NADOHE Launches Certification Institute for Higher Education Diversity Professionals

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The National Association of Diversity Officers in Higher Education (NADOHE) will host its inaugural Standards of Professional Practice Institute (SPPI) June 14-17, 2017, at the State University of New York (SUNY) Global Center, in midtown Manhattan. Designed to inform the current and future work of higher education diversity professionals, SPPI will educate attendees about NADOHE’s Standards of Professional Practice for Chief Diversity Officers, as the organization strives to bring consistency to the critical role chief diversity officers (CDOs) play on college campuses nationwide.

More than 30 diversity professionals from across the U.S., representing the spectrum of higher education — from community colleges, to small liberal arts institutions, to comprehensive Research I universities — are scheduled to participate. Because of such high demand for professional certification, registration for the first cohort is already filled. However, co-directors of the SPPI Juan Sanchez Muñoz, PhD, president of the University of Houston-Downtown, and Debbie M. Seeberger, PhD, assistant vice president for diversity and inclusion in the Office of the Provost at Towson University, plan to expand the institute in future years to accommodate this increasing demand.

Modeled after other highly successful professional development programs in higher education, SPPI is designed to prepare the next generation of diversity higher education leaders to become proficient in NADOHE’s standards. As a multi-day program, each day is structured to focus on one or more of the standards and will be led by a primary and secondary faculty member.

“This institute will be the gold standard in the certification of professional practice for all senior-level diversity professionals,” says NADOHE President Archie W. Ervin, PhD. “The faculty for the institute will include nationally renowned researchers and practitioners who will engage and challenge participants to refine their personal and professional competencies in higher education diversity and inclusion leadership.”

Published in 2014, NADOHE’s standards provide comprehensive guidelines to help current and aspiring CDOs navigate and provide effective institutional leadership.

“The standards are a tool to facilitate the advancement of significant and effective change on college and university campuses by emphasizing the CDO role as an organizational change agent for equity, diversity, and inclusion,” says Seeberger, who, along with Muñoz, serves as co-chair of the NADOHE Professional Development Committee. Together, they are working on the development of the institute.

“As diversity and inclusion professionals, we are uniquely positioned by our collective expertise and knowledge of best and effective practices to offer guidance and solutions that will move our college campuses — and society — toward truly becoming more equitable and inclusive communities,” says Ervin.●

NADOHE is a partner of INSIGHT Into Diversity. To learn more about the SPPI, contact Debra Nolan at For more information about NADOHE, visit