing health without compromise through service, scholarship, science, and social responsibility by upholding the values of integrity, innovation, compassion, accountability, respect, excellence, and diversity.

The school recognizes that fostering a diverse and inclusive community is important both as an end in itself, and also as a valuable means for eliminating health disparities. We are committed to excellence and equity in health through education, clinical service, and research in biological science, population health, community health, and health services/systems. We conduct leading research on social determinants of health. We strive to be a premier academic, integrated medical and public health research institution that interweaves diversity, equity, and inclusion into our activities, initiatives and programming while promoting the dignity of, and respect for, individual identities. We aim to deepen understanding and action on diversity, equity, and inclusion; engage SMPH members through diversity and inclusion-focused professional development and communication; recruit and retain diverse students, postgraduate learners, faculty, and staff; and improve coordination and communication of school and campus diversity planning. Diversity is central to the mission of the SMPH in meeting the health needs of the people of Wisconsin and beyond through excellence in education, research, patient care and service.

The school’s commitment to advancement of diversity includes:

  • Providing training dedicated to producing clinicians and scholars who understand the needs of diverse individuals, families and populations.
  • Educating an ethnically and racially diverse group of clinicians and scholars.
  • Studying ethnic and racial disparities in health and health care, as well as the potential means to eliminate those disparities.
  • Maintaining an open, inclusive and respectful learning and working environment.

To achieve this vision, SMPH will:

  • Recruit, admit, and graduate a diverse student body.
  • Appoint and retain faculty, staff, administrators, residents and fellows from diverse backgrounds.
  • Employ a curriculum that includes emphasis on cross-cultural instruction and intercultural communication skills.
  • Advance a research agenda in areas of scholarship focusing on diversity and ethnic and racial disparities.
  • Provide support for new and existing programs and resources to advance the diversity mission.

Our work in the domain of diversity, equity and inclusion is unfinished, challenging, and continuous. The school in partnership with its associated health system, UW Health, maintains an intense, unrelenting focus on interweaving this portfolio into our endeavors.

Current programs and initiatives

By upholding the institutional philosophy of the “Wisconsin Idea”, SMPH has carried out its mission to establish a number of programs and initiatives that directly affect our school personnel, the citizens of Wisconsin, and beyond.  A number of programs and initiatives focused on diversity, equity and inclusion currently exist within the school, including:

The Collaborative Center for Health Equity

  • Engages partners throughout the state in collaborative teaching, research and service initiatives aimed at advancing health equity in Wisconsin.

The Wisconsin Partnership Program

  • Develops and funds research, educational programs, community engagement, and community-academic partnerships through competitive grant programs and by offering resources and guidance aimed at reducing disparities and advancing population health.
  • Since its creation in 2004, the Wisconsin Partnership Program has infused more than $96 million in grant funding into nearly 300 community organizations and initiatives across the state.
  • The Community Impact Grant program operated by Wisconsin Partnership Program supports large-scale, evidence-based, community-academic partnerships aimed to improving health equity in Wisconsin.

Native American Center for Health Care Professions (NACHP)

  • The center is focused on improving the health and wellness of American Indian people. NACHP personnel work with prospective students, current students and health professionals to serve as a central location for opportunities of growth, professional development, mentorship, research and support.
  • The center connects health science programs at UW–Madison with the 12 Native Nations in Wisconsin, as well as urban Native communities in Wisconsin.
  • NACHP members conduct outreach, recruitment, and retention activities for Native American learners of all ages.
  • The center focuses on recruiting, retaining and developing Native faculty, engaging indigenous healthcare providers to expand our understanding of health needs within indigenous populations, and growing Native health academic programs with tribal communities.

ForWard Curriculum ­— M.D. Degree Program

  • Expands and integrates the public health emphasis in our medical student education program by replacing the traditional model of medical education — two years of basic science followed by two years of clinical experiences—with a three-phase model that fully integrates basic, public health and clinical sciences throughout our medical students' education.
  • M.D. students can choose to participate in a rural medicine program (Wisconsin Academy for Rural Medicine, or WARM) or an urban medicine program (Training in Urban Medicine and Public Health, or TRIUMPH). Additional options for M.D. students include a Public Health path of distinction, a Research path of distinction, and MD-PhD and MD-MPH dual degree options.

Pre-medical Pathway Programs

A broad portfolio of more than a dozen outreach programs for K-12 and bachelor’s degree students introduce diverse students to health care careers as early as age 9. Examples include:

  • Rural and Urban Scholars in Community Health (RUSCH), with partners with UW system campuses in Milwaukee, Parkside and Platteville as well as Spelman College in Atlanta and Native American students enrolled at any Wisconsin campus.
  • The Ladder, a peer-to-peer mentoring program focused on engaging diverse youth from fourth grade to college years. The goal of the program is to introduce them to health care and science in an effort to encourage the students to consider a career in healthcare.
  • INROADS, a program that helps diverse students gain exposure to employment experiences in health care over three successive summers.
  • Health Professions Shadowing Program (HPSP), a structured, two-week residential summer experience for students from populations that are under-represented in the health care workforce and/or that lack connections to health care professionals.
  • Hands-on science and medical experiences are used as a conduit for building interest in clinical and public health careers, as well as personal and professional resiliency.

Building Community

An endeavor launched in 2018 to improve the school’s working and learning environment, striving to create a community where all learners, staff and faculty feel valued, included and empowered.

More than 100 individuals have been engaged in strategic planning through Q4 2019, focusing on the areas of Equity and Inclusion; Professionalism and Accountability; Wellbeing; and Communication. New work teams are currently forming to focus on the effort’s implementation phase.


While advancing diversity, equity and inclusion is the responsibility of all members of the SMPH, the CDIO will oversee and promote effective collaborative efforts at a school-wide level.

Program Development, Strategic Vision and Change Management (50%)

  • Assesses the diversity, equity and inclusion landscape within the school and presents tiered recommendations to the Dean regarding resources necessary to implement cohesive strategy.
  • Utilizes organizational change models to develop a plan to shift the SMPH culture to one that embeds the core diversity, equity and inclusion values into all facets of the organization. Unifies efforts under an integrated, inter-professional strategic framework that encompasses and strengthens existing programming across SMPH and UW Health.
  • Drives programs that create an inclusive and healthy working and learning environment that builds community for SMPH.
  • Collaborates with institutional partners to capitalize on existing student, staff and faculty programming to advance inclusion in the school’s educational, training and research endeavors.
  • Collaborates with the UW Health Chief Diversity Officer and others to capitalize on current programming in support of inclusion and wellness in intersecting UW Health programs and populations.
  • Collaborates with SMPH procurement leaders to develop a plan to increase supplier and vendor diversity.

Partnerships, Communications, Training and Resource Management (35%)

  • Serves as a collaborative consultant and subject matter expert in the areas of diversity, cultural competence and organizational culture change as applied in an academic medical center.
  • In partnership with the Director of Strategic Communications, serves as an expert to articulate the school’s commitment to achieving excellence in diversity, equity and inclusion and to promote inclusion and cultural competence in the school’s communication systems, practices, messages and infrastructure.
  • Works collaboratively with the UW Health Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer and SMPH health equity experts to identify ways to communicate and demonstrate how adoption of inclusive practices by faculty, staff, and students can promote the health of individuals and populations and help mitigate health inequities.
  • In collaboration with human resource partners, develops and refines leadership competencies and expectations for faculty leaders, administrators, and other SMPH members that enable them to effectively manage stress and burnout, develop cultural adaptability and cultural humility, manage change and leverage diversity of thought, social identity and work styles to foster innovation, wellness and creativity.
  • Designs and implements educational, training and coaching programs for faculty, staff and learners to build capacity related to diversity and inclusive excellence.
  • Helps to ensure that SMPH policies reflect the values of the institution.
  • Works strategically with university units responsible for promoting and implementing equity, inclusion and engagement and campus programs that establish an environment free of discrimination, harassment and retaliation.
  • Together with institutional partners, engages resources and leads efforts to obtain new revenue streams to build and sustain effective diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives throughout SMPH.
    • Independently and in collaboration with institutional partners, identifies, seeks and secures grant funding, corporate partnerships, community collaborations and other opportunities to leverage SMPH resources and further propel diversity and inclusion efforts.
    • Works closely with SMPH development officers, playing a key role in identifying prospective donors, cultivating new relationships, and securing resources to fund diversity and inclusion initiatives.

Data and Reporting (15%)

  • Develops evaluation methodology, including success metrics to ensure accountability, tracking and monitoring of program effectiveness.
  • Guides adoption of systems to monitor key performance indicators of the strategic framework for diversity, equity and inclusion.
  • Oversees and delivers comprehensive progress reports, annual reports and other documents illustrating the implementation and outcomes of diversity, equity and inclusion efforts.
  • In collaboration with key partners, conducts and analyzes assessments and surveys to evaluate understanding of and engagement in diversity, equity and inclusion concepts and activities.
  • Collaborates with other units and programs to monitor compliance with all national accreditation guidelines for diversity, inclusion, equity and climate.  This includes ensuring that all relevant policies, procedures and tracking mechanisms are in place.
  • Participates in policy development to align administrative policies and procedures with diversity, equity and inclusion objectives.

Ideal candidate

The successful candidate will hold a Master’s degree in a field related to the position. The incumbent must have at least six years of professional and relevant work experience with excellent interpersonal and oral/written communication skills that fosters trust, credibility and understanding. The candidate must have the ability to navigate complex academic and healthcare communities, building bridges and strong collaborative relationships with a range of internal and external stakeholders. The applicant must have the ability to interact and influence at all levels of an organization and to work collaboratively across functions and departments toward shared objectives. A background in grant-writing experience is preferred.

The community

Located on an isthmus between two lakes, Madison is the capital city of the state of Wisconsin. Madison has been voted #3 Best Place to Live (Liveability, 2019), among the Best Small Cities in America (National Geographic, 2018), #6 Best City for Biking (People for Bikes, 2018), #2 Most Walkable City (Expedia, 2018), #5 Best City for Young Professionals (Forbes, 2016), and #1 Best College Football Town in America (Sports Illustrated, 2019).  Madison technology economy is growing rapidly, and the region is home to the headquarters of Epic Systems, Exact Sciences, American Family Insurance, American Girl, Sub-Zero, and Lands’ End, as well as many biotech, healthcare IT, and health systems startups. Wisconsin has been named as the second-best state in which to practice medicine (WalletHub, 2019).

Madison is the second largest city in the state, with a city population of approximately 260,000 and regional population of over 1 million. The city is within easy driving range of Chicago and Milwaukee. Madison offers numerous unique neighborhoods and commercial areas including the Capitol Square, State Street, Willy Street, Shorewood Hills, Maple Bluff, and Hilldale. Suburbs and communities include Sun Prairie, Middleton, McFarland, Verona, Cottage Grove, Waunakee, and Fitchburg.

Madison is home to one of the strongest local food scenes in the country with several James Beard Award winners, gastropubs, and farm-to-table restaurants. From April to October, the Capitol Square hosts the impressive Dane County Farmers’ Market, the largest producer-only farmers’ market in the country. The city is rich with cultural offerings such as the Overture Center for the Performing Arts, Orpheum Theatre, Concerts on the Square, Jazz at Five, UW-Madison Mead Witter School of Music Hamel Music Center, Madison Symphony Orchestra, Madison Opera, Madison Ballet, UW–Madison Chazen Museum of Art, Madison Museum of Contemporary Art, Wisconsin Historical Museum, and Madison Children’s Museum, among others.

The city has a dedicated athletics fanbase which largely centers around the University of Wisconsin–Madison. Sports venues include Camp Randall Stadium, the Kohl Center, LaBahn Arena, Wisconsin Field House, and the Aliant Energy Center. Madison is home to Forward Madison FC, the first professional soccer team in the city, as well as the Madison Mallards, a college wood-bat summer baseball league team. Marquee endurance sports and specialty sporting events include IronMan Wisconsin and IronMan 70.3, Reebok CrossFit Games, Madison Marathon, and many national and international championship competitions.

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