Diverse Talent Recruitment and Retention

Diverse Talent Recruitment and Retention

September 25 - 27, 2017
Denver, CO


Learn how you can implement a diverse talent acquisition and retention strategy on your campus.

Recruiting and retaining diverse talent must be a key priority for colleges and universities. However, hiring diverse and high-performing talent can be challenging due to limited resources, perspective, and commitment. In this training, you will learn strategies you can use to improve your candidate search, hiring process, and retention of diverse talent. This event combines lecture, small group consulting, and working time to ensure that you leave with a working plan to bring back to your campus.


Pre-Conference Workshop: Talent Acquisition of LGBTQI Staff and Staff With Disabilities

Often, when discussions of recruitment and retention of underrepresented populations occur, there is coded language used relating only to race or the gender binary. During this workshop, we will discuss the challenges and opportunities for specific recruitment and retention practices of LGBTQI staff and staff with disabilities.


Who Should Attend

Inclusive excellence initiatives impact every corner of campus. As such, leaders from all departments and divisions of higher education are encouraged to attend. This may include:

  • HR talent acquisition staff
  • Academic affairs leadership
  • Student affairs leadership
  • Chiefs of staff
  • Search managers
  • Chief diversity officers
  • Communications/marketing staff
  • Enrollment management staff


September 25, 2017


Pre-Conference Workshop: Talent Acquisition of LGBTQI Staff and Staff With Disabilities


Registration and continental breakfast (included in workshop registration ) for pre-conference workshop attendees
8:00 - 9:00 a.m.



Pre-Conference Workshop: Talent Acquisition of LGBTQI Staff and Staff With Disabilities
9:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
Often, when we have discussions regarding recruitment and retention of underrepresented populations, there is coded language used relating only to race or the gender binary. Does your campus incorporate practices and policies to include those with different abilities, gender identity, or sexual orientation? Does your recruitment and retention process address intersectionality of identity? In this workshop, we will discuss the challenges and opportunities for specific recruitment and retention practices of LGBTQI staff and staff with disabilities. You will be able to connect what you learn during this workshop to the following conference and increase your ability to recruit and retain LGBTQI staff and staff with disabilities.



Lunch for pre-conference workshop attendees (included in workshop registration)
12:00 -1:00 p.m.



Registration for Main Conference
12:30 - 1:00 p.m.



Understanding the Need for Diverse Talent
1:00 - 2:30 p.m.
Our opening session will lay the groundwork for the rest of the event by openly and candidly discussing the needs and challenges associated with having diverse leadership at all levels of the institution. Specifically we will look at the current leadership trends with underrepresented populations, politics, and leadership demographics.



2:30 - 2:45 p.m.



Assessing Your Institutional Readiness for Diverse Talent Acquisition
2:45 - 4:00 p.m.
Hiring diverse leaders is both a marathon and a sprint. During this session, you will complete an environmental scan and assessment of your own institution’s readiness for hiring diverse leaders. We’ll also take a closer look at the benefits of being ahead of the curve on diverse talent acquisition, institutional access or reluctance for acquiring new talent, and the political and demographic realities of your institutional readiness for recruiting diverse talent.



Networking reception (included with registration fee)
4:00 - 5:00 p.m.



September 26, 2017


Continental breakfast (included in registration fee)
8:30 - 9:00 a.m.



Taking the First Steps in Talent Acquisition and Cultivation
9:00 - 10:30 a.m.
It is critical to take strategic and deliberate steps toward recruiting a diverse and talented pool of leaders. This opening session of day two will offer tangible methods to bring inclusive excellence into all aspects of your search process. We will look at gathering your search committee, recruiting and networking, as well as looking for the right candidate.



10:30-10:45 a.m.



Working/Consultation Session
10:45 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
During this working session, our faculty will be available to help you with your readiness assessments, questions around search processes, and your own pathways for success. This working time will help you formulate the first steps of your diverse recruitment and retention plan.



Lunch (included in registration fee)
12:00 - 1:00 p.m.



Understanding Onboarding, Socializing, and Internal Relationship Building
1:00 - 2:30 p.m.
Properly onboarding new hires is a critical, yet often underdeveloped process in higher education. This session will show you strategies for ensuring that your new hires are engaged and connected to the campus and surrounding community. Special attention will be paid to the impact of relocation and how to work with difficult internal relationships.



2:30 - 2:45 p.m.



Developing Mentoring/Mentorship On-Campus
2:45 - 4:00 p.m.
New faculty and staff need ongoing development even after being onboarded. We will explore the purpose and role of mentoring in your diverse talent recruitment plan. You will learn what mentoring is and isn’t, as well as how you can create intentional connections both on and off campus.



September 27, 2017


Continental breakfast (included in registration fee)
8:30 - 9:00 a.m.



Nurturing Your Hire: Key Staff Retention Practices
9:00 - 10:30 a.m.
The first session of the final day will provide a variety of retention methods that are effective with new hires. We will explore pathways for advancement and promotion, the role of professional development, and other key retention practices. We will also discuss the role of internal leaders and allies.



10:30 - 10:45 a.m.



Bringing It All Together: Working Session and Conference Wrap-Up
10:45 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
This final working session is an opportunity for you to put your plans to paper for when you return to campus. Presenters will be available for consultation and assistance as you think about your first steps on your home campus.


Hotel Information

September 25 - 27, 2017 | Denver, CO


Denver Marriott City Center
1701 California Street
Denver, CO 80202

Room Rate: $170 + tax
Room Block: Nights of September 24, 25, and 26, 2017
Rate available until September 3, 2017

Please book early - rooms are limited and subject to availability.


Reserve Your Room: Use the link below or call 303-297-1300. Please indicate that you are with the Academic Impressions group to receive the group rate.


portrait of Willette Burnham Williams

Dr. Willette Burnham-Williams

Chief University Diversity Officer
Medical University of South Carolina

Dr. Willette S. Burnham-Williams is an experienced executive leader in higher education with over 35 years of progressively complex executive-level roles and a specific focus in student affairs.  She has held leadership positions at four distinct institutions of higher education - Williamsburg Technical College, The Citadel Military College of SC, The College of Charleston, and the Medical University of SC.  Her tenure at each organization contributed to developing and strengthening her expertise in student affairs administration, organizational strategic planning, assessment, institutional effectiveness, team goal setting, resource allocation, fundraising, student development, student persistence and retention, student conduct, crisis management, collaboration, facilities management, access, equity and inclusion, as well as co-curricular program development. Particularly adept at women’s leadership development, student advocacy, program management, and team building for diverse communities, Burnham-Williams is committed to mentoring women and adhering to comprehensive and intentional professional practice of inclusion.

portrait of Elizabeth Ortiz

Elizabeth Ortiz

Vice President for Institutional Diversity and Equity
DePaul University

Elizabeth has been in her current role since 2002. Prior to her work at DePaul, she was director of affirmative action, diversity, and employee relations at Northern Illinois University.

Her college and university experience spans over thirty years in both the public and private sector, including the Chicago community college system. Her work has focused on recruitment, retention, training, programming, and climate issues for diverse students, faculty, and staff. Elizabeth also has worked extensively in issues of raising awareness for Latino students, educators, community representatives and others who are committed to Latino representation and advancement in all aspects of higher education.

In 2014, Elizabeth was selected to be an American Council on Higher Education Fellow, part of a leadership program designed to groom university provosts and presidents. She serves on the board of Diversifying Our Faculties in Illinois Program and the Illinois African-American and Latino Higher Education Alliance. She also serves as an officer of the National Association of Diversity Officers in Higher Education and past president of the Illinois Latino Council on Higher Education.

portrait of Petey Peterson

Petey Peterson

Director of LGBTQA Affairs
Wright State University

Petey received their bachelor’s in Communication Studies & Child Adult and Family Services and master’s in Educational Leadership & Policy Studies with a focus in higher education and student affairs from Iowa State University. While at Iowa State University, Petey served as the Graduate Assistant for the Margaret Sloss Women’s Center. Before coming to Wright State University, Petey served as the program coordinator for the Office of LGBTQI Life at Vanderbilt University, developing the Trans@VU website so transgender and gender non-conforming students have a place to access information regarding their most pressing needs. Petey also led Safe Zone training and the OUT in Front LGBTQQIA+ College Conference. They currently serve on the International College Personnel Association (ACPA) Coalition for LGBT Awareness as the Equity Officer and is a member of the Consortium of Higher Education LGBT Resource Professionals. Petey is excited and honored to serve as the first Director for the Office of LGBTQA Affairs at Wright State University.

Pre-Conference Workshop Only


Address the challenges and opportunities for recruitment and retention of LGBTQI staff and staff with disabilities.

Main Conference Only


Learn how you can implement a diverse talent acquisition and retention strategy on your campus.

Can't Attend? Buy the
Conference Binder

Purchase the conference binder, which includes all presentation slides, worksheets, action plans, and additional resources.

Note: Conference attendees do not need to purchase materials separately.

Questions About the Event?

Mickey Fitch
Program Manager, Academic Impressions

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