Director/Senior Director of Advancement - Office of the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs (144024)
University of Illinois

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Job Details


Director/Senior Director of Advancement

Office of the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign seeks a full-time Director/Senior Director of Advancement for Student Affairs. This individual will report to the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs and the Assistant Vice Chancellor for Advancement.

Student Affairs at the University of Illinois is comprised of 17 departments and is one of the most comprehensive Student Affairs organizations in the country. The Student Affairs advancement program was established 25 years ago and has the infrastructure for success in attracting annual and major gifts and corporate partnerships. Private support programs focus on the Illinois Leadership Center; fundraising for health and wellness programs; student support, success and engagement initiatives; the cultural centers; and developing a parents' campaign.

On October 13, 2017, the University publicly launched its fourth comprehensive campaign. "With Illinois" is the most ambitious philanthropic initiative in its history. The goal is to raise $2.25 billion in support of Illinois students, faculty, research, and infrastructure; and to continue to elevate the values that make Illinois distinctive: a sense of boundless aspiration, collaborative research, and global perspective. Student Affairs is 64% of the way to its $10 million "With Illinois" campaign goal.

The University of Illinois is an Equal Opportunity, Affirmative Action employer that recruits and hires qualified candidates without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, national origin, disability or veteran status. For more information, visit

Organizational Relationship

Based in the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs, the Director/Senior Director of Advancement reports jointly to the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs and to the Assistant Vice Chancellor for Advancement. The Director/Senior Director serves as the head fundraiser for the unit and coordinates all alumni relations, stewardship, donor relations, communications, and related activities. The position leads small team of professionals.

Primary Function

Strategy and Planning

  • Lead the Student Affairs advancement program in support of the University's mission, vision, and goals, in alignment with the strategic plan of Student Affairs.
  • Provide guidance as the Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs' chief advisor in matters related to advancement.
  • Build and maintain productive working relationships with leadership throughout the units of Student Affairs in order to thoroughly understand their programs and priorities and to collaborate on engaging alumni and donors in support of advancement activities.
  • Facilitate effective collaborative relationships with other advancement offices across campus, the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Institutional Advancement (OVCIA), the University of Illinois Foundation, and the University of Illinois Alumni Association.
  • Serve as part of the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs leadership team and on other relevant administrative committees.

Major Gifts
  • Provide leadership, manage, and develop advancement strategy for the Vice Chancellor's Student Affairs Advisory Council.
  • Formulate, establish, and evaluate an annual plan with fundraising goals and drive the plan to execution through appropriate engagement of staff throughout Student Affairs. Oversee and provide direction for Student Affairs' overall prospect portfolio.
  • Manage a personal portfolio of major gift prospects, using a focused and accountable approach of strategy development and implementation.
  • Facilitate the Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs' engagement with a portfolio of the most important major donors and prospects.
  • Lead a small major gift team tasked with identifying, cultivating, and soliciting major donors; creating, coordinating and writing funding proposals directed at individuals, corporations and foundations; and ensuring consistent message throughout Student Affairs and its units. Encourage and facilitate collaboration with other advancement professionals across campus.

Constituent Engagement
  • In alignment with the strategic priorities of Student Affairs, oversee coordination of enhanced, comprehensive and meaningful alumni and corporate engagement activities that foster lifelong connections between Student Affairs and its constituents.
  • Provide leadership and oversight to the Student Affairs stewardship program, including the Leadership Awards and Scholarships Program. Ensure appropriate processes and procedures for gift documentation and acknowledgement, fund management processes, and donor recognition and reporting.
  • Share Student Affairs' vision, mission, and goals with important external stakeholders, including alumni, friends, and parents, through public relations, communications, and marketing efforts. Partner with the communications and marketing staff to ensure consistency of message and brand.

Management and Budget
  • In collaboration with the Student Affairs financial leadership team, plan and administer the budget for the advancement office to ensure operation within fiscal constraints.
  • Hire, manage, train, provide oversight, and evaluate a team of academic professionals and support staff.
  • Maintain familiarity with current issues in higher education. Retain knowledge and understanding of the specific programs and strengths of the units of Student Affairs.

Impact in Your First Year

At Advancement at Illinois, we value our employees and provide resources to help you continually learn and grow. We foster a strong, collaborative community of people who are driven by their ability to make a difference.

Within 3 months, you'll:
  • Understand the Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs' strategic vision and priorities for Student Affairs
  • Begin to build positive relationships with key internal stakeholders and external constituents as well as with leadership and peers in Advancement
  • Assess the structure, resources and capabilities of the Student Affairs advancement office/team as well as individual and collective progress to goals
  • Become familiar with the overarching structure of Advancement at Illinois and the alignment between central Advancement services, the University of Illinois Foundation, and the University of Illinois Alumni Association
  • Attend professional development and networking activities for newcomers within Advancement
  • Meet your assigned Prospect Development Analyst and begin to dig into your team's portfolios as well as your own

Within 6 months, you'll:
  • Begin cultivating relationships with the key prospects/donors/alumni
  • Understand, evaluate, and enhance stewardship and donor relations, events, alumni relations, and communications activities for broad and unit-specific initiatives and funding priorities within Student Affairs
  • Be able to share multiple meaningful impact stories of transformative gifts

By the end of the first year, you'll:
  • Continue to develop a trusting and collaborative team culture
  • Cooperatively set annual performance goals/metrics with your staff, portfolio management team, and Performance Management
  • Partner with Talent Management and Performance Management teams for individual and team coaching, professional development, retreat, and goal-setting opportunities
  • Build a robust network of colleagues across campus

Required Qualifications
  • Bachelor's degree.
  • For the title of Director, a minimum of seven years of advancement experience, preferably in a higher education environment, or ten years of related experienced in a closely related field which requires strong relationship-building and outcome driven components. For the title of Senior Director, a minimum seven years of progressively responsible and successful experience in advancement, preferably in a higher education environment.
  • Supervisory, management experience, which may overlap with advancement or related work experience.
  • Demonstrated ability to work successfully with diverse constituencies.
  • Ability to maintain a travel schedule of 30-40% including some evenings and weekends.
  • Superb oral, written, and interpersonal communication skills.

Preferred Qualifications
  • Master's degree.
  • Knowledge of the principles of advancement, fundraising, and administration in a university environment.
  • Completion of Plus Delta Discipline of Frontline Fundraising program or similar training in academic advancement best practices.
  • Knowledge and/or experience working in the major components of advancement including development, communications and public relations, alumni engagement, and special events. Knowledge of planned giving fundraising vehicles.


Competitive and commensurate with qualifications and experience.

To Apply

To ensure full consideration, application materials must be received by May 4, 2021. Please complete your candidate profile at and upload a letter of application, resume and the names, addresses, phone numbers, and e-mail addresses of three professional references. For further information regarding application procedures, contact Katie Walker at The proposed starting date is as soon as possible after the closing date.

The University of Illinois conducts criminal background checks on all job candidates upon acceptance of a contingent offer. The University of Illinois System requires candidates selected for hire to disclose any documented finding of sexual misconduct or sexual harassment and to authorize inquiries to current and former employers regarding findings of sexual misconduct or sexual harassment. For more information, visit Policy on Consideration of Sexual Misconduct in Prior Employment. As a qualifying federal contractor, the University of Illinois System uses E-Verify to verify employment eligibility.

College Name or Administrative Unit:

Office of the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs




Director/Senior Director of Advancement - Office of the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs (144024)

Open Date:


Organization Name:

Ofc VC Inst Advancement

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