NADOHE CDO Fellows Program[1]
2022 - 2023 CDO Fellows Program
Application Deadline: January 6, 2022

CDO Fellows Cohorts

The NADOHE Chief Diversity Officer Fellows Program (CDOFP) is a professional leadership program of mentorship for new and early career Chief Diversity Officers. The purpose of this one academic year CDOFP is to provide each Fellow with mentoring from a senior level CDO for guided professional development opportunities and experiences.  CDOFP alumni may provide additional support. The CDOFP is highly selective and collaborative with NADOHE member colleges and universities. NADOHE is investing in the current and future careers of new and early-career CDOs working in higher education and requires a year-long commitment on the part of the Fellow and Mentor. Seven Fellows will be selected for the 2022-2023 Fellowship Year Cohort 9 (C-9). Fellows are expected to continue in their role as CDO for at least two years after the CDO Fellows Program.

The Fellows will be selected from a pool of applicants from NADOHE member colleges and universities, based upon recommendations of the NADOHE CDOFP Selection and Advisory Committee. The Committee will recommend matches for each Fellow with an experienced CDO with at least 10 years of experience who will serve as Mentor. The CDO Mentor will be a senior officer of the college or university and may be a member of the NADOHE Board of Directors. The NADOHE President will notify the President of the Fellow's home institution of the CDOFP fellowship award. CDO Fellows will be announced to the membership in the NADOHE newsletter, acknowledged on the NADOHE website, and recognized at the NADOHE Annual Conference. Each Fellow will present at the conference.  

The CDO Mentor will visit the Fellow's campus for a couple of days in the role of NADOHE Consultant to better understand the diversity issues and challenges facing the Fellow. Subsequently, each Fellow will spend several days visiting the CDO Mentor's campus, shadowing the Mentor and learning about diversity issues, policies, procedures, politics, and campus climate of the Mentor’s institution. The Fellow also will observe and learn the Mentor's leadership style, strategies, successes and challenges.  Throughout the Fellowship Year, the CDO Mentor and Fellow are expected to meet twice monthly via modern technology, and the Mentor should be available for consultation and advice throughout the Fellowship Year as requested by the Fellow. Near the end of the Fellowship Year, each CDO Fellow and Mentor will complete a program assessment.  The Fellow will submit a final report to the CDOFP Director on the learning and leadership experience, including formative and summative evaluation of the structure and substance of the CDOFP and recommendations that might contribute to program development and benefit future CDOFP participants.  

A CDOFP award of $2,000 will be disbursed as reimbursement for expenses during the Fellowship Year. The Fellow will be awarded a complimentary registration to NADOHE’s Annual Conference.  It is expected, but not required, that the stipend might be augmented or perhaps matched by the Fellow's home institution in future years to insure annual participation of the CDOFP alumnus in the NADOHE Annual Conference.  The Mentor may be reimbursed to $1,000 in associated travel expenses.

Program Structure 

The NADOHE Fellows Program provides a unique opportunity for each Fellow to: 

  • Observe how an experienced Chief Diversity Officer and his/her institution addresses diversity issues and challenges, solves short-term and long-term problems, and fosters positive and sustainable institutional change.  

  • Participate with a knowledgeable, skilled and experienced leader in a structured campus site visit at the Mentor’s institution. 

  • Immerse briefly in the daily activities of their Mentor and host institution. Fellows are encouraged to engage with other administrators, faculty, staff, and students, learning their experiences and reality regarding the institutional and individual dynamics of diversity and inclusion impacting the campus. 

  • Learn about national, regional, state, local, and international diversity issues and how they impact individual public and private campuses. 

  • Receive guided leadership experience and consultation in diversity and inclusion in higher education that will enhance the Fellow’s professional knowledge and experience in reframing organizations, be applicable to the Fellow’s home institution, and help stimulate strategic thinking and advance outcomes. 

  • Become a member of a national network of diversity leaders and CDOFP alumni who may serve as professional resources throughout the Fellow's career in diversity management and leadership, and beyond.   

Every Fellow is expected to: 

  • Engage in and sustain a Mentor/Fellow relationship with a senior level Chief Diversity Officer based on mutual trust and professional respect. 
  • Respect the confidentiality of all information learned at the host institution, which may derive from participating in senior-level privileged and decision-making meetings at the host institution.  

  • Design with the Mentor an individualized CDO Leadership Enrichment and Achievement Plan (LEAP) for the Fellowship Year. This should include the plans, goals, objectives, activities, campus site visits, a special project with at least one major deliverable, and a budget plan for use of the award.  

  • Visit the Mentor’s campus for 2-3 days for on-site learning and enrichment experiences.

  • Observe the leadership styles of individuals at the host institution, including their strategies, outcomes, effectiveness, and how they interact with and impact one another from these four frames of managing organizational change: structural, human resources, political, and symbolic.  

  • Develop and implement a special project with tangible outcomes to benefit the Fellow as CDO and/or the institution.
  • Present to the NADOHE Board of Directors during the NADOHE Annual Conference about the CDOFP year, incorporating the special project, and its outcomes.

  • Participate in CDOFP assessment.  

  • Become part of the CDOFP Alumni network, participate in Alumni activities, and serve for at least one year following program completion as a resource to new Fellows via telephone or other technology.

 Every Mentor is expected to: 

  • Provide a structured diversity leadership experience for the CDO Fellow that achieves the goals and objectives of the CDOFP and best meets the needs of the Fellow.  

  • Develop a strong Mentor/Mentee relationship with the Fellow. 

  • Assess the goals and specific needs of the Fellow.  

  • Recommend relevant research, including from the NADOHE Journal and an emerging CDOFP bibliography, and other print and electronic journals and resources for guided reading and discussion with the Fellow throughout the Fellowship Year.  
  • Maximize learning, leadership, and networking experiences and opportunities for the Fellow throughout the Fellowship Year. 

  • Develop in consultation with the CDOFP Director and Fellow a CDOFP Calendar for the Fellowship Year, inclusive of regularly scheduled communication, Team Meetings, benchmarks, checkpoints, and in-person on-site and off-site activities.  
  • Conduct one site visit of 2-3 days to the Fellow’s campus in the role of NADOHE Consultant.[2] 

  • Host [3] the Fellow on the Mentor’s campus for 2-3 days, providing an enriching leadership experience[4]

  • Attend the NADOHE Annual Conference and meet with CDOFP Fellows, Mentors, and Alumni.  
  • Participate in CDOFP assessment.  

  • Serve as an informal resource to your Fellow for one year following the CDOFP via telephone or other technology for occasional communication. 

Program Components 

Leadership Enrichment and Achievement Plan  

In conjunction with their Mentors, Fellows will design a Leadership Enrichment and Achievement Plan (LEAP) for the Fellowship Year. This plan will include a statement of purpose, goals, objectives, and activities, and encompass a special project and site visits to the host and home campuses. The LEAP should outline at least three goals that address the purpose of the CDOFP, at least three key objectives, and specify what activities[5] will be conducted to achieve those objectives and the overarching goals. The Fellow/Mentor professional consultation should focus on challenging CDO issues strategic planning and initiatives, and working on a specific leadership issue.  The LEAP shall include a Budget outlining projected expenses for utilization of the CDOFP Award. The LEAP must be approved by the Mentor and submitted to the Director by the end of the third month of the Fellowship Year. Reimbursement of expenses is based upon the LEAP Budget. 

Campus Site Visit  

Two campus site visits (CSV) will be conducted.  The Mentor will make a site visit to the Fellow’s campus in the fall, in the role of NADOHE Consultant. The Mentor’s CSV will foster better understanding of diversity issues and the CDO’s role on the Fellow’s campus and provide the opportunity to engage with the Fellow’s university leadership. The Fellow’s CSV should be an intense experience enabling direct observation and learning about how diversity and inclusion are embraced and achieved at another institution, and how the CDO Mentor is leading that institution in meeting the challenge of a diverse university through implementation of diversity and inclusion policy and best practices across various sectors. The CSVs should be carefully planned and prepared for in order to maximize benefit for the Fellow. Confidentiality is an important compact for the CSV; information gained at the host and home institutions may derive from participating in senior-level privileged discussion and decision-making meetings.

CDOFP Fellow eJournal  

Fellows are encouraged to keep a CDOFP eJournal as the Fellow’s weekly personal thought piece and documentation of the CDOFP Fellowship Year. It should capture elements of the year, including, but not be limited to, the Fellow’s experiences, administrative philosophy, change management, challenges, lessons learned, strategic planning, budget, successes, case studies, benefits, thoughts, questions, perspective, and opinions. This ongoing record should contribute substantially to the foundation upon which the NADOHE Board meeting presentation is made and the Final Report is written. In addition, it may provide the basis for an article in the NADOHE Newsletter or on the NADOHE website. The eJournal also should help the Fellow reflect when asked to provide recommendations regarding strengths and improvements of elements of the CDOFP that might benefit future cohorts and Fellows. 


The Fellow should be informed of professional activities and resources, including suggested readings about research deemed essential to theoretical grounding in the profession for a CDO working in higher education.  Secondary electronic resources may be useful. The Fellow shall provide a bibliography of their professional readings as an addendum to their Final Report. These readings will contribute to emergence of an evolving CDOFP bibliography.

Final Report  

The Fellow will write a Final Report on the CDOFP and submit it to the CDOFP Director and NADOHE by the end of the Fellowship Year. The Final Report shall encompass all aspects of the CDOFP, and may include source material from the Fellow’s CDOFP eJournal. The Final Report should include: 

  • Description of the Fellow's experience.

  • Discussion of the LEAP activities that helped achieve key CDOFP goals and objectives.

  • How the CDOFP has impacted the Fellow’s thinking about diversity, inclusion and leadership.

  • How the Fellow will use the CDOFP leadership experience and resource network in his/her future diversity and inclusion work and career.

  • A copy of any products developed during the Fellowship Year.

  • Bibliography of professional reading and resources used during the Fellowship Year. 

NADOHE Annual Conference  

During the Fellowship Year, NADOHE Fellows are required to: attend and formally present at the national NADOHE Annual Conference; receive beneficial continuing professional education; and meet and engage with other CDOFP Fellows, Mentors, Alumni and colleagues.  For the future, annual attendance at the NADOHE Annual Conference and associated participation in CDOFP activities is expected and service on a NADOHE committee is strongly encouraged. 


The CDOFP Fellow will participate in program assessment through summative and formative evaluation in consideration of program components and value received. This evaluation will augment program assessment by the Mentor and Director.  Assessment data will help inform the Board of Directors and Director in consideration of program development and value of the CDOFP as an annual professional development program and service opportunity for NADOHE members. 


A CDOFP award of $2,000 will be disbursed as a reimbursement of appropriate expenses during the Fellowship Year. In addition, the Fellow will be granted a complimentary registration to the NADOHE Annual Conference during the Fellowship Year.  Appropriate travel expenses may include round-trip coach airfare, bus, or other ground transportation fare, including personal automobile mileage[6], parking fees for the Campus Site Visit, and the NADOHE Annual Conference and NADOHE chapter meetings. All funds not expended by the end of the Fellowship Year will revert to the NADOHE CDOFP. Funds shall not be used to augment the CDO or home institution budget, supplement travel to non-NADOHE meetings or conferences, or underwrite professional development that is appropriately the purview of the employer institution. 

Host Institution

The CDO Mentor will be reimbursed for CDOFP expenses up to $1000. The Host Institution is encouraged to provide or underwrite the Fellow’s meal expenses while on campus and to provide university guest housing[7] where available.


The Applicant must be a Chief Diversity Officer with four years or less employment in this role at a NADOHE member institution

Application Process (Deadline: January 6, 2022)  

Interested applicants should submit their Curriculum Vita, Statement of Purpose, and a list of three references with contact information to [email protected] by January 6, 2022. The three references should have knowledge of the applicant in his/her position as Chief Diversity Officer. The Statement of Purpose should include the following: 

  • Profile of applicant's institution. 

  • Description of applicant's position, reporting line, role within the institution, and responsibilities and their scope. 

  • Knowledge, skills, and experience the applicant seeks to gain from the CDOFP. 

  • How the CDOFP would benefit the applicant and his/her home institution. 

The candidate may include mentor/institution suggestions, but Mentor/Fellow matching will be determined upon recommendation of the CDOFP Selection and Advisory Committee and the CDOFP Director. By applying to the CDOFP, the Applicant commits to attending the 2022 and 2023 NADOHE Annual Conference. Fellows are expected to continue in their role as CDO for at least two years after the CDO Fellows Program.

Fellows will be selected based on the following: 

  • Working full-time as CDO at a NADOHE member institution.

  • Active NADOHE membership status at time of application. 

  • Professional strength. 

  • Need and perceived benefit of advanced CDO leadership experience. 

  • Promise and potential for professional and institutional CDO leadership. 

  • Quality of statement and application materials.

  • Commitment to attend and participate throughout the Fellowship Year, including attending the 2022 and 2023 NADOHE Annual Conference.

  • Commitment to remain in a CDO role for at least two years after completion of the CDO Fellows Program.

CDOFP Timeline
(CDOFP - 9, 2022 - 2023)
Application Deadline: January 6, 2022

January CDOFP Fellows (Cohort 9) selected and notified

March CDOFP Fellows introduced at NADOHE Annual Conference; Team/Cluster Meeting; Cohort 9 and CDOFP Alumni Lunch

June:  LEAP completed and submitted

August: Team Meeting [8]              

Fall: Campus Site Visit by Mentor

December: Team Meeting

Winter:  Campus Site Visit by Fellow

February Special Project completed

March:  NADOHE Conference: Team/Cluster Meeting; observe and present at Annual Conference

April Assessment and Exit Interviews

May Final Report and Team Meeting

For questions or additional information, go to or contact NADOHE at [email protected] or Debra Nolan, [email protected].

[1] The NADOHE CDOFP was established in 2014 modeled after the AIEA Neal Presidential Fellows Program.

[2] Travel and hotel costs reimbursed by NADOHE.

[3] Host institution is encouraged to provide complimentary meals and campus guest housing where possible.

[4] Inclusive of meetings with executive leadership, faculty staff and students; affinity groups and diversity councils, diversity and inclusion programs and activities.

[5] Such activities might include immersing oneself in the campus visit, establishing diversity partnership and support across the faculty and staff, developing and implementing a diversity plan or diversity council, studying the professional literature on diversity and inclusion issues in higher education of timely relevance to the Fellow’s campus, and attending a NADOHE chapter meeting or conference.

[6] Mileage reimbursed according to current IRS reimbursement rate.

[7] On campus housing or university guest rates.

[8] With the exception of meeting at the NADOHE Conference, Team Meetings will be via conference call.