Job Listings

Assistant Director of Student Life, Diversity, Equity & Belonging

Maine College of Art & Design
Job Location:
Portland, Maine
Student Affairs and Services

Assistant Director of Student Life - Diversity, Equity & Belonging

Maine College of Art & Design (MECA&D) invites applications for a full-time Assistant Director of Student Life - Diversity, Equity & Belonging with duties commencing on or about January 2, 2023.

Position Overview

Maine College of Art & Design is committed to providing the environment for each and every student to thrive during their academic career at the College, both within the MECA&D community and in the greater Portland area. The Assistant Director of Student Life–Diversity, Equity & Belonging will provide critical support with developing, coordinating, and facilitating programs and resources dedicated to student diversity, equity, and belonging (DEB). By strategizing to advance campus-wide interaction and educational opportunities, the Assistant Director will contribute to an inclusive learning environment for students, student organizations (with an emphasis on cultural and identity-based organizations), and the campus community. This position will support and advocate for students with historically underrepresented identities including Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC), Lesbian, Gay, Transgender, Queer, Intersexual, Asexual, and other sexual identities (LGBTQIA+), and underrepresented students. The Assistant Director will serve as a visible, collaborative leader that supports MECA&D’s strategies to address intersectionality; representation in the arts and art history; and to cultivate a College-wide culture of conversations, mutual trust, respect, and accountability. The position supports College-wide and Student Life programs including orientation, events and activities, commencement, etc. At the heart of this position is a dedication to supporting students. MECA&D recognizes that diversity is integral to the academic experience and strives to foster an inclusive culture defined by respect, equity and social responsibility. All employees are expected to actively support these values.


  • Help build a culture of mutual trust and respect among the students, faculty, and staff at MECA&D; help foster a diverse, inclusive, accessible and equitable campus environment;

  • Work collaboratively with students to promote environments of belonging within the MECA&D community;

  • Serve as advisor to MECA&D’s College Sponsored Student Organizations, Students of Color Coalition and the Gender Sexuality Alliance;

  • Develop, manage, and evaluate DEIB programming, including but not limited to workshops, training, speakers series, recognition events, and student leadership opportunities;

  • Facilitate conversations between students and faculty as well as between faculty and staff as needed;

  • Serve as a resource and an advocate for students of diverse backgrounds; 

  • Foster new and deepen current relationships with MECA&D’s external partnerships which help advance inclusion and equity in the college and broader Portland community including the Indigo Arts Alliance;

  • Align DEB objectives to support MECA&D’s strategic plan;

  • Help to continue to create a college infrastructure that supports students’ emotional and social well being, including helping BIPOC, LGBTQIA+, and underrepresented students create connections with one another and the broader Portland community;

  • Develop and monitor budget in area of responsibility to ensure fiscal integrity;

  • Co-Chair MECA&D’s Diversity Committee;

  • Participate in College committees as appropriate;

  • Remain current with and share leading best practices on DEB initiatives; and 

  • Support Student Life programs including orientation, commencement, friends and family weekend, etc.

Qualifications, Experience, Abilities


  • Bachelor’s degree in the social sciences, education, or equivalent degree and equivalent experience required;

  • Master’s degree in counseling, social sciences, education, or equivalent degree or equivalent experience preferred.


  • 3+ years of related experience in diversity, inclusion, multicultural, social justice, social work, community building, or student life programs preferred; 

  • Highly motivated, an energetic advocate, catalyst and leader in the development of diverse and inclusive community;

  • Demonstrated success at leading initiatives and building programs to support students;

  • Cross-cultural competencies, including strong emotional intelligence and ability to engage and build relationships with college and community partners; 

  • Experience in mediation or restorative justice practices; and

  • Experience in higher education with both undergraduate and graduate students preferred.

Skills and Abilities: 

  • Working knowledge of best practices related to diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging, intercultural communication, and social justice issues and have professional experience with program development and assessment;

  • Knowledge of training, restorative practices, conflict resolution and mediation methods;

  • Capacity to work well with students, particularly BIPOC, LGBTQIA+, and other underrepresented students, under a variety of circumstances;

  • Ability to handle multiple projects and to prioritize effectively; agility/flexibility/resilience;

  • Commitment to promoting, supporting, and celebrating cultural differences; 

  • Excellent oral and written communication, sound decision making, and objectivity; and

  • Demonstrated ability to translate best practices and research into tangible, pragmatic outcomes underpinned by metrics/key performance indicators.

The Institution

Maine College of Art & Design is an independent college of art and design located in the center of the thriving arts district of Portland, Maine. Established in 1882, the College currently enrolls approximately 550 students, the majority of whom are in the undergraduate program. About 1,000 students take classes through MECA&D?s Continuing Studies Program annually. MECA&D?s Joanne Waxman Library is an important resource of art and design oriented books and periodicals for the region. The Institute of Contemporary Art at MECA&D is a vibrant site for the exhibition of contemporary art. MECA&D is characterized by its intimate learning community, its interdisciplinary nature and the breadth of its programs. It confers the degrees of Bachelor of Fine Arts in eleven majors, Master of Fine Arts in Studio Art, Master of Arts in Teaching, and the Salt Graduate Certificate in Documentary Studies. Our goal at MECA&D is to teach each student how to transform aspirations and values into a creative practice that serves as the foundation for a lifelong pursuit of personal and professional goals. Maine College of Art & Design is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE) and the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). The College?s accreditation status with both agencies was renewed in 2016.

Strategic Direction

MECA&D’s seven-year strategic (2020-2027) plan builds on our historic positioning in Portland’s arts district, a shared strategic vision, and proven ability to embrace change. 

Strategic Plan Priorities

1. Broaden Our Reach: Online and Distance Learning

Charge: MECA&D will develop a strategy to effectively enter the online and distance learning marketplace in order to expand our audience of learners and generate additional revenue streams.

2. Develop a Culture of Social Change, Racial Justice, and Equity

Charge: MECA&D’s commitment to Social Change, Racial Justice, and Inclusion will inform all aspects of the College. We believe placing these values at the forefront of our work cultivates artists who are true agents of change and connects our community to the world in meaningful ways.

3. Academic Excellence

Charge: MECA&D will cultivate the highest standards in teaching and learning in art, design, and media, and will be recognized for its students’ cultural contributions. The College will be known as an educational leader in the programs it offers, creating and continually improving a relevant, culturally inclusive, and distinctive curriculum that enables students to reach their potential in an ever-changing world.

Recognizing a rapidly evolving and increasingly challenging higher education landscape, the College will create additional programs and educational pathways to attract learners beyond its traditional region and age group: this includes professional, mid-career and continuing learners.

4. Create a Living and Learning Center

Charge: MECA&D will develop a new Living and Learning Center that reflects the College’s mission to provide students with the resources and support necessary to pursue their education successfully. Building on MECA&D’s historic role as the creative anchor of Portland, the new Center will expand MECA&D’s footprint and identity within Portland and will provide a destination and hub for community activity and engagement.

5. Financial Sustainability

Charge: An essential principle of our Strategic Plan is to ensure MECA&D’s long-term financial sustainability. As informed by data and other qualitative metrics, we will identify a financial framework and a series of revenue-focused strategic priorities in support of sustainable results and MECA&D’s overall fiscal plan.

Compensation & Benefits

It is preferred that the Assistant Director live in campus housing provided by Maine College of Art & Design and serve in the on-call rotation. However, individuals who do not wish to live in on campus housing are also encouraged to apply. Salary range is $40,000 to $52,000 annually based on qualifications, experiences, and skills.

A comprehensive benefits package is offered, including health, dental, vacation, sick and retirement benefits. 

To Apply

Applications will be reviewed immediately and until the position is filled. Candidates who submit their materials by Oct 31, 2022 are assured full consideration. Digital application required. In one PDF file not to exceed 25MB please include: (1) an application letter that describes how the candidate’s experience, accomplishments and qualifications intersect with the position; (2) a resumé or curriculum vitae; (3) a diversity statement; and (4) the names and contact information of four current references. 

Attach the PDF to an email and send to Place “Assistant Director of Student Life - DEB: [Your Name]” in the Subject line. Applications will be kept confidential until such time as candidates visit campus.

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