Partners in Mission: Conscientious Leadership of Chief Diversity Officers in Catholic Higher Education

Michael R Trerotola, Fordham University


The role of the chief diversity officer is relatively new in Catholic higher education (and in higher education more broadly). As more Catholic colleges and universities begin to add the role to senior leadership teams, there is a need to better understand the position in Catholic higher education. This multiple case study sought to understand the chief diversity officer in the context of the Catholic mission of these institutions. The findings of this study were framed within Damon Williams and Katrina Wade-Golden’s Chief Diversity Officer Development Framework, which was developed to better understand the role in the context of a higher education organization. The data in this study were obtained through interviews with chief diversity officers, presidents, and chief mission officers at three Catholic institutions in the United States. A focus group of faculty and staff was also conducted at each case study location. Finally, a review of websites and relevant documents was conducted. The researcher presented six findings related to the initial research questions: Rooted in Catholic Mission; Relationship between Chief Diversity Officer and Chief Mission Officer; Cross Subject Matter Expertise; Chief Diversity Officer and Catholicism; Presidential Commitment and Priority; and Faculty and Staff Views on DEI Communications.

Subject Area

Higher Education Administration|Religious education|Educational leadership

Recommended Citation

Trerotola, Michael R, "Partners in Mission: Conscientious Leadership of Chief Diversity Officers in Catholic Higher Education" (2022). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI29061725.