Chief Alumni Relations Director

University of Utah
Utah, United States
Salary Commensurate with experience
May 19, 2021
Jun 17, 2021
Employment Type
Full Time

Job Summary

The Chief Alumni Relations Officer (CARO) will be responsible for creating a vision and executing a strategy to increase the engagement of alumni with the University of Utah and build connections to current students to facilitate lifelong engagement and support for the University.  A newly redescribed position with redefined goals, the CARO will lead engagement in four key, strategic areas identified by CASE (the Council on the Advancement and Support of Education):  volunteerism, experiences, philanthropy, and communication.  These four areas are integral to the strategic initiatives, which include building active regional, national, international, and affinity clubs and communities; career mentorship networks of alumni and students; scholarship and sponsorship fundraising; event management; annual giving including parent, alumni, and leadership support; partnerships across campus including athletics, student affairs, the office of equity diversity and inclusion (EDI), academics, and health units.  The CARO is one of three senior leaders in the University of Utah Advancement office (with the Chief Philanthropy Officers for Campus and for Health) reporting directly to the Vice President of University Advancement.

The CARO will be a strong leader with experience in building networks; managing people and finances; creating and executing strategic initiatives; using data analytics to set benchmarks, assess progress, and redirect strategy; soliciting support; and with strong ties to the University of Utah.  Demonstrated experience in team-building, a track record in building programs, and the interpersonal and communication skills necessary to establish strong relationships and partnerships internally and externally are required.  

As a part of University Advancement, Alumni Relations is deeply committed to fostering, cultivating, and preserving a culture of equity, diversity, and inclusion.  Experience with alumni organizations would be helpful but not required. With an increasingly diverse population of alumni and donors, we recognize that nationally the most successful alumni programs employ individuals who can connect with these diverse communities and understand approaches that mirror a broad perspective of cultures, values, and experiences.  The long-term strength and viability of the University of Utah stem from the ongoing EDI practices, and we work intentionally to ensure these efforts are reflected in all aspects of our fundraising and advancement work.  We highly encourage applications from historically underrepresented minority groups, persons with disabilities, persons who have served in the military, and others who would bring additional dimensions of education and experience to our team.

Job Responsibilities

Provide vision, leadership and oversight to empower the Alumni Relations staff and Board of Governors and its committees to maximize volunteerism, engagement, philanthropy, and communication among the almost 300,000 alumni of the University of Utah living worldwide;

  • Engage alumni in the life of the University through consistent, positive, and interactive communication using electronic, print, and social media, exceptional customer service, and meaningful opportunities for volunteerism, service, personal and professional development, and events and programs;
  • Engage current and prospective students through volunteerism, career mentoring, the MUSS (Mighty Utah Student Section), the Student Alumni Board, and other initiatives to build lifelong connections to the University;
  • Build the team of Alumni Relations staff and volunteers with mentorship and motivation, professional development, and facilitating a work environment that encourages knowledge of, respect for, and development of skills to engage with those of varying cultures and backgrounds;
  • Build the network of alumni clubs and communities regionally, nationally, internationally, and by affinity to maximize ties of alumni to the University and to serve as a source for alumni talent and resources for University students and other alumni;
  • Develop and maintain collaborative relationships and programs with campus partners including Athletics, Student Affairs, EDI, University Marketing and Communications, and academic colleges on campus and in U Health;
  • Develop and manage an effective volunteer recruitment and management system that engages alumni in meaningful opportunities, and identifies and cultivates volunteer leadership;
  • Oversee fundraising programs and events that increase scholarship support;
  • Oversee distribution of Alumni scholarship funds;
  • With the Chief Philanthropy Officer for Campus, oversee annual giving, parent giving, student philanthropy, and leadership giving for the University;
  • Develop sponsorship relationships to increase support for Alumni programs and events;
  • Develop goals, set benchmarks and evaluate progress using data analytics;
  • Oversee Alumni House maintenance and event rental program;
  • Oversee an office of approximately 20 staff, up to 200 volunteers, and a $2.5M budget;
  • Active in professional organizations and build a network with peer institutions’ Alumni Relations offices to raise visibility of the University and gain awareness of emerging trends in the field.


Master’s degree in Business Administration or equivalent; ten years of progressively more responsible experience or equivalency; demonstrated skills in leadership, management, financial planning, quality improvement and service delivery within assigned area; and demonstrated human relations and effective communication skills. 

Demonstrates leadership experience in building networks, partnerships, and programs; managing people and finances; team-building; creating and executing strategic initiatives; using data analytics to set benchmarks, assess progress, and redirect strategy; soliciting support.  Possesses computer skills in Word, Excel, and PowerPoint, plus experience with software and CRMs such as PeopleSoft, Thankview, Graduway, and SalesForce.  Has strong ties to the University of Utah. 

Alumni relations and/or annual giving experience preferred but not required.

Other information

The position offers a generous benefits package including retirement, health, dental, life, and other insurance, vacation and sick leave (see  Relocation assistance is available.

The University of Utah is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity employer and is committed to diversity in its workforce. In compliance with applicable federal and state laws, University of Utah policy of equal employment opportunity prohibits discrimination on the basis of race or ethnicity, religion, color, national origin, sex, age, sexual orientation, gender identity/expression, veteran’s status, status as a qualified person with a disability, or genetic information. Individuals from historically underrepresented groups, such as minorities, women, qualified persons with disabilities, and protected veterans are strongly encouraged to apply. Veterans’ preference is extended to qualified applicants, upon request and consistent with University policy and Utah state law.

Reasonable accommodations in the application process will be provided to qualified individuals with disabilities. To request an accommodation or for further information about University AA/EO policies, please contact the Office of Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action, 201 S. Presidents Cr., Rm 135, (801) 581-8365 (V/TDD), email:

The University is a participating employer with Utah Retirement Systems (“URS”). Eligible new hires with prior URS service, may elect to enroll in URS if they make the election before they become eligible for retirement (usually the first day of work). Contact Human Resources at (801) 581-7447 for information. Individuals who previously retired and are receiving monthly retirement benefits from URS are subject to URS’ post-retirement rules and restrictions. Please contact Utah Retirement Systems at (801) 366-7770 or (800) 695-4877 or University Human Resource Management at (801) 581-7447 if you have questions regarding the post-retirement rules.

Required applicant documents

All applications, nominations and inquiries are invited.

Applications should include, as separate documents, a resume, a letter of interest addressing the themes in this profile, and a list of three references. Application review will begin June 28; the search will remain open until the position is filled.

Professional Recruiters is assisting University of Utah in this search, which will remain open until an appointment is made.

Inquiries, nominations, and application materials should be submitted to Franci Eisenberg (